MOUNT EAGLE – TO THE TOP

Although I often take a short walk up Mount Eagle, for a little cardiovascular workout, it was some time since my last walk to the top. It can be very wet and waterlogged in winter time. But recently on a beautiful sunny Sunday I finally managed to get to the top again. I particularly wanted to get some new photos of the views from the top.

I was a little disappointed with the quality of the light, considering it started off very sunny and clear, but the views were starting to look a little dull and with a slight haze. I was aware that I have many better photos than these views of the Blasket Islands.

Great Blasket Island is the largest of this island group, is not only of interest because of its wild life and scenic beauty, but is also famous for the many acclaimed writers who emerged from the vibrant community of people who once lived there (until 1953) . Their written accounts of life on the island are now considered to be classics of literature, and there are translations of these books in many countries of the world.

As the path wound around to reveal the views at the other side of the mountain I was dismayed to see the reason for the lack of light – gorse fires! They were all over the place, with thick smoke hanging about all over the landscape. This didn’t bode well for views from the top. It was February 28th, the last legal date this year for farmers to burn the gorse, and being a dry sunny day – they went mad at it.

In this view showing Mount Brandon in the distance, I had to work at editing some detail into the picture.

Mount Eagle Lough, is the lake seen here. There is a path up the mountain from the lake which I have taken previously, but this was not the path taken on this occasion.

Finally, at the top, with very hazy views of the Blasket Islands, and the Skellig Rocks not visible through the veil of smoke.

I did what I could with the available views before setting off down again.

On the way down the sun had moved over the islands, giving some pleasing images.

The following photos were taken on previous trips, some of which had better visibility.

These two older images are of the Skellig Rocks, from the top of Mount Eagle, which, because of smoke, could not be seen on my recent walk. They are closer to the next Peninsula, the Iveragh Peninsula of South Kerry. The large rock on the right is Skellig Michael, on which there is an ancient monastic settlement, with several beehive shaped stone huts, built by the monks who lived there in harsh isolation from about the 6th century AD, to about the 13th century. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and very popular with tourists – even more so since being used as a Star Wars film location. There is some information on this link below:

https://aleteia.org/2017/12/13/luke-skywalkers-beehive-huts-and-their-spiritual-symbolism/

Below is a clearer view of the Blasket Islands from the top.

Gorse fires on an earler occasion, when strong winds prevented the smoke from settling low. The fire services are regularly called out to control these fires.

How different things can look when the light is good!

Mount Eagle is 516 meters high – a very enjoyable walk on a nice day, if the path is not too soggy or flooded. Good boots are essential.

Thanks for visiting. Do come back, please.

I have several more photos taken from Mount Eagle, in different light, at different times of the year, on my website:

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

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

 

WEST KERRY SUNSETS (1)

Here are a few of my several local sunset pictures. As there are so many I have decided to publish just a few at a time.

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STAR WARS IN KERRY

This post was updated in November 2017.

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Above is a watercolour painting of Skellig Michael, where much of the Star Wars film, The Force Awakens was filmed in 2015.

I have previously written about the film Ryan’s Daughter, which was largely shot on the Dingle Peninsula, and how it brought the beauty of the place to the attention of the world and stimulated the tourism industry in the area.

Not only tourism was stimulated, several other movies followed, which were also partly shot in County Kerry. Here is a list of some movies shot in Kerry since Ryan’s Daughter:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

The Field (1990)

Far and Away (1992)

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009)

Excalibur (1981)

The most recent Star Wars movie – The Last Jedi was partly shot on Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal) on the stunning Dingle Peninsula.

 

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Sybil Head, is a majestically beautiful place, having a commanding, yet magical presence, adjacent to a collection of other stunning iconic landmarks to be seen from the roadside of the famous Slea Head Drive from Dingle.

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Sybil Head in a Storm oil pastels, above.

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Sybil Head from Cruach Mharhain above.

The Force Awakens was partly shot at Skellig Michael, a World Heritage site, off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, South Kerry, amid much controversy regarding the damage they may do to the ecology and the antiquities on the island.

