ROAD WALK VIEWS, EMLAGH TO VENTRY

This was a walk from the Emlagh area, Ballyferriter, to Ventry, via Leataoibh, on the Dingle Peninsula, It was a reasonably pleasant day with sunny spells and cloudy patches, which I think often make the landscape more interesting and photogenic.

Cruach Mharhain is the peaky mountain in these photos.  I have previously posted photos taken from a walk up this mountain, but I must have deleted that post. I had to delete several earlier posts to create more media space. I have to walk up there again some day soon, but it requires some preceeding days of dry weather, and that’s not easy to get here at this time of the year.

When walking alone I get better photos. When I walk with other people I am distracted with conversation and also I always think I am very boring as a walking companion, as I keep stopping to snap the views.  So, on this occasion I did not take many shots, and instead I have included the following six photos from the same route, on earlier dates.

 

Just a farm shed on the roadside. I would think it was probably once someone’s home, a long time ago.

 

The Three Sisters, above, a familiar sight that can be seen from many places in this area.

A quiet country road, looking back, with Mount Brandon in view.

I really liked the character of this rusty old tractor. As you can see I gave it some aging treatment.

Mount Eagle in this one above. Another one I must climb again soon – also waiting for dryer weather for this one. I often do a short walk up for some heart & lung exercise.

I liked the mossy clumps that nestled on this ailing holly bush in someone’s garden.

 

 

A view over Ventry and Dingle Bay, with the Iveragh Peninsula (South Kerry) across the bay.

 

Arriving in the Ventry area, here is Rathanane Castle, (also Rahinanne, spellings vary here) a tower house that was built by the once very powerful Fitzgerald family, way back in the 15th century. It was built on top of the remains of an ancient ringfort and souterrain.  This castle, like so many others across Ireland, was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s forces around 1650, when he led a band of troops through Ireland, on a very bloody campaign. (Cromwell was a British political and military leader). I read only recently that he died from complications of malaria, contracted from a mosquito bite he sustained while in Ireland.  Wonder if it was a Kerry mosquito!  I was surprised to learn that there was malaria here then.

It is posssible to walk in around the castle on payment of about a euro to the land owner. I have been in there a few years back. Two photos below are from that occasion.

It was a rather dull cloudy day, giving a menacing feel to the atmosphere.

Shortly after that we arrived at Ventry village to pick up the car we had parked there earlier, being a linear walk.

This link will take you to more photos of the Emlagh, Ballyferriter area:

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

Thank you for your visit. I hope you have enjoyed my photos.

UP ON A MOUNTAIN – SLIEVANEA

Here are some photos taken on a walk up a mountain from the car park on the Conor Pass road, on the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. I have previously posted photos from this Conor Pass road. https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/conor-pass-or-main-road/ The path northwards from the road goes up the Slievanea Mountain, which has wonderful views, as, as you might expect.

I find – on my computer it takes two clicks on most of the photos to see the best, sharpest version.

Mount Brandon is the mountain in the above view.

Here in this one above one can see Dingle town, and below, across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry)

 

 

These corrie lakes are stunning, at any time of the year, looking a  little frozen at the moment. The grass was crunchy with frost under our feet. It was really cold, with a bitter North East wind.

 

Would you believe it – that someone was so stupid and thoughtless to walk up a mountain, behold the wonderful views, and leave a beer bottle behind!

There were quite a few other walkers about, not surpringly, being such a beautiful sunny day.

Unfortunately we ran out of path, and tried to make our way through humpy boggy ground, before abandoning the walk in case of not being able to find a safe route back. Besides, it was bitterly cold. Another Day!

 

 

The above shot was taken from the road on the way back to Dingle. It shows the Kinard area, with the sea stack The Searrach, meaning foal, in view.

The Conor Pass is the highest ashphalt mountain pass in Ireland, and one of the most scenic routes you could find.  It’s not easy to drive for the visitor who doesn’t know the road, being very narrow and winding with overhanging rocks in places.

