Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “swans

Wildlife Friday , A study of the swans, oak park, county Carlow

Swans at Oak Park County Carlow Nigel Borrington[

Swans at Oak Park
County Carlow
Nigel Borrington

I have visited Oak park in county Carlow many times over the years. The park is known for its native woodlands and its surrounding lakes and rivers but also for its wildlife including its swans.

The swans are to be found in the park all year round and as you can see from the first picture above I was lucky enough a couple of years ago in capturing one couple with many of their cygnets.

During one visit to the park last year, two very young swans approached me as I was standing on a bridge, there is a good chance that these two are from the same family group as in the top image, impossible to know but it would be a great thought !!!

Swans at Oak Park County Carlow Nigel Borrington

irish-wildlife-two-swans-oak-park-carlow-nigel-borrington-01

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September on the River : Swans on the river Suir, County Tipperary, Photo Story

September on the river Suir County Tipperary Irish nature and Landscapes Nigel Borrington

September on the river Suir
County Tipperary
Irish nature and Landscapes
Nigel Borrington

September Swans river Suir Tipperary Nigel Borrington 01

September Swans river Suir Tipperary Nigel Borrington 03

September Swans river Suir Tipperary Nigel Borrington 04

September Swans river Suir Tipperary Nigel Borrington 05

September Swans river Suir Tipperary Nigel Borrington 02


Monday Poetry : The Rise Of The Blue Swan – andy fardell

The Rise Of The Blue Swan Nature Photography Nigel Borrington

The Rise Of The Blue Swan
Nature Photography
Nigel Borrington

The Rise Of The Blue Swan

He hid in the shadows of his life
For the world hurt him and all that he wanted
A mind shattered into the shards of hurt that burned
His skin at the merest thought

The blue swan laid low
Like a sunset hidden in the midday sun
Or a full moon ready in the depths of the darkest hollow
His time would come
The blossom would break and his beating wings would soon rise
For he was the blue swan
His pen ready yet she was hidden in the clouds of his uncleared mind
A mate for his remainder
Their love
His way

Swan so blue please wake from your bitter
Shine like the kindred spirit you had before the storm
Swan of the day
Love of the night
Your future is waiting
So bright is your fire
The day has come for the blue swan to fly
So beat like the earth on the run
Rise to the mountains
Shout to the sky
Fly
Blue
Fly ..

andy fardell
Feb 23, 2014


The Children of Lir

THE CHILDREN OF LIR
Swans at Haywood house Gardens
Nature and Wildlife photography : Nigel Borrington

The Children of Lir is a very old Irish legend. The original Irish title is “Clann Lir or Leanaí Lir”, but Lir is the genitive case of Lear. Lir is more often used as the name of the character in English. The legend is part of the Irish Mythological Cycle, which consists of numerous prose tales and poems found in medieval manuscripts.

The Children of Lir

Long ago there lived a king called Lir. He lived with his wife and four children: Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn. They lived in a castle in the middle of a forest. When Lir’s wife died they were all very sad. After a few years Lir got married again. He married a jealous wife called Aoife.

Aoife thought that Lir loved his children more than he loved her. Aoife hated the children. Soon she thought of a plan to get rid of the children.

One summer’s day Aoife took the children to swim in a lake near the castle. The children were really happy to be playing in the water. Suddenly Aoife took out a magic wand. There was a flash of light and the children were nowhere to be seen. All there was to be seen was four beautiful swans, with their feathers as white as snow.

Aoife said, “I have put you under a spell. You will be swans for nine hundred years,” she cackled. “You will spend three hundred years in Lough Derravaragh, three hundred years in the Sea of Moyle and three hundred years in the waters of Inish Glora,” Aoife said. She also said, “You will remain swans for nine hundred years until you hear the ring of a Christian bell.”

She went back to the castle and told Lir that his children had drowned. Lir was so sad he started crying. He rushed down to the lake and saw no children. He saw only four beautiful swans.

