Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “irish farming

Monday Poetry , The Cow – Robert Louis Stevenson


The friendly cow all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Photo Stories , Irish National Sheep dog Trials

National Irish sheepdog trials Nigel Borrington

National Irish sheepdog trials
Nigel Borrington

Sheep dof trials ireland Nigel Borrington 02

Sheep dof trials ireland Nigel Borrington 03

Sheep dof trials ireland Nigel Borrington 04

Sheep dof trials ireland Nigel Borrington 05

County Kilkenny Landscapes and a Poem : Like Barley Bending, Sara Teasdale (1884 – 1933)

Barley Field County Kilkenny  Nigel Borrington

Barley Field
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Like Barley Bending

Like barley bending
In low fields by the sea,
Singing in hard wind

Like barley bending
And rising again,
So would I, unbroken,
Rise from pain;

Barley in Kilkennys fields Nigel Borrington 02

So would I softly,
Day long, night long,
Change my sorrow
Into song.

Barley in Kilkennys fields Nigel Borrington 01

Kilkenny landscapes (harvest time) , The Harvest Poem by Duncan Campbell Scott

Kilkenny landscape images  August in black and white 5

The Harvest

Written by Duncan Campbell Scott

Sun on the mountain,
Shade in the valley,
Ripple and lightness
Leaping along the world,
Sun, like a gold sword
Plucked from the scabbard,
Striking the wheat-fields,
Splendid and lusty,
Close-standing, full-headed,
Toppling with plenty;
Shade, like a buckler
Kindly and ample,
Sweeping the wheat-fields
Darkening and tossing;
There on the world-rim
Winds break and gather
Heaping the mist
For the pyre of the sunset;
And still as a shadow,
In the dim westward,
A cloud sloop of amethyst
Moored to the world
With cables of rain.

Kilkenny landscape images  August in black and white 6

Acres of gold wheat
Stir in the sunshine,
Rounding the hill-top,
Crested with plenty,
Filling the valley,
Brimmed with abundance,
Wind in the wheat-field
Eddying and settling,
Swaying it, sweeping it,
Lifting the rich heads,
Tossing them soothingly
Twinkle and shimmer
The lights and the shadowings,
Nimble as moonlight
Astir in the mere.

Laden with odors
Of peace and of plenty,
Soft comes the wind
From the ranks of the wheat-field,
Bearing a promise
Of harvest and sickle-time,
Opulent threshing-floors
Dusty and dim
With the whirl of the flail,
And wagons of bread,
Sown-laden and lumbering
Through the gateways of cities.

Kilkenny landscape images  August in black and white 2

When will the reapers
Strike in their sickles,
Bending and grasping,
Shearing and spreading;
When will the gleaners
Searching the stubble
Take the last wheat-heads
Home in their arms ?

Ask not the question! –
Something tremendous
Moves to the answer.

Hunger and poverty
Heaped like the ocean
Welters and mutters,
Hold back the sickles!

Millions of children
Born to their mothers’ womb,
Starved at the nipple, cry,–
Ours is the harvest!
Millions of women
Learned in the tragical
Secrets of poverty,
Sweated and beaten, cry,–
Hold back the sickles!
Kilkenny landscape images  August in black and white 1

Millions of men
With a vestige of manhood,
Wild-eyed and gaunt-throated,
Shout with a leonine
Accent of anger,
Leaves us the wheat-fields!

When will the reapers
Strike in their sickles?
Ask not the question;
Something tremendous
Moves to the answer.

Long have they sharpened
Their fiery, impetuous
Sickles of carnage,
Welded them aeons
Ago in the mountains
Of suffering and anguish;
Hearts were their hammers
Blood was their fire,
Sorrow their anvil,
(Trusty the sickle
Tempered with tears;)
Time they had plenty-
Harvests and harvests
Passed them in agony,
Only a half-filled
Ear for their lot;
Man that has taken
God for a master
Made him a law,
Mocked him and cursed him,
Set up this hunger,
Called it necessity,
Put in the blameless mouth
Juda’s language:
The poor ye have with you
Always, unending.

