TRÁBEG, KINARD, KERRY

These photos are from Trábeg Strand, a small and often dramatic wild beach in the Kinard West area on the south side of the Dingle Peninsula.

It’s pot luck whether you get any sunshine when you go out for a walk here, and after a promising start to the morning, the sky clouded over before getting there.😕

This is also one of those wild places to which photographers are drawn for those really turbulent sea images. This was not the best day for that, with the swells of last night’s gales already dying down.

Not to be deterred, I thought, I’m here now so I’ll make the best of it. I lived close to this beach many years ago, before digital photography. I haven’t been back many times since. (Wonder where all those 35mm prints are now!) 

This is the entrance to the beach. – Very stoney at the moment. In my previous life here I observed the sand come in and go out frequently with the storms. Now it appears more stoney than ever. I was also very surprised how high the water level was, considering it was only an hour away from low tide. I expected to be able to walk around the rocks to different sections of the beach at this time, but not so. A low spring tide should be ok – next time!

 

This large stack here is a very familiar landmark, which can be seen from many high places, particularly the Conor Pass road, shown below, on another day.

The sea stack is called The Searrach (Siorrach), there are often alternative name variations and spellings here. The Searrach means foal.

Every photographer who comes here wants to get a good big splash on the Searrach. I just have to be content with the stack and no big splash pictures. The water, though rough, just wasn’t quite wild enough.  Must find those old prints!

 

 

 

 

It really didn’t feel safe on the beach, you can’t trust the ocean, when it’s rough and the beach is small. We didn’t stay for long.  I’ll definitely have to go back.

For some of my images of the wider Kerry area check out this tag for Kerry Coast Images

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/kerry+coast+images

Thanks for viewing my post, and keep safe.

 

SNOWY TOP ON MOUNT BRANDON

It was one of those cold, numb finger days, walking on the roads in the vicinity of Mount Brandon, on the Dingle Peninsula. The mountain gleamed bright white with its sugaring of snow and fleeting sunlight, and in between showers of hail I managed to get a number of shots of this lovely mountain.

This is one of the 10 highest mountains in Ireland, and the highest on the Dingle Peninsula. I find it quite majestic in appearance. Its name comes from St. Brendan the navigator, an Irish monk who lived from 484 to 577 AD, and who many believe sailed to North America in a leather boat, with a team of other monks, many years before Christopher Columbus.  According to local legend, he spent 40 days in prayer and meditation on the top of this mountain to prepare for his journey. Already an experienced sailor, he had much knowledge from his own experience and that of other sailors he met on his journeys.

His voyage was simulated by Tim Severin in 1976 and he concluded that Brendan’s successful voyage to America was not only possible but probable. (Incidentally, Tim severin who replicated other historical journeys also, sadly passed away just last December at his home in West Cork). Some more information about St. Brendan can be seen here https://www.history.com/news/did-an-irish-monk-discover-america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This mountain can be seen from many places on the peninsula and other places also. On this tag you can see several images of the mountain, including some paintings, on my website:

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

Thank you for your visit. Keep well.

LEFT OF MOUNT BRANDON

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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.

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

 

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This is how Brandon appeared as clouds rolled by.

 

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK (Part 1)

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These are photos from The Killarney National Park area, which I visited recently.  It was a couple of  years since I was there, so Killarney’s lovely forests, lakes and mountains made a nice change from the beaches of the Dingle Peninsula. It’s not too far to drive from home, I really should go more often.

Killarney has long been a popular tourist spot, even my parents honeymooned there, soooo many years ago.

I and 2 friends set off in my van, having three seats in front at least we could all get a good look around, besides I can get travel sick in the back seat of a car. So we of course wore masks – three masked women in the front seats of a van!  I joked that we looked like we were out on a heist!

So I hope you will enjoy joining us on our trip.

Our first stop was Muckross Park. where we passed through the gardens and woodland before moving on to Torc Waterfall, where there was more woodland, so my woodland pics got a bit mixed up.

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Torc Waterfall. The place was teeming with people. Social distancing was not easy here.

 

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This waterfall is 20 metres (66 ft) high, falling a distance of a 110 metres (360 ft) cascade, formed by the Owengarriff River as it drains from the Devil’s Punchbowl corrie lake at Mangerton Mountain.  You cannot see all of it at once, and there is a steep walk up a path to get to see it on another level.

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Above is the first level, and below is the higher level, after the steep walk up the hill.

 

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On the way back to the car park we came upon this delightful little cottage, looking like a gate lodge to some place – I don’t know where. The garden was overgrown and the house looked un-lived in, although fitted with a security alarm.

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We stood there for a while and enjoyed trying to identify the flowers, and one person even hopped in and collected a few seedheads.  Seems we were on a heist after all!

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Thanks for joining us.  I have several more photos to show of the lakes, mountains and the Gap of Dunloe. Please re-join me for the rest of the trip, within the next few days.  Here’s a taster:

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More photos of the South Kerry region and the Killarney National Park area on my website:

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

 

HAZY EVENING SUNLIGHT

At Clogher Beach, on the Dingle Peninsula, where dozens of people go for the turbulent water and big wave photos. Yesterday was not particularly rough, but the tide was high and the sun was low when I passed and decided to do a detour to check out the photo possibilities. I found the evening light had a lovely colour and there was an attractive watery haze in the distant atmosphere. Here are several photos of this view, with the island of Inis Tuaisceart (one of the Blasket Island group) in view. This island is commonly known as the Sleeping Giant, or locally as the Fear Marbh (Dead Man).