One of them spoke to him. It was Fionnuala who spoke to him. She told him what Aoife had done to them. Lir got very angry and turned Aoife into an ugly moth. When Lir died the children were very sad. When the time came they moved to the Sea of Moyle.

Soon the time came for their final journey. When they reached Inish Glora they were very tired. Early one morning they heard the sound of a Christian bell. They were so happy that they were human again. The monk (some even say it was St. Patrick himself) sprinkled holy water on them and then Fionnuala put her arms around her brothers and then the four of them fell on the ground. The monk buried them in one grave. That night he dreamed he saw four swans flying up through the clouds. He knew the children of Lir were with their mother and father.


A visit to Haywood house gardens

Haywood house Gardens 3
Haywood house and it Gardens
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Heywood Gardens

Haywood Gardens is one of Ireland best kept secret Gardens, it just a fantastic place to visit and wonderful all year around for some photography. There are two lakes in the grounds with swans nesting each year and some large woodlands. The oval walled garden is however the best feature in the grounds and has one of the most wonderful displays of flowers all summer.

THE CHILDREN OF LIR

Completed in 1912, the property consists of gardens, lakes, woodland and architectural features. It was transferred to State ownership in November 1993 from the Salesian Fathers who had taken care of it since 1941. The formal Gardens form the centre-piece of the property and were designed by the famous architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and probably landscaped by Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). It is one of four Gardens in this country designed by him, the others being in the War Memorial Park, Lambay Island and Howth Castle. The Gardens are composed of four elements linked by a terrace that ran along the front of the house which now no longer exists. An extensive re-planting programme is currently underway. There is also limited access for visitors with disabilities.

Heywood Gardens
Contact Details

Address: Heywood Gardens, Ballinakill, Co. Laois

Telephone Number: +353 5787 33563 and +353 87 6675291
Fax No: +353 5787 33563
Email: heywoodgardens@opw.ie

Swan family

Haywood house Gardens 2

Haywood house Gardens 4

Haywood house Gardens 1


Irish Wild-life – Mute swans

Irish wildlife photography swans
Images taken using a Nikin D700/D7000,
Fujifilm x100
Irish wild-life photography , Swans
Landscape and nature photograhy by : Nigel Borrington

The Mute Swan

Mute Swans

Our largest bird, the mute swan is also the most common swan species in Europe. Its widespread distribution is linked in part to its domestication at various periods in history. These elegant, graceful birds can be seen all year round on lakes, rivers and ponds around the country, even in the middle of our cities. Most of the swans we see today are wild birds, although some, particularly in urban areas, are likely descended from domestic lines and remain semi-dependent on human supplements to naturally available food sources.

The mute swan’s graceful appearance belies a somewhat belligerent demeanour. Adults regularly bully smaller species and in the breeding season the male stakes out a large area of water and defends it aggressively against all-comers. While not strictly mute, the mute swan is a much less vocal bird than the other species of swan found in Ireland, the Bewick’s swan and the whooper swan, both scarce winter visitors. Its repertoire consists mainly of soft grunts, snorts and hisses – with the occasionally feeble trumpet. In flight however the swan is anything but silent: it’s wings create a loud, rhythmic throbbing noise as they beat the air, the rhythm of which is said to have inspired Wagner when composing Ride of the Valkyrie.

Take off is a laboured affair with the swans running across the surface of the water to gain momentum while frantically beating their powerful wings in a struggle to get airborne. Once in the air, however, flight is fast and smooth with slow, powerful wing-beats and outstretched neck. Swans land on the water, skiing across the surface to slow their substantial bulk before settling.

