Going down to Littleton Bog.
To myself I feel that very little depicts the landscape of Ireland as much as it’s peat bog areas, peat has been cut from this landscape for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Littleton Bog is about 30km from my home and I visit this area many times during the year, too both walk our dog Molly and take sometime too take images and just be out in what can be a very wild place in the winter months along with a wonderful place in the summer.
The mass production of peat from the Littleton area has left this landscape deeply affected as you can see from this photo and the photographs below. However I have also tried by best to show how the area around the bog can be reclaimed for both nature and wildlife.
Many Animals and Birds make the reclaimed lakes here their home during both the winter and summer months. Littleton bog is also home to many rare plants and insects with multiple entries in the Irish national biodiversity database.
Last week the Irish Poet Seamus Heaney died and he wrote this Poem about the Irish bog lands.
By Seamus Heaney
We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.
They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.
Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter
Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,
Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,
Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.
Images of the Bog – Gallery
The origin of the mountain’s name is explained in Irish mythology. According to the tale, Fionn mac Cumhaill was sought after by many young women, but he said that he could have only one partner. His partner would be whichever woman won a footrace to the top of the mountain. Fionn stood on the cairn atop the mountain and gave a signal to start the race. The winner was Gráinne
Slievenanom, county Tipperary is our closest mountain about a 15min drive, I would love to begin including it into my posts much more than I have to date, I walked up this mountain a few times last year and although its hard going it is more that possible for most people.
The most interesting thing to me about the mountain is at the very top and it is the burial Cairn you can see in the last of these pictures. No one appears to know anything about it yet its mystery must call someone to find out more….
This articular was published in 2008 in the “Tipperary star news paper”
The Story of Slievenamon
Published on 03/11/2008
Since our Tipperary Star travels all over the world, especially on the Internet our emigrants will surely be interested in the story behind the Tipperary’s anthem Slievenamon. It was printed in the Irish Daily Mail in September and all Tipperary people good and true would surely be in the better of knowing all about it.
The stirring strains of that great Tipperary anthem Slievenamon are guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of many exiles. On first glance Slievenamon which is not far from Clonmel in South Tipperary and rises to 719 metres seems rather unprepossessing. But rocks and its valleys contain many hidden gems such as a prehistoric cairn which may contain a passage grave but remains unexcavated.
Slievenamon, which means mountain of the women in Irish deprives it’s name from the fairy women of Feidhlinn.
Legend has it that the celtic warrior Fionn Mac Cumhaill chose his bride Grainne from a group of maidens who raced to meet him near the top of the mountain. Slievenamon is also steeped in the national struggle. A group of United Irishmen were betrayed and slaughtered on the mountain during the 1798 rebellion.
Tipp. people are rightly proud of the mountain and guard it jealously, five years ago when an entrepreneur planned to build a wind farm in its slopes there was such public outrage that the scheme was dropped.
The song Slievenamon which began life as the Maid of Slievenamon was written by the Fenian author and journalist Charles J. Kickham who was born in Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary in 1828. The Irish version was attributed to Michel Og Langain. Kickham, the son of a draper wrote many more ballads while his novel Knocknagow first published in 1873 was the great nationalist novel of late 19th century Ireland. It was reprinted many times and also turned into one of the earliest feature firms in 1917.
Whichever version of Slievenamon you prefer, English or Irish, anyone with Tipp. blood in their veins will stand proud when they hear their county anthem.
And what about the time when the Thurles Cathedral Choir sang it on the steps of St. Peter’s in Rome. The many people who accompanied the choir on that very special occasion said they will never forget it, not to mind the choir itself which poured heart and soul into their rendering of such a beautiful melody. Traffic streaming by, mostly motor bikes made a recording, a true recording, an impossibility but anybody on foot – pedestrians – certainly watched and listened in joy and amazement and why not – a once in a life time occasion especially for the choir. Sadly some have gone to their reward and great it must be. We remember them especially.
The information was sent in by G. Brown of Dublin – Gratias Gerry. It will be enjoyed by the Tipp. people all over the world – yes – we are everywhere, and their families. Some Tipp. parents feel very proud when their children sing it at concerts and parties in the U.S. and indeed receive many requests for repeat performances. One young boy with beautiful tenor voice is in great demand and there is a promising future ahead of him – his parents emigrated from Cashel and enjoy a wide social circle of people who want to hear the boy with the beautiful voice – Slievenamon is always included. So be proud of your anthem and of your county too wherever you are.
I am very much drawn towards the Mountain that towers above the local landscape in which we live, I am going to spend more time posting this summer and recording its landscape and finding out as much as I can about its history.
I have introduced the old family farm before but I just wanted to post some images that fill in some for impressions of the place. The farm has been worked on for many generations. Sadly its no longer lived in any more but we do our best to visit and keep the old place going….
Gallery of Burnchurch farm, County Tipperary
Poem by : Susan Lower
My mother’s kitchen was worn with age.
In the old farm house,
where we lived and played.
She kept it nice and tidy.
The glasses always washed.
Not a plate out of place.
On the old red linoleum floors.
I did roller skate.
I learned to bake a cake.
Without a book, without any taste.
There I watched from the window,
my sisters kiss their dates.
My mother’s kitchen held a telephone.
Where my sisters stretched the cord,
and hid behind the next door.
Inside the wall of this place.
Comfort grew without the frills of lace.
Never were we late
when Mother called us in from the barn.
My mother’s kitchen is where I knew she’d be.
When I came racing home from school.
She always stood waiting for me.
Just back from a brilliant weekend on the farm in Tipperary, I love it at the farm you get true downtime helping out and just walking among the fresh wheat fields….
The old out buildings of the farm, house lots of swallows and I managed to capture one in this shot….
Irish photography series, by Kilkenny photographer : Nigel Borrington
Two of my most recent post included Infrared images, so I thought I would post an example of the before and after post processing images.
An IR R72 lens filter was placed over the lens and the images was taken at ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 2 seconds. The Lens aperture was F4. Remember this filter only lets in IR light in the IR wavelength.
The bridge in the shot is located just south of Slievenamon on the Anner River, I placed my tripod in the middle of the river and kept as much force on it as I could to keep the camera still.
Irish Photography series, by Kilkenny photographer : Nigel Borrington