Carrauntoohil (/ˌkærənˈtuːl/, Irish: Corrán Tuathail) is the highest peak on the island of Ireland. Located in County Kerry, it is 1,038 metres (3,406 feet) high and is the central peak of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks range. The ridge northward leads to Ireland’s second-highest peak, Beenkeragh at 1,010 m (3,310 ft), while the ridge westward leads to the third-highest peak, Caher at 1,001 m (3,284 ft). Carrauntoohil overlooks three bowl-shaped valleys, each with its own lakes. To the east is Hag’s Glen or Coomcallee (Com Caillí, “hollow of the Cailleach”), to the west is Coomloughra (Com Luachra, “hollow of the rushes”) and to the south is Curragh More (Currach Mór, “great marsh”).
Carrauntoohil is classed as a Furth by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, i.e. a mountain greater than 3,000 ft (910 m) high that is outside (or furth of) Scotland, which is why it is sometimes referred to as one of the Irish Munros.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A poem by: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Images of Banna Strand, Kerry, Ireland
From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The “Rime“ is one of the greatest pieces of Romantic literature. And the section of this epic poem in which the dead sailors get up and start sailing the boat again without seeing anything is as terrifying as anything in the horror genre.
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The Moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.
The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.
They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all ‘gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brother’s son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.
‘I fear thee, ancient Mariner!’
Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
‘Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corpses came again,
But a troop of spirits ablest:
For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.
Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!
And now ’twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel’s song,
That makes the heavens be mute.
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid: and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.
The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean:
But in a minute she ‘gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion—
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.
Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.
River has a silver string that runs its length,
holds it to a source in the mountains.
River cradles its corded muscles of water
between high banks, giving the banks no thought
as it bites them with eddies,
eroding their lower flanks.
River thinks it is only water and the gristle
of currents, hay stacking surfaces
and deep, bellowing falls
running for the sea, though
it does not know it is there.
River should take more care of its banks.
Banks are what hold it a river, give
direction, keep it mitering downward.
Without banks, river loses its way,
becomes a swamp and stills.
All my life I have chafed at river banks,
fighting to spread my currents
in whatever turn needed exploring.
The high song of freedom seemed
to be a music of ‘no banks’,
and yet the whole joy of rivers is pushing,
etching the banks to join the flow,
but having them hold.
Sailing to Byzantium
by William Butler Yeats
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon‐falls, the mackerel‐crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing‐masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
The Abbey of Muckross KIllarney or the Franciscan Friary of Irrelagh, was founded for the Observatine Franciscans in 1448, and is the burial place of local chieftains and three Gaelic poets
It is famous for the large ancient yew tree that rises above the cloister and extends over the abbey walls. Some think the abbey was built around the tree, as yews are seen in folk lore as a tree of life and linked to the immortality of the soul.
Muckross Abbey Today
While today it is a ruin and has no roof, the building is reasonably well preserved
The abbey is open to the public and is a short five- minute walk from the car park on the N71. It is three miles from Killarney Town.
The Ghost of the Brown Man
It has been rumoured that the abbey and its adjoining graveyard may have inspired Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker.
Historical records document that a religious hermit named John Drake lived in the abandoned friary for eleven years during the mid 1700s. Drake famously slept in a coffin.
Meanwhile, an ancient legend tells of “the Brown Man” who was seen by his wife feasting on a corpse within one of the graves.
These stories may have fueled the Dracula novel, written by Stoker, who visited the area in the late 19th century, and was seen wandering around the ruins late at night.
Today, visitors to Muckross Abbey agree that it has an uncomfortably spooky atmosphere.
Image Gallery in full ….
Life The Way It Should Be
by : Taylor Jordao
Tell me what do you see
Purple, green, and gold,
Mountain peaks that touch the sky
Little black birds flying by
Sun setting in the west
Flowers in the east,
Calm, relaxing breeze
And forests filled with trees
Tell me what do you see
The sky starts to fade as night approaches
Animals will soon come out
The spring is ending without a doubt
Fall is coming near
Cold weather’s on its way,
Flowers start to die
Birds go south, bye bye.
Tell me what do you see
Happiness, love, and beauty,
Everyone is free
Life the way it should be.
The original purpose of bullan stones is not really known, but they have an undisputed association with water and worship. A ‘bullaun’ is a deep hemispherical cup hollowed out of a rock. Bullaun Stone refers to the rock itself, which can have many bullauns in it, although many are single.
Water in Pagan life
Water (Uisce in irish / place names after : Adare, the ford that feeds the oak tree.) is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, Water is related to the West, and associated with passion and emotion. In many spiritual paths, consecrated Water can be found – consecrated water is just regular water with salt added to it, and usually a blessing or invocation is said above it. In Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it. As you may expect, water is associated with the color blue.