Thanks for visiting my post. If you would like to see more Conor Pass images, there are several photos and paintings on my website. Please check out this tag on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/conor+pass

THE VILLAGE THAT WAS…

Walking up Cruach Mharhain, from Dunquin, on the Dingle Peninsula, in County Kerry. The weather was particularly dull for the most part, and many of these photos needed some help  in showing a bit of colour.

The Islands here are the Blasket Islands. The largest one, on the left, was once the home of 150 or more remarkable people, the most westerly community in Europe, until about 1953.

 

Head butting sheep!

 

A road to nowhere? Actually this was the scene of the fictitious village of Kirrary, that was built for the 1970 movie Ryan’s Daughter. A substantial village was built here, using local labour, which was a welcome source of income to local small farmers when there was very little employment or tourism in the area.  Most locals now seem sorry that the village was demolished. It was offered free to anyone who wanted it at the time, but I think there were issues around the fact that it was built on commonage. It would have been a great tourist attraction.

Just as we came over the shoulder of the mountain just beyond the village, there was this wonderful view of Sybil Head. A bright sun shone out from the dark clouds, with a strange light. Strangely enough, the top of Sybil Head was the location of a Star Wars movie set a few years ago.

The schoolhouse that was built for Ryan’s Daughter is down at the coast, falling to ruin. I have many photos taken at different stages of ruin:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ryans+daughter+schoolhouse

Thanks so much for your visit to my post,

2020 – A POTTED PERSONAL REVIEW IN PHOTOS

2020 for me started in the beautiful state of Mizoram, in North East India, where I spent Christmas and New Year. Here is the city of Aizawl, built on mountain peaks, and with wonderful sunsets.

Back home to the Dingle Penninsula, in the South West of Ireland, to enjoy, endure, survive the winter storms and the powerful, magnetic and awe inspiring Atlantic Ocean.

And experience the beautiful beach walks!

But….who could have thought…the dreadful Covid-19 came along and threw us all sideways – or worse, in some cases.

I had planned a trip to Italy in March, but had to cancel. Social life was on hold for most people.

Luckily, I was still able to walk and capture the beautiful coastal images – for a while longer, before restrictions became stricter.

More time to study the birds in my garden, through the window.

As a little experiment I recorded myself playing flute with the bird song in the garden. If the image looks upside down to you, it will correct itself when you click it.

Local sunset, below.

Lockdown to a greater or lesser extend affected all of us, world over. Our individual experience of the world became very small, as we were obliged to reduce our social contacts and curtail travel. Many shops and pubs were closed. My regular trad Irish music sessions in local pubs, where I joined in with my flute were cancelled, indefinitely!

For a time my photography focused on my immediate area, and the garden. These sunsets from around the house and very local area take on a caged appearance, as indeed we were caged, all of us, in some measure.

I am very lucky that the local area has many beautiful places for walking. beaches were closed for some weeks, but cliff walks were possible.

My birthday celebration was a cliff walk, with friends. It was lovely.

Much garden navel gazing was undertaken. I never took so many photos of flowers and garden creatures before.

I never before appreciated how beautiful apple blossom can be.

Wildflowers became objects of scrutiny and much enjoyment too.

So many bees in the garden!

– And I discovered just how photogenic the humble daisies can be.

Thistles too!

I am so thankful for my good luck in being able to take many coastal walks.

Seaside and flowers together here. Lovely sea pinks make a wonderful show in early summer.

Beaches finally opened again, in June, I think. It’s all a bit blurred in my memory now, as Covid-19 figures rose and fell and lockdowns went in and out of different levels of severity.

Tourists returned in full force to the Dingle area in the summer, much to the relief of those whose livlihoods depend on tourism.

Sunsets around my area continue to fascinate, less cage-like with the summer foliage.

Lovely coastal and mountain walks. These photos were from different sides of Mount Brandon.

I updated my photos of Dingle Harbour, and took several shots around the town of Dingle.

The swallows raised two families in my shed. These first day out fledgling swallows only had a couple of weeks to grow strong before their long flight to South Africa. I wonder if they made it.

