Freedom of the Hills
By: Douglas Fraser – 1968
Mine is the freedom of the tranquil hills
When vagrant breezes bend the sinewy grass,
While sunshine on the widespread landscape spills
And light as down the fleet cloud-shadowed pass.
Mine, still, that freedom when the storm-clouds race,
Cracking their whips against defiant crags
And mists swirl boiling up from inky space
To vanish on the instant, torn to rags.
When winter grips the mountains in a vice,
Silently stifling with its pall of snow,
Checking the streams, draping the rocks in ice,
Still to their mantled summits I would go.
Sun-drenched, I sense the message they impart;
Storm-lashed, I hear it sing through every vein;
Among the snows it whispers to my heart
“Here is your freedom. Taste – and come again.”
The Water Replies
Maybe we have washed our hands
and drunk deep and swam
and think we know her,
but water’s reputation goes before her like a flood:
she does not suffer fools or gadflies.
Therefore I have prepared some questions.
Where do you get your ideas & your tide from?
Don’t say the moon – that’s really pretentious.
But as I clamber down the coast
I lose my footing and spend our allotted time
tossed around in her backwash,
pummelled by tiny stones.
When I am baptised I ask the water
Where have the demons gone?
Were they hiding behind the H, the 2 or the O?
I emerge finally able to see that I have not changed,
that I can of myself do nothing, that water decides.
On the towpath behind the church
I wring out my jacket. I ask the water:
Will you convey these thoughts away?
These itching hatreds, toothache of jealousy,
These squalid appetites and dog thirsts?
Just as far as the next city will do.
The ripples of the moon’s tablature.
When was the last time you cried, and why?
I ask the water. I ask the water:
Do you have plans later?
Irish Standing stones : Carrigeen,
Carrigeen standing stone is among the best located stones in Ireland. It stands in a superb location at the top of the picturesque Nire valley from where there is magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountainous region. On the day this image was taken it was -2 degrees and the mountains had a thick covering of mist.
The stone stands some height, an impressive 2.5 meters and tapering to a sharp point. It stands solidly upright and is oriented in a WNW-ESE direction.
An interesting observation here, was when looking westwards, that the jagged crest of the stone seemed to align somewhat with the distant profile of the mountain ridge to the west. (see photo below). This may be just coincidental or was it of significance and could this jagged profile of the stone have survived through thousands of years?
Apart from this speculation, Carrigeen standing stone and its surroundings is a ‘must see’.
This Morning many parts of Ireland awoke to the first Snows of the Winter, Snow in November while not unusual is early for Ireland. Maybe its a sign of the winter weather that’s ahead of us, in any-case I just had to get out this morning and capture as many images as I could 🙂
Here are just a few from an early morning walk through the Nire Valley , county Waterford …….
Nire Valley , County Waterford – the first Snows of Winter
The Landscape of Ireland is some of the most idyllic on the European continent, counties Kerry and Mayo have some of the most stunning mountains and the west coast along with west cork have some of the most beautiful beaches and coast line. The North is wild in the winter months and county Wexford warm and sunny in the summer. While this is all very true and these places are great to visit, very few People live in these remote locations.
For most of us who live here it is landscapes like the one above (The River Dawn) that we get to see and visit most often, the local countryside with its low lying farm-land and rivers that flow slowly through it. Rivers like the River Dawn in the picture above that flows through county Waterford before joining the River Suir close to waterford city.
Even though I love to visit the most iconic places here, it is the everyday landscapes I love to photograph the most …..
The Waterford / Deise Greenway
The Amazing new Deise Greenway is almost completed and for anyone who has not heard about this new public cycle and walking path in county Waterford Ireland, here is some basic information !
The History of the Greenway – A Railway history
Waterford to Dungarvan
The Railway Line from Dungarvan to Waterford was constructed during the 1870’s and was officially opened on the 12th August 1878 with the first train departing Waterford at 10.10 and arriving at Durrow just over an hour later.
The building of the Railway was a remarkable project in that it had to be contructed over very harsh terrain. From the Dungarvan side, two causeways had to be contructed, one over the Colligan estuary and one through the sea at Barnawee, a very impressive viaduct has to be built at Ballyvoile and an even more impressive tunnel, 480 yards long, fully lined was constructed just a little further down the line. Another viaduct at Kilminnion and an almost 100 feet high curved viaduct at Kilmacthomas to name just a few. It headed down towards the lovely station at Kilmeaden and then on the riverbank of the River Suir below Mount Congreve into Waterford City.
The Railway line was not just of national importance, it was also our line with the UK with many Irish people emigrating there but many used it to come over and back. In March 1967, the last passenger train left Dungarvan station for Rosslare. But it reopened again with the opening of the Magnesite ore processing plant at Ballinacourty but this plant closed in 1982. Engineers ran occasional locomotives on the line up until 1990.
CIE own the line but Waterford County Council acquired a license from them at the start of this century to make it into a pedestrian walkway/cycle path for tourism and leisure.
It has impressive history, a history we can not neglect by not taking an interest in the line, we need to preserve it for the people as an amenity for the people.
Rebirth of the rail line – The Deise Greenway
The Deise Greenway is almost complete so last weekend we took a walk along the section from Ballyvoyle brick-lined tunnel down to Dungarvan Bay. This section of the route is just fantastic to walk as it induces the Ballyvoyal tunnel and viaduct and then the wonderful views of the waterford coastline above the town of Dungarvan.
Below are some of the pictures I took on Sunday ……
– The Princess Of The Sea –
A Collaborated Poem
Anne-Lise Andresen and Liam Mc Daid
On the beach I found a seashell
luster of colors mixed with gold illuminate
Washed by the sea millions of times
tides turn as gentle footprints remain
I sit and ponder, how could it happen
salt breeze within an ocean’s breath inhales
A journey of unimaginable time
drifting murmurs echo against waves crashing
In the sunlight it shone with many shades
satin pearl treasure heart between two shells
Carefully I opened and found its soul
it was then as one on whitewashed wings we flew free
I found a beautiful princess of the sea
Upon a sigh or dream revealed its inner secret
A Collaborated Poem
Anne-Lise Andresen and Liam Mc Daid
Following on from my last two posts relating to getting to know a pc Art based application called mypaint, I spent yesterday evening working on some quick landscape sketches of the Nire Valley in county Waterford
I am starting to feel a little more confident with the available brushes, learning just how best to make use of some of them along with using layers to help build up a painting. As with any method of producing art work, I guess the best way to learn is to keep producing image’s, so I hope to keep working on as many paintings as possible.