WILD ATLANTIC WALK

These photos were taken from Clogher Beach and the cliff walk to Cuas na nEighe from the beach. This is the place for massive, wild and wonderful waves, where many people – photographers and others go to capture the Atlantic wildness, or just to observe and enjoy it.

This rock above can send the most enormous splash way up to the sky. Photographers love to catch this moment. It always happens just when you take your eye off the ball, in a manner of speaking. I’ve seen some arrive with their tripods and camera pointed at the rock, ready for the event, and not being side-tracked by any of the lovely dancing light on the spray etc. They leave as soon as they capture it. Nothing else matters.

If you follow my posts you would have seen many other photos from this place, but as I often say, it changes every day, with the wind and the light.

Lace-like patterns swoosh towards the beach.

The island above right is Inis Tuaisceart, one of the Blasket Island group, commonly known as The Sleeping Giant, or locally known as Fear Marbh (Dead Man). It appears in many of my photos and paintings.

The Island in the distance above is another Blasket Island, the Tiaracht. It resembles the Great Skellig Rock, near the Iveragh Peninsula of South Kerry. Many people get confused with it,

I love these dancing shapes riding on top of the water, with the spray flying in the wind.

The next six images are from Cuas na nEighe, one of the most wild and wonderful places on the Dingle Peninsula, in my view.

At Cuas na nEighe, with Sybil Head in view.

These big splashes are so irresistable.

On the return towards Clogher Beach.

I hope you enjoy these coastal pics.

More Clogher Beach and Cosán na nEighe images

Thanks so much for visiting.

TRIP TO THE LOCAL

A trip to the local would normally mean to the local pub here, but with all the pubs still closed, now it’s a trip to the local beach! Much more healthy of course. This is another look at Béal Bán (White Mouth) Beach in Ballyferriter, on the Dingle Peninsula. My followers may remember several views from here in the past. I don’t like to go for a walk without my camera, so hopefully these photos are sufficiently different from previous versions.

I have a new camera for these past couple of months and I’ve recently realised that the date in the camera is in 2028! I thought I had re-set it but apparently not. Only discovered that after serious delving into why Google refused to publish a photo. They were unable to tell me why, but eventually I worked it out for myself. There are just too many photos taken now to change all the dates in, so hopefully these images don’t cause too much of a problem.

I never tire of watching the waves and capturing them.

Carraig Dubh (Black Rock) is the name of this rock – I’m told. I have been given other information, but I’ll go with the first.

It was quite a dull afternoon with glimpses of bright sunlight and dark shadows.

I find many of the normally sandy beaches here have a lot of stones on them recently, as the sand appears to have been dragged out with the storms. I hope the sand comes back with more storms. It does come and go a lot.

These birds were enjoying some quiet down time until I came along – they weren’t long moving.

Winter sea swimming has become so popular these days. They say it does wonders for your health. I’m not convinced.

Doubt if they expected waves this size!

Oops – they’re gone! They did re-appear.

Mount Brandon with a bright fluffy hat.

These cows were quietly enjoying the view over the sea.

I hope you enjoyed this trip to the local with me. These and many other photos of this beach and other local trips in the Ballyferriter area can be seen on this link:

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

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.

 

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!

KEEPING LOCAL

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE THAN A WEEK

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It’s more than a week now into partial shutdown and social isolation. it’s good to live in a place where one can still walk and enjoy the fresh air and lovely views.

These photos are on Béal Bán (White Mouth), Ballyferriter, on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry.

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Just thought I’m mention again that the above rocky ridge, Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal), was a film location of Star Wars – The Last Jedi, during 2016.

Covid-19 doesn’t stop the rainbows. I unfortunately missed the best brilliance of this rainbow while on the long winding road from the main road to the beach, but here are some captures of it, sorry if they look a little like some previously posted shots – same place but different rainbow.

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I noticed a runner stop to look at a bird near the water’s edge on the beach. I stopped to enquire was there something wrong with the bird and he informed me that it was a fulmar, which normally spends all its life at sea and has very limited walking skills. I guess it needs to propel itself in water in order to fly up. I hope it survived the several dogs that were running free on the beach. They know nothing about social distancing!

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As I went on my way I realised that I may have slightly transgressed the recommended social distance in that conversation. So difficult to remember all the time, in this place where people are normally very sociable!

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St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday demonstrated the real spirit of the people in the country, who created their own mini parades, in their back gardens with their children, and with musicians in some cases, and recorded them of course!

This week brought some very amusing corona virus inspired videos to my phone, including one of a couple of guys planting toilet rolls! That did make me laugh out loud.

