TWO NEW PAINTINGS

Restrictions are to be eased from today Tuesday 5th, in a phased way. This means most of us can get a bit more exercise and perhaps meet a few friends with appropriate social distancing. I, like most other people, have been spending time at home and close by.  I’m so looking forward to seeing a bit more of my local world. It will be a long time before our normal lifestyles can be restored.

Meantime I have been enjoying the nice weather in the garden, finding photo subjects in and around the garden and getting on with some paintings.

The paintings are coming along slowly. Oil paintings always take some time for me to complete because they usually take me several stages and involves drying time in between. It also requires me to not procrastinate too much.

These two oil paintings recently completed were inspired by the stormy views seen from Cosán na nEighe, a path over the cliffs from Clogher Beach, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland.

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In the picture below are Inis Tiaracht on the left of the horizon, and Inis Tuaisceart (The Sleeping Giant) on the right. These are both Islands of the Blasket Islands group.

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Hopefully, more will be completed soon.

Thanks for taking a look. Stay well!

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c863-new-paintings-2018—2020

CLOSE TO HOME

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Looking beyond my garden, all these photos were taken within a hundred meters of my house.  I call this road above and below the escape road. I look forward to being able to move around with freedom again – sometime.

The three peaks above are known as the Three Sisters.

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Cruach Mharhain is the mountain above. This is a nice one for a walk – short and steep – keep you fit!

 

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Mount Eagle is to the left of Cruach Mharhain above, in the distance. Another lovely walk.

 

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Thanks so much for viewing. Stay Safe!

 

TWO WAYS OF LOOKING

I’m so thankful for the continuing good weather and to be able to spend time out in the garden. Rain has come and gone, usually at night, and the lovely sunshine makes it so much easier to stay at home. A plan has been announced, to ease the restrictions in a phased way….

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Just two photos today, of the same narcissus. I had a packet of these flowering bulbs that I should have planted last autumn, and didn’t get around to it. I recently found them sprouting but soft. I put them in the ground, hoping for the best. So far just two bulbs have come up.  This was the healthiest looking flower and I’m showing two captures of this here.

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More soon. Stay safe!

DAPPLED LIGHT AND LEAVES

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Still staying at home, but enjoying being out and around the garden, this being an unusually long spell of good weather (until today) for the time of year. All this sunshine certainly helps to keep one’s  spirits up while being confined.

This garden is not beautiful, it’s rather untidy and wild, recovering slowly from dereliction.

I was just thinking of that old adage “The camera never lies”, but every person who uses a camera knows you can be selective with the viewfinder.

So with a selective eye I have attempted to capture garden images that express this lovely sunshine and shadows of the trees in the garden, and also I have taken a close look at some of the beautiful delicate new leaves of the season.

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The fruit trees are over at the other side, looking rather small and insignificant.

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I love the sun shining through these fresh new ash leaves, against the blue sky.

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New sycamore leaves.

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Dappled light on the bright new sycamore leaves.

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Thanks so much for visiting. STAY SAFE!

 

WILD AND FREE

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Wild and free as we would like to be – just now! This post features more wild flowers and insects, in and around my garden, where I search for inspiration to create interesting images, while I’m staying at home.

There are reports of people getting complacent and stealing out and about where they should not go, and I completely understand them. The longer we are restricted, the harder it is. But wandering around the garden with my camera is very absorbing and I have enjoyed being more observant about the little things that appear around my home.

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These delightful white flowers are actually very small and they are called cuckoo flowers.

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Known as speedwell apparently, these very small blue ones, but when I was a child we called them sore eyes, for some reason. I may have been misinformed. There is another little white flower called eyebright. Perhaps it was confused with that one.

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Primroses, above

 

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There is at least a few varieties of dragon fly in my garden. This is the first I’ve seen this year. It’s a very skinny fellow, blue and black. I love the large all blues, but I haven’t seen any yet this year. I find it very difficult to capture them – they don’t like you to get too close, and my lens is not particularly suitable for this type of photography.

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Mid flight, above.

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A lovely speckled wood butterfly on the apple blossom.

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Dandelion seed heads.