Some apple trees did bear fruit, though hundreds of babies were blown off the trees in summer storms before they were ready to eat. This is the entire harvest from several young trees.

Exploring beyond my own area, as easing of Covid restrictions permitted, I visited Killarney, South Kerry, West Cork and more.

The Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney.

On Cape Clear Island, above, off the coast of West Cork.

The small mainland harbour, Baltimore, County Cork, below.

Back on local Ventry Beach, below.

In October, a cruel hand was served on Dingle. After a several months of Covid-19 related hardships, Fungie, the globally famous Dingle Dolphin disappeared, without trace. Fungie, a wild dolphin has lived in Dingle Harbour of his own free will for 37 years. He was probably about 45 years old. Missed by many, whether they made a fortune running Fungie tourist trips, or whether they were just people who loved to see and play with the dolphin. For sure, Dingle will be a different place without him. This was a major event here. It’s not easy to explain how this wild, free dolphin touched the hearts of Dingle people and many visitors from around the world.

I have no photos of Fungie, preferring to leave that to the Fungiephiles who had developed considerable expertise. Here is a video from Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhardt.

More local captures below.

Fungie is gone, but the Dingle Peninsula remains the same beautiful place.

An autumn forest walk, above, in Glanteenassig Wood, on the Dingle Peninsula.

December shots from Mount Eagle, below.

The Blasket Islands, above.


Snow on Mount Brandon, shot from the garden, heralding the coming of Christmas 2020

On Christmas Day on a local Ballyferriter beach, Béal Bán, some brave swimmers rushed into the cold water, with an air temperature of about 8 degrees C. I did not partake, I prefer to stick to the heated pool these days. But it was fun to be there and support them.

Recent Storm Bella, seemed to last for about three days.

I completed a number of paintings this year, and failed to complete several more – so far. I’ve dicovered that I can be more motivated in that field when I have more activity in general in my life. The slower pace of things this year seemed to diminish my motivation in the more demanding creative side.

Now we are in a 3rd wave of the Corona Virus, with a new more transmissable variant of the virus in the country. In fact a case was discovered in Dingle recently. We have a high level lockdown again, going even stricter after today, but vaccines have arrived in the country; I for one will not hesitate to take advantage when it’s my turn.

So now 2021 approaches. May you all be lucky enough to only have contact with those people who are honest, compassionate and kind, who treat you as they would wish to be treated, and I wish the best of health and happiness to you all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

BALLYDAVID WALK

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This was a walk along the coast and cliffs from the small village of Ballydavid, just a few km down the coast from my home. Thrift (sea pinks) were in bloom and looking glorious.

 

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Above, looking across to Mount Eagle; the small beach opposite is Wine Strand, which has appeared in many of my posts, from a closer viewpoint across the way.

 

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The small lookout post above was one of 83 that were built during World War 2 around the coast of Ireland and were manned by the Local Defence Force.

 

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Cruach Mharhain and  Mount Eagle (right and left) opposite, viewed across from Ballydavid.

 

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The Three Sisters above and below, also to be seen in many of my photos.

 

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The headland in the distance above is Ballydavid Head.

Below, another view of the WW2 lookout post.

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More images of the Ballydavid area can be seen on my website:

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

As always, I appreciate your visit. Do take care.

MIZORAM, SOLOMON’S TEMPLE

Back to Mizoram again in this post, with still so many photos to show after my December / January trip.

There are church buildings all over the place in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, a state in North East India (which is 87% Christian),  and very large impressive  buildings they are too, but Solomon’s Temple is considered a ‘must see’ for tourists. It’s a huge building with a seating capacity of 3000 inside, and a lot more could be seated in the porch or canopied area all around the exterior of the building.

