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.

 

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.

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.

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

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

 

 

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.

KEEPING LOCAL

corona times

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The number of deaths and transmission rates of the virus are dropping now. Restrictions are easing. I am walking in the local area now; it’s great to be able to walk to the coast, walk on the cliffs and visit several beaches, all within the permitted range.

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This walk to three beaches takes me along the main road, for part of the way, where there is a wonderful range of wild flowers, most of them the same as in my garden, which I have already captured, but every picture is different, even if the subject is the same.

Above are two shots of the wild yellow iris, a lovely flower when seen on the roadside  or unused land, but an absolute menace in my garden where it grows enormous green spears and has massive roots like big tree branches spreading underground. They had colonised this garden for several years and have become too well established.

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Speedwell, above, and herb robert, below.  One of the things I really like about herb robert is the lovely red foliage that it sometimes has.

 

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I just like the tangle of leaves and light in this one above.

 

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I still haven’t identified this lovely small white flower.

 

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Red clover above

 

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My first beach, Murioch beach, above and three pics below.

 

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I often pass this garden with these unusual long eared sheep. They can be difficult to capture as they almost invariably turn away as soon as I point the camera.

 

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Goats in a garden.

 

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Second beach, above and three below, is Wine Strand, a delightful very small beach.  A young family is enjoying the warm sunny day.

 

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I normally prefer to catch a little more drama in my photos. This has been an exceptionally prolonged spell of beautiful sunny and mostly calm weather.  Shouldn’t complain!

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The beaches below are Cúl Dorcha, at Ballinrannig, which leads onto Béal Bán Beach

 

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Pardon me for mentioning it again, but the rocky hill seen here is Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal) where Lucas Films had their Star Wars set for the shooting of The Last Jedi for several months during 2016.  The presence of the Star Wars film crew and actors in the area was a big boost to tourism – not that it was needed, but I suppose many did benefit from it.

Just to step back in time, here is a photo of Sybil Head from my home showing the temporary steel road that was laid at the time, and some blue containers can also be seen. This was taken in March 2016. I think more of the set arrived later.

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The children at the local primary school here in Ballyferriter, will not forget the visit they had from Peter Mayhew, who visited them at the school in full Chewbacca attire. They told me he had to bend down to get through the door.  It was so nice of him to visit the children.  It’s sad that he has since passed away.

DSC_3318 On Cúl Dorcha

I digress – back to my walk, still at Cúl Dorcha Beach.

 

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DSC_3325 ballinrannig ogham stone Above, at a grassy promontory at Ballinrannig, between Wine Strand and  Cúl Dorcha Beach is this Ogham Stone (pronounced ome, like home without the h). Ogham is an ancient Irish alphabet, dating back to the 4th century AD.  It’s the earliest form of writing in Ireland. The marks on the side of this stone are the ogham script. There are several of these stones to be seen in the country, and a large percentage of them are on the Dingle Peninsula.  At the end of the 18th century a big storm uncovered seven of these stones here and most of them were moved to other locations by Lord Ventry. This one above is the only one left at its original location.

A project to record these ogham stones and other carved stones in 3d can be seen on this website:  http://corcadhuibhne3d.ie/home.php  Several people in the community including myself have been involved in this project.

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I like to record some of the old farm sheds in the area, here are a couple of examples I passed on this walk. The one above, like many, looks like it was originally built as a home.  Many of these old stone cottages are now used for storage or for animals.

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Peacock butterfly, above.  Looks like some of his colours have faded.

 

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No idea of the name of these pink flowers, but we all know buttercups, below.

 

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So that’s the end of my walk. I appreciate your visit. Stay safe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSE TO HOME

corona times

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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!

 

WILD AND FREE

corona times

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!

BLOSSOMS, BIRDS AND BEES

corona times

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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!