EVENING AT CLOGHER HEAD

 

DSC_1011

Evening photos on Clogher Head (in Irish – Ceann Sraithe, Sratha, Sreatha, spellings differ). I drove over there one evening to catch the warm light on this most scenic of places on the Dingle Peninsula. My collection includes several photos from this spot, but I like to keep updating, even though I may have taken better photos there on previous occasions.

DSC_1014 Sleeping Giant

The Blasket Islands can be seen from here, looking splendid in the warm glow of the setting sun.

DSC_1007 Great Blasket Island

 

Blasket Islands from Ceann Sraithe_184019

 

DSC_1001 sybil head

Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal) appears at its most majestic from this viewing point.  There is something about this headland that I find quite compelling and magnetic, that I also find very difficult to capture in photos. I will go back again – and again – to try to get that quality that eludes me. I may also tell you a little story about this headland… later.

I have already mentioned on a number of occasions that the top of this headland was a film location for a Star Wars movie a few years ago.  At that time a telescope was placed at Clogher Head so that people could look over at the activities on the film set.

DSC_1003 clogher beach and three sisters

Clogher Beach, The Three Sisters and Ballydavid Head, above

DSC_1006 mount brandon

To the right of Ballydavid Head is Mount Brandon, zoomed a little closer, above.

DSC_0999 Mount Brandon from Ceann Sraithe

 

DSC_0998 Sybil Head and Clogher Beach

 

 

DSC_1002 Clogher Beach and Ferriters Cove

 

DSC_1016 standing stone-clogher head

An ancient standing stone, above and below. I would prefer not to have it exactly in the centre of the composition but the ground was so wet I couldn’t stand where I needed to. I was also in a bit of a hurry because I arrived on the scene a little too late and the sun was going down very fast.

Ceann Sraithe view_184405

A slightly better composition was possible with my mobile phone, above.

 

DSC_1017

 

DSC_1005

The sun was obviously setting behind these rocks below, as this couple appeared to be enjoying the spectacle.

DSC_1019 watching the sunset

I hope you enjoyed the evening at Clogher Head. Thanks for looking. More Dingle Peninsula photos on this link:

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

A WINTER WALK

Some photos from a walk in the Mount Brandon vicinity last December. I didn’t get round to posting them earlier because I didn’t know the name of the townland – still don’t know, but I thought it worth showing these photos anyway. This path leads to one of the routes for ascending the mountain. I didnt get many photos mainly due to poor weather, but a few minutes of light gave some nice views, looking back from start of the mountain path.

Thanks so much for looking.

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

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.

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!

LEFT OF MOUNT BRANDON

DSC_5343

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.

DSC_5342

 

 

DSC_5344

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

 

DSC_5350

 

 

DSC_5351

This is how Brandon appeared as clouds rolled by.

 

DSC_5352

 

 

DSC_5353

 

 

DSC_5357

 

 

DSC_5358-2

 

 

DSC_5363

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.

DSC_5368

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

 

DSC_5367

 

 

DSC_5371-2

 

 

DSC_5373

 

 

DSC_5374

 

 

DSC_5375

 

 

DSC_5376

 

 

DSC_5377

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.

DSC_5380

 

 

DSC_5382

 

 

DSC_5386-2

 

 

sheep_5339

 

 

DSC_5387

 

 

DSC_5406

 

 

DSC_5409

 

 

DSC_5413

 

 

DSC_5415 2

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

BRANDON POINT

cloghane_5215

A lovely walk on the far side of the Connor Pass from Dingle, to Brandon Point on the edge of Mount Brandon, and up the hill from the car park. Beautiful views, well worth the journey, although negotiating the tourists on the pass is somewhat precarious in August.  Parts of this road are very narrow and winding, with overhanging rocks, and a steep drop on one side.

Brandon_5223

With the Connor Pass well behind, this is Cloghane Estuary

 

cloghane_5219

 

 

Brandon_5302

View from the car park at Brandon Point.

 

from Brandon Point_5240

 

 

from Brandon Point_5224

 

 

DSC_5230

…and walking up the hill, looking at the views.

 

from Brandon Point_5229

 

 

from Brandon Point_5228

 

 

Brandon_5304

 

 

Brandon_5296

 

 

Brandon_5300

 

 

Brandon_5284

 

 

Brandon_5276

 

 

brandon sheep_5279

 

 

Brandon sheep_5262

 

 

Brandon sheep_5260

 

 

Brandon sheep_5258

 

 

DSC_5266

 

 

from Brandon Point_5246

 

 

from Brandon Point_5247

 

 

from Brandon Point_5243

One of 83 wartime (WW2) lookout posts around the coast of Ireland.

 

Brandon_5247

 

 

 

jasmine and friends_5289

Jasmine and friends, a lovely bunch of people relaxing at the top of the hill beside the cairn.  You can sometimes meet the nicest people at the top of mountains!

 

brandon beach_5315

Brandon Beach

 

brandon_5309

On the journey back to the pass.

 

Brandon_5308

Home safe and sound after this enjoyable little bit of a hill walk. So nice to see the scenery at the other side of Brandon Mountain.

Next I have some photos to show of yet another side of Mount Brandon.  Here is a preview:

DSC_5382

Thank you for your visit to my post, I hope you will join me again for my next post, coming soon.

Dingle Peninsula photos on my website:

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

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY

DSC_1670 Mount Brandon from Béal Bán

This will be a quiet St. Patricks Day. But we still have the beaches and the hills to enjoy, (weather permitting), but even sitting in one’s car looking out at the waves and perhaps the occasional rainbow can be a soothing, mindful experience. It will definitely be a different St. Patricks day for all of us, in many countries of the world; no parades, no parties, no going to the pub, no big social gatherings… many of us practising social isolation, for fear of catching or spreading Covid-19..

Below is a photo I took one December, of Croagh Patrick, in County Mayo, locally called The Reek. Named after St. Patrick, where he fasted for 40 days, it’s now a mountain of pilgrimage – hundreds of people climbing it in bare feet every year.  The mountain in the shot above is Mount Brandon, our local big mountain, the highest on the Dingle Peninsula, here in County Kerry in the South West of Ireland.

croagh patrick

It is believed that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, in the 5th century AD, although there appears to be some evidence now that it was here before Patrick’s time.  But still St. Patrick is celebrated by Irish people every year in many countries of the world. All so different this year.  But I wish you all good health and happiness on this St. Patrick’s Day 2020.

 

OCTOBER EVENING

Evening photos on my local beach, Béal Bán, Ballyferriter, Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland.

DSC_4417

 

DSC_4420

 

DSC_4377

 

DSC_4411

 

DSC_4305

 

DSC_4274

 

DSC_4285

Thank you for looking at my photos. I have many more photos of the Dingle Peninsula on my website:

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