Ten thousand years ago, before the coming of Christianity in Ireland, the rivers served a very important role in the lives of the people living along its banks. It was their source of food, and a place where their cattle and crops thrived on the nourished plains. It also acted as a barrier between opposing armies and clans. People saw the rivers as powerful objects and worshipped river gods. Often people placed weapons and ornaments of precious metal in the river as offerings to these gods.
Irish Goddess :Brighid
One of the triple Goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. She is the daughter of The Dagda, the All Father of the Tuatha de Danann, one of the most ancient people of Northern Europe. Some say there are actually three Brighids; one is in charge of poetry and inspiration; one is in charge of midwifery and healing, and the last is in charge of crafts and smiths.
She probably began as a sun Goddess. According to legend, she was born at sunrise and a tower of flame beamed from her head.
As Goddess of fire and water, she is immortalized by many wells and springs. Most important of her monuments, though, was a shrine at Kildare where there was a perpetual flame burning for Brighid. It was tended by nineteen virgins called the Daughters of the Flame, wearing deep crimson habits and bearing swords. They would not talk to men, nor could men come near the shrine. Her feast is St.Brighids Days in Ireland and is the Pagan Festival of Imbolc
When Christianity began its onset, so loved was Brighid that she was made a saint. However, the upkeep on her flame was considered pagan by the church and it was extinguished out of more than a thousand years of burning. St. Brigit remains one of the most popular Irish saints today, along with Saint Patrick.
Identical to Juno, Queen of Heaven. Symbolizes human potential. Also known as Brigit, Brigid, Brigindo, Bride.
Dark the bitter winter,
cutting its sharpness,
but Bride’s mantle,
brings spring to Ireland.
Irish Goddess :Fland
Daughter of woodland Goddess Flidais. A lake Goddess who is viewed in modern (Post Christian) folklore as an evil water faery who lures swimmers to their death.
She rules over: Water magick, rivers and lakes
Kingdom Falconry is based and located at Crag caves, Castle-island, Co. Kerry, 2km from the town. They offer you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of very majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey.
One of these birds is an Eurasian eagle-owl a fantastic bird that was just wonderful to get very close to.
Kingdom Falconry can be contacted from this link.
If you are in county Kerry and near Castle-island and have sometime , I would very much recommend dropping in to meet these birds.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is described as follows :
The Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle-owl resident in much of Eurasia. It is sometimes called the European eagle-owl and is, in Europe, where it is the only member of its genus besides the snowy owl, occasionally abbreviated to just eagle-owl. In India, it is often called the Indian great horned owl, though this may cause confusion with the similarly named American bird.It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 75 centimetres (30 in), with a wingspan of 188 centimetres (74 in), males being slightly smaller. This bird has distinctive ear tufts, the upper parts are mottled black and tawny and the wings and tail are barred. The underparts are buff, streaked with darker colour. The facial disc is poorly developed and the orange eyes are distinctive.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is found in a number of habitats but is mostly a bird of mountain regions, coniferous forests, steppes and remote places. It is a mostly nocturnal predator, hunting for a range of different prey species, predominately small mammals but also birds of varying sizes, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and earthworms. It typically breeds on cliff ledges, in gullies, among rocks or in some other concealed location. The nest is a scrape in which up to six eggs are laid at intervals and which hatch at different times. The female incubates the eggs and broods the young, and the male provides food for her and when they hatch, for the nestling’s as well.
Continuing parental care for the young is provided by both adults for about five months.
There are about a dozen subspecies of Eurasian eagle-owl. With a total range in Europe and Asia of about 32 million square kilometres (12 million square miles) and a total population estimated to be between 250 thousand and 2.5 million individuals, the IUCN lists the bird’s conservation status as being of “least concern”.
In my earlier post I posted some of my own images of the Bog of Allen, Just one of the Irish Bogs I love visiting. Last year I went to see an Art exhibition that included some painting by, county Kerry based painter Noel Browne.
Some of his paintings I share here.
I feel he has captures the wonderful feel of the Irish Bogs including the vast Landscape they produce, when they have been cut by mechanicall harvesters for Peat production. His painting capture the almost monotone landscapes with deep flooded pits created by these machines.
Tell it to the lighthouse boy
By : Maddie
Tell it to the lighthouse boy
the sleepy-eyed resounding boy,
tell it to the lighthouse boy,
who wakes his days away.
Sing it to the lighthouse boy
the bright-mouthed smiling smart-ass boy,
sing it to the lighthouse boy,
solemn, sweet, and still.
Cry it to the lighthouse boy,
the hold you close and call-out boy,
cry it to the lighthouse boy,
who thinks his thoughts alone.
Fling it to the lighthouse boy,
the bending low and catch it boy,
fling it to the lighthouse boy,
to carry on his own.
did you ever see eyes so sad?
blue-green as the foaming sea they watch,
stiller than still and deeper than you can imagine,
gazing to your depths and
speaking nothing of them.
so tell it to the lighthouse boy,
the sleepy-eyed resounding boy.
Tell it to the lighthouse boy,
who casts it out to sea.