The Skellig Rocks are two rather spectacular looking tall craggy rocks rising up from the Wild Atlantic Ocean; there is also a third but smaller rock known as The Lemon. Skellig Michael, or Great Skellig, 714 feet tall, is an ancient monastic site where in the sixth to eighth centuries AD, a community of monks built their monastery – a number of beehive shaped stone dwellings and oratories, and lived their lives there, in considerable hardship and isolation 12 miles from the mainland of Ireland.

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Skellig Rocks, oil on canvas, above.

I have a number of paintings and photos of these famous and spectacular landmarks. Please click the images to see more information about any of them

http://www.worldheritageireland.ie/skellig-michael/

To help you locate these peninsulas: The south west of Ireland has three magnificently beautiful peninsulas. Two of them are in County Kerry – the Dingle Peninsula, and the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), going south, and the most southerly one is in County Cork – the Beara Peninsula (West Cork).

More information can be found on:

http://entertainment.ie/cinema/news/Pic-Disney-Lucasfilm-are-heading-back-to-Kerry-to-film-part-of-Star-Wars-Episode-VIII/377968.htm

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Please also visit my website for more images of the Skelligs and Sybil Head

MOUNT BRANDON

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A winter evening view of Mount Brandon from Cúl Dorcha Beach, Ballyferriter, West Kerry.

Please visit my website for more Cúl Dorcha: http://helene-brennan.com/tag/cúl+dorcha

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING – The Schoolhouse from the Ryan’s Daughter Movie.

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Sometimes I enjoy taking photos that show how things change over time. The schoolhouse from the Ryan’s Daughter movie is one such subject that has caught my attention.

On this wonderful awe inspiring peninsula in 1968 a film crew from MGM descended to make a movie, directed by David Lean, which, though not immediately popular with the critics, became a huge box office success. Many local people were extras in the movie, or worked in some capacity for the film company and still have many memories and stories of the events of that time. Imagine how exciting it was to the people in an area which, at that time, in spite of its exceptional natural beauty was economically struggling. The exposure of this marvellous place to a wider world contributed greatly to the increase in visitors the Dingle Peninsula has enjoyed over the years since then.

Most of the set built for the story was destroyed when filming was finished, but the schoolhouse still remains, in an increasingly ruinous state, perched on the coast of Dunquin and with marvellous views of the Blasket Islands. Most visitors don’t even know it’s there. The name Kirrary National School still to be seen there means nothing to most people. (Kirrary was a fictitious place.) There has been talk of restoring the building. That could be interesting.

Since I started to prepare this blog I discovered that there is another wordpress blogger who has written on this topic. For more in depth information and images of the schoolhouse from the time of filming, see  SMcP Blogfeast’s very interesting blog:

https://blogfeast.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/saving-ryans-daughter/

You can check out this on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan%27s_Daughter

Also to see more images from the Dunquin area of the Dingle Peninsula please visit my website:

http://helene-brennan.com/tag/dunquin

Here are some photos taken in October this year (2015) as well as some taken in September 2013. As you can see the timbers have now been ripped from the roof with the storms that have raged since.

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MORE CLOGHER

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Wild and fearsome –  yet magnetic and compelling –  the wild Atlantic waves at Clogher Beach. Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. More of my seascape photos on my website: http://helene-brennan.com/tag/seascape+photos

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CLOGHER

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One of the most wonderful places to be on the Dingle Peninsula. Inis Tiaracht  and Inis Tuaisceart (Sleeping Giant) – both islands of the Blasket group, are on the horizon, left to right.

Please see more of this area on my website:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/clogher

WILD FLOWERS AND RAINBOWS (2)

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One very showery evening with sunny spells – perfect for rainbows – at Cuas, Ballydavid, on the Dingle Peninsula. The warm evening light escaping from the dark clouds enhances the brilliance of the montbretias at the roadside.

More rainbow photos on my website http://helene-brennan.com/tag/rainbow