But up from the impotent
Anguish of children,
Up from the labor
Fruitless, unmeaning,
Of millions of mothers,
Hugely necessitous,
Grew by a just law
Stern and implacable,
Art born of poverty,
The making of sickles
Meet for the harvest.

Kilkenny landscape images  August in black and white 3

And now to the wheat-fields
Come the weird reapers
Armed with their sickles,
Whipping them keenly
In the fresh-air fields,
Wild with the joy of them,
Finding them trusty,
Hilted with teen.

Swarming like ants,
The Idea for captain,
No banners, no bugles,
Only a terrible
Ground-bass of gathering
Tempest and fury,
Only a tossing
Of arms and of garments;
Sexless and featureless,
(Only the children
Different among them,
Crawling between their feet,
Borne on their shoulders;)
Rolling their shaggy heads
Wild with the unheard-of
Drug of the sunshine;
Tears that had eaten
The half of their eyelids
Dry on their cheeks;
Blood in their stiffened hair
Clouted and darkened;
Down in their cavern hearts
Hunger the tiger,
Leaping, exulting;
Sighs that had choked them
Burst into triumphing;
On they come, Victory!
Up to the wheat-fields,
Dreamed of in visions
Bred by the hunger,
Seen for the first time
Splendid and golden;
On they come fluctuant,
Seething and breaking,
Weltering like fire
In the pit of the earthquake,
Bursting in heaps
With the sudden intractable
Lust of the hunger:
Then when they see them-
The miles of the harvest
White in the sunshine,
Rushing and stumbling,
With the mighty and clamorous
Cry of a people
Starved from creation,
Hurl themselves onward,
Deep in the wheat-fields,
Weeping like children,
After ages and ages,
Back at the mother the earth.
Find a place in the mountains

Night in the valley,
Gloom on the mountain,
Wind in the wheat,
Far to the southward
The flutter of lightning,
The shudder of thunder;
But high at the zenith,
A cluster of stars
Glimmers and throbs
In the gasp of the midnight,
Steady and absolute,
Ancient and sure

Images of the sheep shearing shed and a Poem by Lorna Madson

The Sheep Shearing Shed, Country Kerry, Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Sheep Shearing Shed,
Country Kerry,
Irish Photography : Nigel Borrington


– by Lorna Madson

I still recall shearing at Dad’s place,
All those early starts,
Learning to skirt the fleeces,
Pulling off the daggy parts.

I remember Dad sewing up sheep that were cut,
With a needle and big piece of cotton,
Sometimes we helped him yard up the sheep,
Or bring in some the dog had forgotten.

There’s a definite art to throwing a fleece,
One that i’m still yet to master,
The only time I ever tried,
Was a complete and utter disaster!

Sheep Shearers 3

It was always a guess as to when we would shear,
Dad never knew quite when they’d come,
But you always knew by their thirsty look,
When they were about to do the last run.

Mum prepared meals and worked in the shed,
While us kids got up to mischief,
One time we shore so late in October,
Mum asked if they’d be there for Christmas!

Every year without a doubt,
The straw broom went down to the shed,
Either Dad forgot to buy one,
Or it was easier to take Mum’s instead.

On school days we’d race from the bus to the shed,
There was no time for homework or chores,
Getting tossed in a wool press, riding sheep in the pen,
Our hands full of prickles and sore.

Sheep Shearing 2

When we cut-out half the district would come,
The wool table would be covered in grub,
Plenty to drink and the odd song or two,
It was better than any session at the pub!

This is a glimpse of what shearing was like,
Or at least it’s the bits I remember,
The shearing shed’s where all the action was at,
Usually somewhere around August-September.

But I doubt if Dad’s memories of shearing,
Are as fond to him as mine are to me,
For I didn’t have to worry ’bout microns,
Wool packs and presses you see!