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The architect and leader of the Church Dr LB Sailo, claims that God showed him the design in a dream, so he set about attempting to get this church constructed.  It took more than 20 years to build, and it was built largely on voluntary labour. I found that the name of the religion was hard to grasp, as I was given different answers when I enquired about it.  ‘A cult’,  ‘Born again Christian’  ‘Kohhran Thianghlim’ (meaning Holy Church) were some answers. Whatever, it is, it is the largest Church building in Aizawl.  I don’t know how full it might be on a Sunday.  It’s open to tourists with a caretaker there to show you around.

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The walls of the building are covered in white busleara marble, and the floor is of red sandstone. The winter afternoon sun gives the walls a warm tint in some of these photos.

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Mizo Church goers do seem to enjoy their singing and this is generally accompanied by enthusiastic drumming.

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The building inside is just one open space. The ceiling is highly polished which enables the light from the windows to be reflected, giving extra light in the building.

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Notice the Star of David, generously applied as ornamentation around the building. They named this building after the original Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, (currently the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque) and see it as some kind of replacement for the First Temple.

Just for a little balance, I have included a few photos of other church buildings I happened to see as I walked around. I haven’t got the names of all of them

I would just like to say that I am not at all religious and have no religious beliefs whatsoever. I’m just an observer.

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Chaltlang Presbyterian Church, above and below (with Christmas lights).

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A Christmas tree street decoration below, outside a church building.

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Thanks for visiting my post. I might return again to Mizoram in another post.

I can be contacted via my website.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

ANOTHER WEEK

corona times

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It’s more than two weeks into Covid-19 partial shutdown, now growing into a more major shutdown. Numbers affected by the virus in ireland are growing, approximately 1500+ to date.

The only notable event for me this past week was my birthday on Tuesday. It was an unusual birthday, in a number of ways. A walk with friends (maintaining recommended physical distance of course), and a bring your own picnic was planned, but bad weather postponed the walk until today (Thursday).

It was like the first day of summer today, warm enough to sit out in a t shirt, but considerably cooler on the Feothanach cliffs, not very far from my home on the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland, which was the chosen place for our walk.

So here are the photos from this walk on this very unusual time of social isolation / physical distancing.

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Above and below are the Three Sisters, and Sybil Head.

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Mount Brandon, with a little covering of cloud, above and below.

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See the caves in the rocks above.

 

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Trying to maintain recommended physical distance.

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Feothanach Beach above and below

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It’s a stunning area, a lovely walk, a really enjoyable picnic and chat on the rocks, a great day and a really good thing to do for one’s birthday.  We’re looking forward to a proper celebration when things return to normal. But you know – it would be hard to beat the above! 

STAY WELL

SUNSET ON MY DOORSTEP

DSC_2349 ballyferriter sunsetYou can never tell when you are going to get a really brilliant sunset. Tonight’s glory crept up on me with my back turned to the west. I had to run outside with my camera to grab something before it disappeared altogether.

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Only last night I was beach walking at sunset (see this mornings post) and it was only an ok sunset, but tonight when I was in my home it took me by surprise. I was not about to ignore it –  even though I have so, so many captures of sunsets from this spot.

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Thanks so much for visiting. Many sunset photos from several countries on my website:

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

Enquiries can be made from my website.

Stay safe

 

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.

EVENING LIGHT, AT HOME

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Not everything is life goes according to plan. I should be in Italy today, but circumstances got in the way. I was expecting to be basking in hot springs and hopefully warm sunshine, but no. However I really can’t complain. The sun is actually shining here. At sunset yesterday, I saw this lovely pink light on slightly snow topped Mount Brandon, through the trees in my back garden. Two months of storms have ensured a clearer view than usual through the trees and hedges – compensation for the loss of the shelter that is really so important in the garden when you live here.

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Moving around to the front, facing west, I captured yet another sunset from this viewpont (below). But every one looks different.

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In this part of the world, the gorse blooms a little all year round.

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There’s no doubt that it’s winter – looking at these bare willow and reed stalks in this wetland area. But again – my view is better in winter.

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Evening light offers lovely possibilities, and I often take advantage when the opportunity arises. I have many evening photos from several different countries, and you can see them on this link:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/evening+light

Thank you for visiting.