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In my youth we used to blow the seeds off these, saying – he loves me – he loves me not -he loves me….. whatever happens on the last blow would be the truth. I don’t think we ever believed it and certainly not if it turned up a negative final statement! We had fun that cost nothing, and didn’t require any digital technology – there wasn’t any!

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Buttercups, of course, and with a fly below.

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Red clover.

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Ribwort plantain, above and below. It has a brown insect on it in these photos.

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Ragged dandelions, just for the variety. I’ll have to get better images of these next time.

One thought that often occurs to me is that for the first time in my living memory, there are people all over the world now who are living the same restricted lifestyle, coping with the same difficulties that come with those restrictions, listening to the same WHO reports and advice and extending themselves in terms of creativity and development in ways that otherwise may never have happened. In the most unexpected way we have a common uniting force, we are communicating more than we did before Covid-19 arrived, albeit digitally. We can understand the issues affecting others in far away countries from ourselves, in a much more empathetic way than ever before, I think.

DO STAY SAFE!

WILD THINGS

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I heard recently of a number of Covid-19 cases in this area, within a couple of kilometers of my home. Mostly they are kept hush, hush, until it eventually leaks out. It really is uncomfortably close.  An employee of the shop that delivers my groceries was infected.  That’s very close!  Best not to dwell on it, but it’s a fact to be aware of.

DSC_2702 bee and flower I’m still continuing with exploring around the garden for subjects to photograph, in the absence of opportunities to go out and about on the beaches and cliffs etc., due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  These wild yellow rapeseed flowers are so attractive to bees that I happily encourage it in the garden. Currently there are apparently several varieties of bees around it.DSC_2701 bee and flower

 

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The bee in the picture below looks different from the usual bee visitors.

DSC_2731 beeI just love these fellows with their fancy hats below, ribwort plantain, they are called. They commonly grow wild all over the country, as far as I know. I would be delighted if someone could tell me their name.  As kids, we used to play a game with these, each child holding one by the stalk and trying to bash hell out of the head of the other’s to knock the head off.  At the time it never occurred to me that they were so pretty.

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DSC_2722 butterflyThis poor butterfly appears to have had a lucky escape from some pair of claws or jaws, I think.

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Above are wild bluebells by the roadside outside my home.

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I don’t have a clue what type of insect is on the apple blossom above and below, it’s possibly some type of bee mimicking fly.

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Buttercup with insect above. Below is some skinny type of fly, like a gnat, on a red currant bush.

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Wild primroses above.

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Wild daisies colonising the rockery, choking out a delicate campanula. I’ve left it for now, being such a pretty flower.

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Captured through the double glazed window. Not an ideal method for wildlife photography, but good to record the images of the birds on the patio feeder.

 

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Below is another recording of garden birdsong.  The picture brightens when you click it. The purpose of the video is to play the sounds of birdsong in the garden. You can see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, yet with a northerly wind the sound of the incoming waves, normally nice to hear, makes a louder hiss than desirable on these recordings. I’m surprised at just how sensitive the camera recorder is.

And just to end this post I would just like to mention that I saw my first swallow of the year today! It’a great to see them return.

STAY SAFE!

 

BLOSSOMS, BIRDS AND BEES

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I’m continuing to search for inspiration in my own garden, while under restrictions imposed because of Covid-19. The apple trees are breaking into blossom and they look so gorgeous! This year they have a different significance. These photos will always remind me of the time I was confined to my home for fear of catching or spreading the dangerous corona virus. I never thought I would be prevented from walking on the beaches, but it has happened. Some of the beaches were getting too busy for safety, so they were closed.

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The weather has been just wonderful, most of the time, which makes it so much more bearable to be confined and out in the garden.

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I look forward to the apples. No sign of a blossom on the other fruit trees – cherries, plums and pears; but the apples trees are developing nicely.

Below is a video recording of birdsong at sunset. This one is a bit of a cacophony of sounds, from grasshoppers or crickets (or both), to various birds all chirruping together, some cattle in the distance, and all blurred by the white noise of the sea, which seemed particularly noisy on this occasion for some reason. One day I may get up and make a dawn chorus recording – but to be honest, it’s rare for me to be such an early bird.

This is for those of you who are confined to apartments, and who might be missing the sounds of nature.

STAY WELL FOLKS!