5 Images for the week , Tuesday : Working the Land

Images from the fields 3
Working the Land, Farming in County Kilkenny, Ireland
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Working the Land

By far the biggest industry in county Kilkenny is farming, The main land use is grassland, dairy farming and tillage farming especially around Kilkenny City and in the fertile central plain of the Nore Valley. Conifer forests are found on the upland areas.

Moments at the Market

Kilkenny Cattle mart 005
Nikon D700, 50mm f1.4 lens
Kilkenny Cattle market, Gallery image
Irish photography : Nigel Borrington

Two Local Farmers, Talking – Kilkenny Cattle market, Oct 2013.

Kilkenny photography – a farming gallery

Images from the fields 3
All images using a Nikon D7000, 35mm focus length, iso 200
Images of framing in county Kilkenny
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

By far the biggest industry in county Kilkenny is farming, The main land use is grassland, dairy farming and tillage farming especially around Kilkenny City and in the fertile central plain of the Nore Valley. Conifer forests are found on the upland areas.

Last year I set out to produce a collection of farming images and have worked with some of the counties Farmers on this. The images below are just some of the pictures so far, its a pleasure to be working out in the fields and watches the work being carried out.

Images from the farm – Gallery

Images from the fields 1

Images from the fields 4

Images from the fields 5

Images from the fields 2

Images from the fields 6

70 years of Potato farming

This Old Potato Machine 60 years

There are some seventy years between the two photographs above, the young Girl in the left, in the original photograph is Mona, my Wife Breda’s mother, these fields have been ploughed and planted every year since.

Last year I took the following images of the family planting the potatoes again for another growing season, then collecting them after for sale. The machine in the pictures was originally imported from the US and hopefully will be working for many years to come.

I want the following images to tell the rest of this story……

This Old Potato Machine 1

This Old Potato Machine 11

This Old Potato Machine 3

This Old Potato Machine 9

This Old Potato Machine 4

This Old Potato Machine 10

This Old Potato Machine 5

This Old Potato Machine 8

This Old Potato Machine 7

This Old Potato Machine 12

Irish farm 1

Pilgrim Hill

Pilgrim Hill – A Movie about the true side of farming life

Irish farm 1

Yesterday I watched a great review about a new film Pilgrim hill that has been made by young film maker Gerard Barrett in the above video he talks to RTE’s Nationwide about Pilgrim Hill. In cinemas April 12th 2013. Pilgrim Hill is the debut film from Gerard Barrett, winner of the 2013 Irish Film and Television Academy Rising Star Award.

“Jimmy Walsh is a farmer in rural Ireland. Like the landscape he inhabits, his life is bleak and hard. Looking after an ageing sick father, life is passing him by as he comes to terms with his changing circumstances. Loneliness and isolation are his continual companions, along with his modest herd of cattle.

A young twenty something neighbour is one of the only links Jimmy has to the real world. In him, Jimmy sees what he could have been, as he realizes what he is, a middle aged bachelor farmer with vanishing opportunities and on the verge of living the rest of his life alone on the side of a cold un-nourishing hill.

A final blow is dealt to Jimmy when it seems that life can’t get any worse. He is barely able to articulate his situation, yet his honesty and vulnerability speak to the loneliness that haunts the human condition in all of us”

sean neil 3

In and around the area I live in Ireland, Co.Kilkenny there are many Jimmy walsh’s including members of my own family.

sean neil 1

Sean a family friend is one of them, older than Jimmy but he will have travelled through many of the same things in his time.

Many of these farmers never got married and lived out their lives in remote places like this farm Burnchurch in Co.Tipperary.

Irish farm 2

Watching the review of the film last night, I wondered why these men’s lives have not been shown and received much more coverage than they have. Many other nation like the America have shown the hard lives their own famers have lived on the screen for many years, it time these mens live got the same exposure, please go a watch this movie if you can.