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Photos and paintings of Clogher Beach can be seen on this link:

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

I appreciate your visit. Do come again. I have a huge backlog of photos and half completed drafts which I hope to try to get published in the near future.

THE LAST CRASHES OF STORM DENNIS

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On Béal Bán Beach (White Mouth), Ballyferriter, near Dingle, in the South West Of Ireland, Storm Dennis was beginning to ease, though still pretty fierce, with wild squalls arising frequently. In the above photo, Mount Brandon enjoys a few fleeting patches of sunlight.

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This is a relatively sheltered bay, while above, the humpy, lumpy mountainous shapes on the horizon are actually huge ocean swells.

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The rock in these two photos is known as Carraig Dubh (Black Rock).

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And then came the rainbow. I waited in my van for a heavy shower to pass, and hoped for a rainbow. I nearly missed it – it was so fleeting.

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When I was a child, I was told that if I found the end of a rainbow there would be a pot of gold there.  I frequently see complete rainbows with both ends in Kerry, but no gold!  I once drove into the end of a rainbow on a motorway.  It disintegrated as I approached. I had a lottery ticket already purchased for that evening’s draw.  I thought surely………. no such luck!

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More seascape photos can be seen on this link:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/seascape+photos

Thanks for visiting my post. I hope you have enjoyed it.

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS

The storms are coming think and fast these days. Fierce though they are, they provide a wonderful magnetic attraction, particularly around our coasts, for along with the beasts that they are, they create powerful spectacles in the form of giant waves, massive splashes and magnificent movement.

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Thank you so much for viewing my post. If you like stormy sea images, check out this tag on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/rough+sea

BIG PAINTINGS

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Atlantic Movement

These are quite large paintings. Oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cms (60 x 40 inches approximately), inspired by the wonderful coastal imagery of the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland.

I think that large paintings are difficult to show sympathetically on a website. The larger the painting, the greater the reduction of the image. This has the effect of making the image look much more tightly painted than it is in reality. It’s always worth bearing that in mind when viewing paintings on the internet. These here can be viewed much larger if you click them, and you may still be able to open out the image and see the style of the brush-marks more clearly, and be able to evaluate the freedom of the style or the discipline that is employed.

I have been sitting on these for several months, in a manner of speaking. This is the first time I have shown them on my blog. They are on my website on this page:

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

I needed to wait for at least 6 months before applying varnish. Many painters are not aware of the need to wait and may apply the varnish too soon. As yet most of these are not varnished, except the one I have sold (Blasket Islands).

The purpose of varnish is to protect the picture, but if it is applied too soon it fuses into the paint below, and cannot in the future be removed if desired. It might never need to be removed in the life of the picture, but it’s best to follow good practice, as the varnish yellows with age.

Some painters think it’s best to not use varnish at all, as it can create problems of its own. Large paintings in particular are difficult to varnish evenly. It’s not strictly necessary to varnish, and many painters use an oiling out technique to bring up the colours and create an even sheen on the picture. I sometimes do this myself. An oil painting, once completely dry will have a washable surface and as long as it is kept in a clean unpolluted environment there should be no real problems. Most people do not now smoke inside their homes, and this has removed the main polluting agent in one’s home.

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Steamy Atlantic Spray

 

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West Coast

 

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Blasket Islands

 

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View of Mainland from Great Blasket Island

I would be delighted to respond to any questions that anyone would have. Please enquire through my website.

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

For those of you who might be in my area, I have a gallery, showing these large paintings and several smaller paintings. Here is the big paintings room. Directions on Google. I look forward to meeting you.104718 gallery big paintings

 

FOYNES PORT

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Occasionally, I pass through the port town of Foynes, County Limerick, on the west coast of Ireland. I’m usually in a hurry through, with a long journey to complete and don’t have time to stop. I always think to myself that this looks such an interesting place and I would like to explore and capture the views and interesting buildings. However I managed to grab a few shots on a couple of these journeys. Good light was fleeting, and time was short, but here are some of the images I caught.

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Foynes is on the Shannon Estuary, and is the second biggest port in Ireland. It has a very interesting maritime and aviation history, and there is a Flying Boat and Maritime Museum there, which regrettably, I haven’t managed to  see yet.

Probably the most interesting thing about Foynes is its Flying Boat history. The flying boats were operational from about 1937 up until 1942, when nearby Shannon Airport was opened, and there was no longer a need for flying boats there. You can read more about Foynes’ Flying Boat history on this website: https://www.historyireland.com/troubles-in-ni/ni-1920-present/the-flying-boats-of-foynes/

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My main interest is to create beautiful and interesting images, so even the above industrial scene has beauty when the warm glow of the late afternoon sun lights up these structures and the deep blue of the Shannon Estuarial waters are contrasted against them.

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The two shots above show Foynes Island

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Foynes railway station, above, now unused – usual story.

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I remain hopeful that I will get some more photos of this interesting looking town, some day when I’m not passing through in a hurry.

These photos and a few others of Foynes are available for sale on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c866-county-limerick

Thank you for viewing my post.

VENTRY

Here is Ventry Beach, one of my several local beaches.

Some of these photos were taken in the summer, and some in September. I find it hard to keep on top of publishing my recent pics.

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Ventry Beach is a few miles from Dingle town, on the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland. I have many more photos of the Dingle Peninsula on my website:

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

Paintings of the Dingle Peninsula on:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c15-paintings-of-the-dingle-peninsula

More photos of Ventry Beach on this tag:

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

Thanks for looking.