NOVEMBER SUNSHINE

 

A collection of photos from Ventry Beach, on a November Day in glorious warm sunshine.  Yes, sometimes we do have lovely weather in the winter here – just not as much as we might like.  But this was one of those lovely days.

Ventry Beach is a few miles from Dingle town on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village of Ventry can be seen across the water here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have many more photos from Ventry Beach, taken at different times of the year and in different light.  Please visit my website for more photos.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ventry+beach

Also, I have published several previous posts here on Ventry Beach. Here are two of them:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/ventry-beach-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/ventry/

Thanks for viewing my photos. I hope to see you again soon.

A WINTER’S EVENING

An evening walk to catch the last of the evening light on a local beach. This beach I know as Cúl Dorcha, at Ballinrannig, Ballyferriter, on the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland.

 

The setting sun cast a lovely light on the incoming waves.

 

There were a few surfers, spending more time off the boards than on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s up!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all folks. Thanks for your visit.

More Ballinrannig shots here:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ballinrannig

 

 

GLANTEENASSIG WOOD

 

Here are photos of the Glanteenassig Forest Park, taken some weeks back, in a sheltered valley of the Slieve Mish Mountains on the Dingle Peninsula. This inland area on the peninsula makes a change from the beaches, lovely as they are, where I often take my walks.

 

There are two lakes in this area. This is Lough Slat.

 

 

 

The weather was rather dim as it often is here; I had to work on getting a bit of colour in the photos! Some days you get lucky with the light, some days you don’t, so you just have to make the best of it.

 

 

 

 

 

The soil under the water was quite pink, and the water coming from peat being very reddish brown in colour, made an amazingly vibrant colour where the light hit on it, in spite of the rather dull day that we had at the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked the starkness of the old dead white wood against the dark background.  Also the rocks have a wonderful pink colour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lough Caum is the second lake along the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beside the lake, these trees have very interesting bark textures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for viewing my post. My photos are available from my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c25–photos-of-dingle-peninsula

 

CAPE CLEAR ISLAND and BALTIMORE HARBOUR

 

My trip to Cape Clear Island involved an 8 mile ferry ride from the charming small coastal town  of Baltimore in West County Cork, in the South West of Ireland.

There are also at least seven towns in USA called Baltimore. I wonder how many inhabitants of those towns have any idea what it means. I used to assume it meant big town, from the Gaelic (Irish language). Baile means town and mór means big. But I recently looked it up and apparently it means town of the big house. Baile (town) + Tí or Tigh (house) + Mór (big). So, Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish name Baile Tí Mór = town of the big house. The big house seen in the top of this photo above is Baltimore Castle, originally built in 1215.

Just hanging about, waiting for the ferry.

 

On the ferry out of Baltimore Harbour one can see the Beacon. It was constructed in 1884 and marks the headland of the strait between Sherkin Island and the mainland at the entrance to Baltimore harbour.

Approaching Cape Clear Island.

 

These photos were taken from the boat.

 

 

 

Approaching the Island’s North Harbour.

 

 

 

Just next to the harbour is this old ruin, St. Kieran’s Church, dating from about the 12th century.

 

At the harbour there is a tourist information centre, cafe, pub, heritage centre/museum, all of which were closed, due to the covid-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. A map outside the tourist info centre would have been useful, but there was none.  Food and tea/coffee were available from a kiosk, where the woman serving was run off her feet with the visitors from the ferries.

Nothing to do here on this 3 x 1 mile island but walk, nothing wrong with that on a beautiful sunny day. Of course I took the usual hundreds of photos on this walk around the roads of the island, which is very hilly, up and down, up and down… and very short of signposts.

 

The sight of old ruined stone cottages is a common one all over ireland. Over the years, particularly the past two centuries, people have left their homes and many emigrated for a variety of reasons, mostly because of poverty, famine, eviction etc.  Some, in better times, simply built a new house nearby and let the old one decay.

 

 

 

 

Cork has many islands but only about 7 of them are inhabited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

True love!

There are about 100+ inhabitants on this island, although pre-famine (mid 19th century) there were over 1000. They would like to attract more people there now, particularly young families. If I were younger I’d give it some thought!

Capr Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) island.

 

 

 

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.  This is the closest I could get to it. There is a ferry trip from Baltimore that goes to the lighthouse, as well as calling at Cape Clear Island. I would really love to have done that trip, but due to my propensity for sea-sickness, I had to give it a miss. But now that I’ve seen the boats (they’re quite big and stable) I think I should do it next time.

 

 

 

 

The island’s South Harbour, above.

The old lighthouse and signal station unused since 1854, when the first Fastnet Lighthouse was built.

 

The lighthouse is in amazingly good condition, with its precision cut granite  block construction.

 

 

I suspect these harbours would normally be much busier. Covid-19 has taken its toll on tourism and marine leisure activities.

 

Glamping has come to Cape Clear; there are some yurts for holiday rental.

