People for Bees
The Irish wildlife trust are running a People for Bees project across the country once more in 2019. With People for Bees we deliver accessible talks on bees, their identification and how to create bee friendly habitats.
This training includes practical outdoor sessions where participants practice field skills like bee identification, bumblebee monitoring and biodiversity record taking. The project is aimed at community groups and members of the public in every province of Ireland.
The Irish Wildlife Trust works closely with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and the Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme. With the new skills learnt through our People for Bees programme, participating groups have the knowledge and confidence to start carrying out bee population monitoring and habitat creation in their communities, thus completing two of the objectives of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan – “Making Ireland more pollinator friendly” and “Bee population monitoring”.
All-Ireland Pollinator Plan
In 2015 Ireland, North and South, developed a strategy to address pollinator decline and protect pollination services, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.
Sixty-eight governmental and non-governmental organisations agreed a shared Plan that identifies 81 actions to make Ireland pollinator friendly.
You can take part, using the guides and resources provided by the National Biodiversity Data Centre for your garden, school, local community group or council and map those actions on the online mapping system, Actions for Pollinators, to help track the build-up of food and shelter in our landscape.
Sheeps bit – Wild flowers
The Slate Quarry at (Ahenny, Windgap, Co. Kilkenny) is one of our best local locations for wild life and wild flowers – at this time of year. There are three or four old open quarry pits most of which now form small lakes, along with many heaps of slate that remained in place after all the good slate in the area had been removed. In the summer the lakes are used for swimming in.
I often visit and today I captured these blue sheep’s bit flowers at lunch time and they cover most of the tops of the old slate heaps. Natural blue wild flowers are one of natures rarest finds so it was a true pleasure to see such a large amount growing in one place.
Here are some details about these very special little plants ….
Scientific Name: Jasione montana
Irish Name: Duán na gcaorach
Family Group: Campanulaceae
Also known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but theAlso known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but the florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.
I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.
florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.
I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre
Thanks to Sharon Walters Knight a fellow WordPress blogger and Facebook friend , I have in the last three weeks started to take a look again at 35mm film photography.
Over the last three years or so Film is starting to make a big come back, mainly with the help of film suppliers and film fan supporters lomography, they sell and process films along with camera bodies and offer some great new ideas as to how to use film and get some creative results from it.
I have just finished shooting my first role of 35mm black and white film supplied from Lomography Europe, using my Nikon FM2 and when I get time this week I will post this roll of film off to them and wait for the negatives and online scans to appear!
For the moment I have been looking at some of my old negatives and scanning them, the results are good I feel for these old black and white frames, My impression of how film compares to current Digital cameras is one of surprise, I love the grainy and organic feel to black and white films!
I had not realized since I stopped looking at film as my main photography medium, just how much digital has moved forward year on year! I feel that even when scanning a film frame at 10 megapixels with a good scanner, even with ISO 100 film the detail is so much less that can be found in todays digital sensors. Film grain is loved by many, yet when you look closely a lot of the image details are lost in this grain. A simple fact however when using film is that while digital cameras have kept developing all the time, film scanner have not. Another fact often lost today is that film was not designed with scanners in mind but with wet/dark room printing on light sensitive photo-papers, often designed by the film suppliers to match the film being used. Thus it could still be true that the best results when printing from film can be achieved in the dark room and not using a scanner at all!
I still love the idea of using a film camera at times when you want to use a simple process and travel light, just packing a film camera, a few lenses and rolls of film, without the need to take battery chargers and laptops with you. Another fact is that Film cameras work better when your outside and need to keep changing lenses, you never have to worry about dust and dirt getting to your sensor!
Here are some film shots I have taken over the years, at some point this week I will post more on them, including some closer looks at just how much detail is in the full sized images and just how film grain looks at 100% print size.
Ilfords Black and white film Gallery
Barley Lake, Glengarrif, county Cork
Spending last week staying in Glengarrif, west county Cork I have just started to look at some of the Landscape photo’s taken during the week.
Glengarrif is located on the south east of the Beara Peninsula, west cork and is one of the most feature filled locations in Ireland, with (Mountains, nature reserves, rivers, Lakes and a wonderful coastline).
Barley Lake is located high above the town about as high as you can get a lake, sheep being its only visitors for most of the Year. The walk up is long but great fun as the views along the route are just wonderful.
I will post a full Gallery soon along with lots of the other great local locations I visited during the week.
