Clogher Beach

Clogher Beach, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland

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A really massive splash

Clogher Beach must be the most photographed beach in County Kerry, both by tourists and local residents. It is a beautiful beach, though relatively small, but the main attraction is that it probably has the biggest waves on the Dingle peninsula – not waves for surfers, but really massive, ferocious, turbulent and truly awesome waves.  Swimming is strictly prohibited on this beach, even on a calm day, lest you should be sucked away by a dangerous rip current. On a rough day, which is frequent enough, you can see a number of cars in the car park, their owners risking the salty, damaging (to the cars)) spray, for the pleasure of observing and marvelling at the sight of these big, splashy rollers.

There are certain problems around trying to get good photos here. When the sea is rough this usually means there is an equally powerful wind, and even the best tripods may be somewhat challenged, and it’s virtually impossible to stand still. Another problem may be that the spray is coating the lens, as you get carried away trying to get those fantastic shots. This is even more of an issue when there is a spring tide, combined with a strong off shore wind, when you would be lucky to even stand in the car park without getting completely drenched – a disaster for your camera!

I was very lucky one day recently, when I went out to photograph the snow on the mountains, but stopped off at Clogher Beach, to find some of the biggest waves I have ever seen there. It was surprising because it wasn’t windy, but apparently there was a huge storm surge coming in from the Atlantic. There was beautiful sunlight, which was an added bonus.

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Close Inspection will reveal two tiny figures on the headland on the right. This gives an idea of the size of these huge waves.

It really is a hugely exhilarating experience to just stand and observe this exciting spectacle – gigantic breakers, whooshing, rushing and crashing like thunder, often on top of each other, surging forward, sizzling and fizzing to the shore. Massive splashes rise up from the rocks, apparently resolute on climbing high over the clifftops.

I became completely absorbed in this contemplation, and every, now and again I pointed my camera to grab the shot of that extraordinarily colossal wave or particularly massive splash, often just missing the moment, which could be very fleeting.  Eventually, I took several photos, and some of them are shown here.

Also, More info on my website:  http://helene-brennan.com/c25-dingle-peninsula-photos

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The island seen from this beach is Inis Tuaisceart, also known as The Sleeping Giant or sometimes The Dead Man (Fear Marbh)

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Tralee Ship Canal Photos

Tralee is the County Town of County Kerry, in the south-west of Ireland. The town is situated at the neck of the Dingle Peninsula, and is the largest town in the county. The Tralee Canal was built as a ship canal to bring trade to Tralee, around 1830. It is now no longer used for large boats, but remains a valued amenity, providing a scenic walk to the coast for local people. I frequently walk by the canal and have taken several photos of the same subject, but at different times and in different lighting conditions. Most of these photos of Tralee Canal are available as limited edition prints only. Others are available in a variety of sizes. Please see my website: http://helene-brennan.com/c112-tralee-canal–county-kerry–photos

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Blennerville Windmill

Blennerville Windmill

The windmill at Blennerville near the Tralee Ship Canal, County Kerry, Ireland

Blennerville Windmill
Blennerville Windmill which can be seen here from Tralee canal was built by Sir Rowland Blennerhassett in 1800 but later fell to ruin. In 1981 the Tralee Urban Council purchased the windmill and has developed it as a tourist attraction. It is the largest working windmill in Ireland.

Tralee Bay and The Birds

 

 

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Down at the end of the Tralee canal, past the Blennerville Swingbridge, is the best part of this delightful walk. That’s where you can get away from all traffic noises on the Dingle Road, and hear only the sounds of nature. As you get past the lock gates and walk to the far end where it run into the sea, this is where to stand, or sit on a rock and contemplate the magic of this wonderful place. To observe the beautiful view of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on the Dingle Peninsula, Fenit Harbour on the other side, and the open Atlantic Ocean in between, whilst enjoying the feature that makes this place most special – the sounds of the birds, to be heard from miles along the coast – is a really lovely experience. There are all kinds of sea birds and others, creating a gentle cacophony, offering a splendid and natural opportunity for a relaxing meditation – fantastic, connecting and calming.

Changes

There are many of us that complain about the weather in Ireland, and with much justification too! In fact I don’t believe there is any place else in the world where people get so much social conversation out of the topic of the weather. As one takes a walk  in any rural environment here, many a stranger will bid you good  morning etc, but many go a little further and make a comment like “beautiful day” or “ not a bad day”, or “ ‘s gone cold isn’t it? or perhaps “ miserable oul weather!”  Sometimes this may lead into a much longer conversation, which may meander over many other topics, and provide many a satisfying social interaction.

But aside from the social opportunities , one of the wonderful things about Ireland is the changing nature of the landscape as the weather changes and the quality of the light changes with it. This is the thing that makes our environment so special. If you take a walk in the same place each day, or at different times of the day, it never looks the same. I have photographed the same places frequently and each day’s photographing activity produces completely different results, and it is very easy to pick out the images that belong to the same day/time.  In this blog I have shown some photos of the Tralee Ship Canal on a November evening. Later I hope to upload some earlier photos from the same place.