Time to return to the mainland.

 

 

 

Leaving Cape Clear Island.

 

Back at Baltimore. A gorse/heather fire was on the hill, creating a lot of smoke.  Farmers burn the gorse and heather to create more grazing land.  Don’t know why they don’t use goats.

Baltimore Harbour, with the big house, or castle, overlooking the harbour.

 

 

I was going to split these photos into two separate posts, but I decided to put them all together. Thank you for your patience if you have reached the end. I hope you enjoyed the trip to Cape Clear with me. Thanks so much for viewing my post.

More West Cork photos on my website: https://www.helene-brennan.com/c865-west-cork

 

 

MIZEN PENINSULA, WEST CORK

 

I have so many photos from my September trips to West Cork, that I have to show them in several posts, in order to do them some justice. No point in showing too many at once. This is another lovely area in the South West of Ireland, with a beautiful coastline, many ancient historical monuments and much more…  I was lucky to get to do a few trips before stricter lockdown restrictions were imposed again.

This post focuses mainly on the Mizen Peninsula of West Cork. There is so much to see here that I only skimmed the surface really, in a manner of speaking. It would be necessary to stay for an extended break to explore more thoroughly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Altar Wedge Tomb, above, which dates back to 2500 to 2000 BC. This was easy to find on the coastal drive. It’s about 7 kilometres west of the town of Schull, and overlooks Toormore Bay.

This information was taken from notices at the site.

 

Some of the coastal views near the tomb, below.

 

 

 

 

 

Mizen Head, below.

This is a popular place for visitors, with a visitor’s centre, an interesting bridge leading to the Mizen Head lightouse and fog signal station.  Mizen Head is the most South Westerly point of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lighthouse and signal station, above.

 

 

 

The rock formations here are really quite something to look at.

 

 

 

They say this can be a good place to spot seals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was really quite busy with visitors, making social distancing somewhat awkward on the narrow paths and bridge.  I use this as an excuse for the fact that while concentrating on my photos, plus trying to maintain appropriate distance from people, I managed to miss the path to the lighthouse, and I returned to the beginning of the walk without going there. It was a very hilly and exhausting walk, so I didn’t feel like going around again.  Ah well, next time!

Next stop Mount Gabriel. The photo above was taken later, it shows the two giant footballs on the top of the mountain. This is actually an aviation radar station and we thought we should go up there to investigate and see the views.

 

Views from the top of Mount Gabriel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The purpose of this radar station is to track flights over european air space. In September 1982, one of the two globes was bombed by the terrorist group, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA, a splinter group of the IRA).  It is believed that the bombing was prompted by the publication of a newspaper article which claimed that the installation was part of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) radar system.  Generally believed to be fake news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I appreciate your visit and hope you will come back again to see photos of Cape Clear Island. Cape Clear is just a short ferry ride from Baltimore.

More West Cork photos on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c865-west-cork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM WEST KERRY TO WEST CORK

 

Here are several of the photos I took while on a trip to the Beara Peninsula of West Cork, from The Dingle Peninsula, West Kerry.

Driving along the Dingle Peninsula on the Inch road, the morning water was so calm and blue, with the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula of South Kerry in view, I stopped for a few captures here.

Going through the Killarney National Park area, I stopped for more views.  I also took many of the Gap of Dunloe, which I previously published, so I will bypass them in this post.

 

 

At Moll’s Gap, still in County Kerry, here is Molly Gallivan’s 200 year old cottage, a visitor’s centre, traditional farm, museum, local crafts shop and cafe.  Molly Gallivan was a widow with seven children in the nineteenth century who employed her tremendous personal resources to support her family with her small farm, running a shebeen, poteen making (illegal alcohol), traditional handicrafts, providing sustenance to passing travellers etc….)

The wood carving of the druid represents the people who originally inhabited this area more than 6,000 years ago.

Seeing the oil tanker here I realised that Whiddy Island oil terminal was across the water here. This was the scene of a horrific disaster in 1979, when there was a fire and explosion on the French oil tanker The Betelgeuse, where 50 people lost their lives. There are ongoing issues about this.

 

Hungry Hill, the mountain above, is one of the Caha range of the Beara Peninsula. We took a route over the very scenic Healy Pass which transverses the Beara Peninsula.

 

Glanmore Lake, on the Healy Pass.

 

 

 

 

Here we are lost, but enjoying the views and taking lots of photos. I asked directions in a local shop, but a staff member there gave wrong directions. Aside from time being short – it’s a long drive back to Dingle, I enjoyed the ride!

 

The remnants of Shronebirrane Stone Circle can be seen in this field below, which I now know is in Drimminboy Valley.

 

 

Now I think this is the Adrigole region…..

 

 

 

 

After a long drive, back now on the Dingle Peninsula below, just as the sun was setting and casting a pink glow on Inch Beach.