Just For now the above image is a full view of Barley lake with its surrounding hills and wonderful Landscape setting. The image was created by stitching eleven separate images into one panoramic view.
A Morning Walk at Hastings
These images were taken on a visit to the coastal town of Hastings , way back in the 1990’s . I remember that I had just invested in a Nikon FM2 Camera which I still own. Getting up very early one summers morning I loaded some Kodak Ektar 100 colour film and went for a walk along the sea front.
Hastings is a great sea side town located on the south coast of the UK and a wonderful place to get some beach and sea front images, I remember being really pleased with these images and encouraged to keep taking more.
I think finding a good location for your photography is key to keeping you going and learning as much as you can about using your camera and adding to your photography skills.
Hastings a Gallery
The Old Dead Tree
By : David Harris
The old dead tree stood
gnarled weather torn;
its limbs were now brittle.
What stories could it tell
of the centuries it had lived,
the passing lives it had seen,
and the storms it had weathered
when it was young and strong.
When its foliage was green
and gave shelter from the rain.
Now it stands bare and broken,
a sorry sight to be seen.
It must have been beautiful
when it was young
with its canopy of green,
and a nesting place for little birds
among its evergreen.
Now they only used it
as a resting place whenever they pass by.
The old dead tree,
which had seen so much life.
By : Emmy Nielsen Reyes de Gaspar
There is so much beauty in life,
Beauty in the human soul,
Beauty in the heart and in the mind
Of the good man and woman.
There is beauty in nature,
Beauty in the sky and in the clouds,
In the mountains and in the sea.
There is beauty in the creative work of man,
Beauty in true friendship.
And immeasurable beauty in love.
All these things,
To delight us in this world.
The landscape around Galway bay is one of the most beautiful in Ireland , offering long walks along sandy beach’s and scenic fishing bays.
The photographs below are from such a walk I took about two years ago during an Easter holiday in the area.
Fishing boats at Galway bay, Gallery
The Burren, County Clare
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
Its a winters weekend, so why not get outside and go for a walk , find some new things to look at.
Some wonderful views, roads and even the walls.
The Sea Of Time.
by Robert Crawford
On that strange sea
Where Man’s bark moves as toward eternity,
What sails put forth that are not seen again!
So joyous it may be, or in pain,
The mariner doth drive still on and on
Beneath no mortal star,
And to no mortal port — as one
Who may but anchor somewhere so afar,
Not himself wrecks if he shall reach no more
In that tremendous sea another shore:
He is so like a wave himself at last,
He would toss through the future as the past —
But tethered as a whale is to a wave,
So he might still the one life have
Through all the changes that may be
On that tremendous sea!
by, Rhonda Baker
Inside a building near the center of town
A glassblower’s love of glass is quite profound
With sweat on his brow and jacks firmly in hand
Lost in a piece oblivious to the land
People are gathered to observe the dance
To watch this unexpected miracle; as if by chance
To watch someone struggle with every fiber of their soul
To make the biggest, most colorful and stunning…Bowl?
It’s a madness for which no cure can be found
But one he’d gladly have, it’s that profound
For glass teaches a lesson that must be taught
Life; like glass must be wrought
And when illuminated, it shines so bright
Now seeing it’s beauty; what an awesome sight!
Its the weekend so why not get outside and find a place to walk in, somewhere like a (beach, river bank, coastal walk, a waterfall or a mountain ).
Stop take in the views and relax……
Fishing on the River suir
The walk along the river Suir, County Tipperary is one of the best river walks in the south east of Ireland.
The river is used by many local people during the year but the fisher man are most probably it’s most common visitors, the River is renowned for its game angling, holding both salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta).
I have taken many photographs of the fishermen here over the years alone with the boats they use for their fishing, these boats ( all made locally ) are used more like punts as the have a completely flat bottom and are moved along the river with a pole.
The River Suir from Clocully to Carrick-on-Suir is a combination of deep pools, fast glides and varying widths and depths.
From Clocully to Ballydonagh, a consortium of private landowners control the angling, these are all private fisheries. This stretch also includes parts of the River Tar and River Nire, which contain good stocks of trout of up to 30 cm.
Fishing on the river Suir : Gallery
All images, using a nikon Dslr.
Allihies, west cork
Irish landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
Its the weekend so why not find a coastal village to stay in, take time to look at the views, watch the sun go down and relax ……..