It was no surprise that there were no toilet rolls at the supermarket, but I got everything I needed. Only one person allowed in the pharmacy at one time.

No swimming, no pub music sessions (I play flute), no weekly gathering of musicians at my house.

My own gallery is closed to visitors, but trading online or by phone is still an option.

This is just a microcosm of Corona virus imposed changes in my tiny insignificant world.  But the real concern is the health of individuals affected by the virus, and then for the economy and the loss of jobs and stress and strain on people’s lives, all over the world. 

But nature continues to provide us with its wonderful gifts. Here are two photos of this week’s sunsets, which I have also covered in my previous two posts.

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The birds are still singing in the garden. They are still fluttering around the bird feeder. I found some small but tasty broccoli florets that had been developing quietly and gave me a nice surprise. I had written off the broccoli plants! The wind has been so fierce and persistent this past few months.

Good health to you all and your dearest.

 


HIGH TIDE AT BÉAL BÁN

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I knew there was an extra high tide in as I went to the beach, so there was no possibility of a beach walk, but I hoped for something interesting to capture as the waves would be crashing in to the coast. This was Béal Bán (White Mouth) Ballyferriter, near Dingle, in the South West of Ireland.

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The ship beyond is an Irish Navy vessel. They patrol the coast to watch out for illegal foreign fishing boats.

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Photos of the Dingle Peninsula on my website:

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

I can be contacted via my website. I welcome any enquiries

Thank you for viewing my post. I hope you have enjoyed my photos.

SUNSHINE, SEASIDE AND SERENITY

An afternoon walk on Ventry Beach, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland.

Ventry Beach 1

 

Ventry Beach 2

 

Ventry Beach

 

Ventry Beach 4

 

Ventry Beach 5

 

Ventry Beach 6

 

Ventry Beach 7

 

Ventry Beach 8

 

Ventry Beach 9

I hope you have enjoyed my photos. Please check out this tag on my website for more images of Ventry Beach:

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

 

Also, click here for earlier posts on Ventry:

And more:

https://wordpress.com/post/helenebrennan.wordpress.com/163884

 

WEST KERRY SUNSETS (2)

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Blasket Islands

 

 

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Emlagh, Ballyferriter

 

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Emlagh, Ballyferriter

 

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Mid-summer sunset at Ceann Seatha

 

 

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Ventry Beach

 

 

Lots more photos from the Dingle Peninsula, West Kerry, on my website:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c25-dingle-peninsula-photos

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING – AT COURTOWN

 

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It’s not often that I get across to the east coast of this country nowadays, but I recently made a short visit to Courtown, in County Wexford. The weather wasn’t great, the sunshine was scarce and the light was dull, but I grabbed a few opportunities to capture some images

It must be said that Courtown once had the most perfect beach in the world – with a marvellous expanse of dry, soft, clean, golden sand. The water depth was perfect and safe for swimming. Admittedly, it didn’t have the fabulous scenery of the Kerry beaches, with which I am now very familiar, but the quality of the beach itself was second to none. Sunshine was always more plentiful in that part of the country too. I have no photos of what it was like before – but OMG – look what is is now!

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What happened to all the lovely sand?

It’s an understatement to say that erosion has taken its toll. Tons of boulders have been deposited to ‘protect’ the coastline. Time has shown once again that nothing stays the same.

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Bathing still continues between the piles of boulders

It’s good to see that there are still some gaps in the mountains of boulders, where families can enjoy the sun, sand and sea.

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Weather shows its visual charms

 

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A glimpse of normality

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Off shore activities are definitely more popular now

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Less beach – more sea. You win some, you lose some!

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Swimmers still enjoy the beach

 

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The wood by the beach

The opening of woodland trails do compensate in part for the loss of so much beach

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The beach, viewed from the wood

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The woodland trail is really lovely

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View of the woodland from the beach

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Storm torn trees. Winter storms have wreaked havoc on them also

But alas, the woodland was not safe either from the ferocious storms of last winter.

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Graffiti on a storm felled tree

Graffiti on this storm felled tree on the beach echoes my thoughts about transience and change, although I could not read the full sentence that once was there.

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Great for the stove – if I could carry  it home!

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I quite liked these natural sculptures that have landed on the beach

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More of nature’s offerings

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Many pieces already chopped – presumably for the home fires

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The last rays of sun creep up along the RNLI boathouse

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Evening walk as the sun goes down

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Something for all ages in Courtown

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Even the dodgems look different

Please check out my other photos of County Wexford on my website:

http://helene-brennan.com/c97-photos-of–county-wexford-