Thanks for viewing my photos. If you would like to see more images of the Beara peninsula, West Cork, (many of them taken on an earlier trip), please check out my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/beara+peninsula

I managed to do another trip to West Cork before our current level 5 Covid-19 restrictions started. Please come back again to see photos of Baltimore, Cape Clear Island and the Mizen Peninsula.

GAP OF DUNLOE

These photos are from the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass in County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland. It separates the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east.  It’s a lovely scenic route from Killarney to the West County Cork area, an alternative to the faster N71 main road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaunting cars for tourists operate between 7.30am and 6.pm and can make the journey very slow and tedious for those driving cars. The jarveys (jaunting car drivers) don’t always like to enable motor cars to pass them.

However, I am sure the jaunting cars offer a great way of slowly taking in the wonderful scenery, and no doubt the jarveys are a great source of local knowledge.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really appreciate your visit to my post. If you would like to view more photos of the Killarney area and Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), please visit my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney

 

 

GOUGANE BARRA

Some photos here from a trip a few weeks back to Gougane Barra, in County Cork. This is a beautiful forest park with a romantic looking lakeside church, Sr. Finbarr’s Oratory – a popular venue for weddings as there is a hotel on site also, just facing the church. This was also the site of an early Christian settlement.

There are several forest trails, high and low level, with stunning forest landscape, and precious little phone or internet coverage. You may need to wait until later to post your photos.

Unfortunately, I still cannot find a way in this new editor to separate the images in the way I would like them to be viewed. On my computer they appear all joined together when previewed. Very disappointing. Yet they are ok when viewed on my phone. I hope you will enjoy the photos anyway. Thanks so much for visiting.

SWALLOWS

A few days ago I discovered these baby swallows in the shed. This is the second brood but I was expecting to see them in the same nest nest as the first lot, but I was very surprised when I saw that they had moved house.

This morning, 29th of August they left the nest. After a lot of excitement, flying around all day, they settled on the gutter in view of my living room window while their parents fed them for some time, and it was very entertaining indeed! My photos were taken through a rather dirty double glazed window – not the most ideal optical equipment, but I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity!

Due to the new editor on wordpress I have been unable to space out the photos, so I apologise that they are too close together. I am in fact most disgruntled with it, as I detest the new block editor, it’s too time consuming, and have attempted to use the old editor. However, it’s not so simple and I have been unable to use the editing techniques that I usually use. This is supposed to be the old one, but it isn’t! I’m very tempted to terminate my relationship with WordPress.

swallows_5555swallows_5561swallows_5562swallows_5568swallows_5569swallows_5573swallows_5575swallows_5576swallows_5577swallows_5593swallows_5596swallows_5598swallows_5600swallows_5628swallows_5638swallows_5644swallows_5646swallows_5655swallows_5661swallows_5663swallows_5669swallows_5680swallows_5694swallows_5708swallows_5716swallows_5724 Continue reading

LEFT OF MOUNT BRANDON

DSC_5343

On this walk we took a path to the left of Mount Brandon, a different side of the mountain from that my previous post. We had intended to go up Brandon but due to low cloud and skeins of foggy patches coming from the sea we thought it safer to not go to the top of the mountain.  I was secretly glad of this, to be honest, because I didn’t feel fit enough for the more challenging walk we might have taken.

DSC_5342

 

 

DSC_5344

The landmarks remained the same for much of the walk, but the clouds changed all the time.

 

DSC_5350

 

 

DSC_5351

This is how Brandon appeared as clouds rolled by.

 

DSC_5352

 

 

DSC_5353

 

 

DSC_5357

 

 

DSC_5358-2

 

 

DSC_5363

My guess at this story is that the farmer left this old vehicle here to use as storage for his fencing materials, and it was first vandalised by human eejits, and later attacked by multiple storms.

DSC_5368

These two photos were taken in the same minute, and look how quickly the picture can change in this kind of weather.

 

DSC_5367

 

 

DSC_5371-2

 

 

DSC_5373

 

 

DSC_5374

 

 

DSC_5375

 

 

DSC_5376

 

 

DSC_5377

We accidentally deviated from our path and arrived at this cliff edge, and sat for our picnic on the grassy slopes below, where I picked up a few sheep ticks – again!  There is Lyme disease here, but one can stay at home and be safe, or go out and take chances.  At least you can’t pass Lyme disease on to anyone else, unlike Covid-19.

DSC_5380

 

 

DSC_5382

 

 

DSC_5386-2

 

 

sheep_5339

 

 

DSC_5387

 

 

DSC_5406

 

 

DSC_5409

 

 

DSC_5413

 

 

DSC_5415 2

So, back down on low ground, and even on the correct route, just signposted with no obvious path.

A lovely walk with great views, and the foggy clouds even added to the beauty of the scenes. I hope you enjoyed the images.

Thanks for viewing my post. Please click on this tag for different views of Mount Brandon, photos and paintings on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/mount+brandon