Graystown Castle- Tipperary
A little time back I blogged about the area of Burnchurch and Graystown, Killenaule, Co Tipperary (70 years of Potato farming), writing then about my in-laws history of farming in this area. At the time I was asked about the castle that was in one of the pictures at the end of the farm, in the distance.
The castle is Graystown Castle- Tipperary and it has stood in this area since 1654.
This is the best article I can find on the internet :
An old castle stands in ruins on the road from Moyglass to Graystown and it is called Graystown Castle. It is mentioned in Gough’s Camden as being in ruins and situated near Killynaul. It is built on a limestone rock of considerable height on west and north sides and sustaining on one extremely the north-west angle of the building.
The original castle was probably built around 1170, by a man named Raymond Le Gros who was a Norman. From the word ‘Gros’ we got we get the name Graystown or Baile Le Gros as it is known in Irish.
However, the present ruins can hardly be older than the 16th century. It is described in the Civil survey (1654) as follows “Upon this land standeth a good castle, a slate house wantinge repaire with a large bawne and severall cabbins”.
Henry Laffan who was an official of the Butler Family, acquired considerable property in Co. Tipperary at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1305 he got 120 acres in Graystown from Geruase De Raley. This Henry Laffan was said to be the first of the Laffan Family, whose chief seat was in Graystown from then on. In 1521, Thomas Laffan, Lord of Ballingarry, granted to the Earl of Ormonde, the land of Ballinure. He was probably dead before 1524, in which year James Laffan of Graystown was one of the freeholders of Tipperary, who complained to King Henry VIII of the extortions, coyne and livery levied on them by Sir James Butler of Kiltinan and Sir Edmond Butler of Cahir as dupties of the Earl of Ormonde. James Laffan died in 1607.
In 1613, Thomas Laffan of Graystown was a member of Parliament for Tipperary. The proprietor of Graystown and Noan, 3200 acres in 1640, was Henry Laffan of Graystown while Marcus Laffan, his son, apparently held the remainder of the family property in Lurgoe, 640 acres. Henry was dead before 1649, for Marcus was found in Graystown in that year and was a Commissioner for the levying of troops and taxes in Slieveardagh. Marcus was transplanted to Connaught where he was alotted 1184 acres.
The Cromwellian grantee of Graystown was Gyles Cooke. He held the title of the area in 1659 and had two hearths there in 1665 (Petty Cenus Money Records).
So here it stands today, sitting at the end of a valley in this wonderfully peaceful landscape.
Graystown Castle – Gallery
One day while walking we came across this little Gray tractor in the Lake District National Park, it was just sitting outside an old farmhouse that had also been converted into a tea shop. We had to stop and take in something to eat and to look at views along with this little Gray Tractor.
I was also able to have a good look around the farm and got some wonderful still life shots that I will post at some point but for now here is a gallery of images I took of this little old tractor.
I Just loved the oil and grim and the look of this old engine, of course the photos cannot get across the smells and the sounds this engine created….
Croaghlin Teelin, is one of County Donegal’s most iconic landscape images. The cliff and coastal views appears in many tourist websites and tourist office publications.
There is a long walk up the stone path to get the best views, but it is well worth the effort.
If you are visiting Donegal, Croaghlin is near Carrick and past Killybegs.
Allihies area from the old Cloan hills road.
Nikon D7000, 24-85mm f3.5 lens.
Allihies, west cork
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington
Allihies, west cork, offers one of Ireland’s most remote and stunning Landscapes, This shot was taken on a visit Last year.
The old Cloan, copper mining road out of the town gives some stunning landscape views of the area below
It also passes the old copper mines in the hills above the town.
For anyone who is thinking of getting a basic slr camera, I think this night-time image of Matt the Millers in Kilkenny shows that you should give the Nikon D90 a good looking at. The D90 is one of Nikon’s longest ever running digital cameras and for good reason, for a starter or even for a Professional ( as a go anywhere, do anything, bottom of the bag camera ) its image quality is simply stunning. I have owned one since they came out and have love it from day one its not my only camera body and is down my list a little, but its one I will continue to use in its right place.
Personally, I go off results not what the Camera snobs say and this camera produces the results every time!
You can get them for around €550, or €350 body only on ebay…..
Film Development kit…
Its Arrived my new film development tank, ordered from ebay about a week ago.
All I need now is the chemicals and someone has told me that a photography shop in Waterford sells everything I need, so when I get time I will drive down to them. After that I am ready to go, I am very excited about this its years since I developed a film and I cannot wait to see how it turns out!