Swan family

On the water mute swans cruise gracefully, their necks held in a characteristic curve not found in other swan species. The male, or cob, is slightly larger than the female, or pen, with a larger black knob at the base of the orange-red bill. Breeding usually takes place on still inland waterways from late April. The pair builds an enormous nest of water plants, sometimes up to 13 feet (4 metres) across, close to the water. Three to eight large blue-grey eggs are laid and the adults will defend the nest aggresively. The sight of an attacking adult is usually enough to keep most intruders away, including people. Reports of human injury from swan attack are greatly exaggerated, although a bird of this size and power is certainly capable of inflicting damage. As a rule of thumb swans on and around the nest site should be left well alone.

Cygnets hatch in 34-38 days, and the female often carries her downy grey offspring on her back, where they can be seen peeking out from beneath her arched wings. The family usually stay together until the following spring, when the aggressive parents will chase off the younger birds as they start to get their white adult plumage. The young birds will take three to four years to mature and can live for up to twenty years.

There are thought to be 20,000 or so mute swans in Ireland. Unlike the Bewick’s swan and whooper swan, which are migratory, the resident mute swan rarely moves far, although individuals have been recorded travelling over 200 miles. During the post-breeding moult and over the winter mute swans sometimes gather in large flocks on certain bodies of water, like lakes and estuaries, where their incessant foraging can seriously deplete limited stocks of aquatic plant life.

The oft-quoted statement that mute swans pair for life is in fact a myth, although it is not uncommon for the same pair to breed in consecutive years. It is, of course, also untrue that if one of a pair of swans dies that the other will soon die of a broken heart.

by Calvin Jones

THE CHILDREN OF LIR


Sunday afternoon walks, river Borrow, co.Kilkenny

Swans on the river Barrow
Fuji film x100, iso 200
Swans on the River Barrow
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Sunday afternoon walk along the river Borrow, Co Kilkenny and I came across this family of swans. It was just wonderful to spend sometime with them and get some photo’s along the way….


Family of swans

Swan family
Nikon D200, 200mm focus length, iso 400
Swan family at Heywood Gardens, Ballinakill, Co. Laois
Irish wildlife photography : Nigel Borrington

I took this images on a visit to Heywood Gardens, County Laois, two years ago and then place some of the photographs into an exhibition held in Callan, Co. Kilkenny the same year.

Heywood Gardens are not vast, but they offer one of Ireland’s most private wildlife locations.


The Children of Lir

THE CHILDREN OF LIR

The Children of Lir Irish story – Long ago there lived a king called Lir. He lived with his wife and four children: Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn. They lived in a castle in the middle of a forest. When Lir’s wife died they were all very sad. After a few years Lir got married again. He married a jealous wife called Aoife.

Aoife thought that Lir loved his children more than he loved her. Aoife hated the children. Soon she thought of a plan to get rid of the children.

One summer’s day Aoife took the children to swim in a lake near the castle. The children were really happy to be playing in the water. Suddenly Aoife took out a magic wand. There was a flash of light and the children were nowhere to be seen. All there was to be seen was four beautiful swans, with their feathers as white as snow.

Aoife said, “I have put you under a spell. You will be swans for nine hundred years,” she cackled. “You will spend three hundred years in Lough Derravaragh, three hundred years in the Sea of Moyle and three hundred years in the waters of Inish Glora,” Aoife said. She also said, “You will remain swans for nine hundred years until you hear the ring of a Christian bell.”

She went back to the castle and told Lir that his children had drowned. Lir was so sad he started crying. He rushed down to the lake and saw no children. He saw only four beautiful swans.

One of them spoke to him. It was Fionnuala who spoke to him. She told him what Aoife had done to them. Lir got very angry and turned Aoife into an ugly moth. When Lir died the children were very sad. When the time came they moved to the Sea of Moyle.

Soon the time came for their final journey. When they reached Inish Glora they were very tired. Early one morning they heard the sound of a Christian bell. They were so happy that they were human again. The monk (some even say it was St. Patrick himself) sprinkled holy water on them and then Fionnuala put her arms around her brothers and then the four of them fell on the ground. The monk buried them in one grave. That night he dreamed he saw four swans flying up through the clouds. He knew the children of Lir were with their mother and father.