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!

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK (Part 2)

killarney lakes_4932

Continuing our drive through Killarney National Park, following on from my previous post, we three masked women in my van leave behind Muckross Park and Torc Waterfall and we pass Ladies View – the famous and popular viewing place for Killarney’s beautiful lakes. We had to pass it by because there were so many tourists there that it seemed impossible to get a parking spot. However, we stopped at several places not far beyond that, and here are the photos:

killarney lake_5008

 

 

killarney lakes_4935

 

killarney lakes_4938

 

 

killarney lake_4942

 

 

mountains_4953

 

 

killarney mountain 4950

 

 

killarney national park_4954

 

 

killarney national park_4934

 

 

Killarney National Park_4936

 

 

Killarney National Park_4959

 

 

Lake in Killarney National Park_4989

 

 

Lake in Killarney National Park_4960

 

 

Lake in Killarney National Park_4967

 

 

Lake in Killarney National Park_4961

 

 

killarney lakes_4968

 

 

killarney national park lily pads_4977-

Lily pads on the lake.

 

killarney national park_5017

 

 

Killarney National Park_5001-

 

 

Killarney National Park_5000

 

 

Killarney National Park_4996

 

 

killarney national park_5011

In the Black Valley region.

 

killarney national park_5006-

 

 

gap of dunloe_5023

Finally we drove through the famous Gap of Dunloe.  By this time the weather turned very dark and dim and I had to employ a little help from my image editing app to inject a little life into these photos.

 

Gap of Dunloe_5033

 

 

Gap of Dunloe_5031

 

 

jaunting car_4928

Here are some of the jaunting cars that can be hired to tour this area, all fitted with pooh bags, since there were strong objections from many people regarding the amount of horse dung on the pathways of the Killarney National Park.  After some resistance, the jarveys (jaunting car drivers) complied with the new rule imposed by the Office of Public Works.

jaunting cars_4929

We certainly enjoyed our trip through Killarney National Park, and I hope you enjoyed the trip with us also.

In case you missed Part 1 of this post, click here

There are more photos of this area on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney

Thanks for looking. Stay safe!

 

 

 

 

 

CONOR PASS OR MAIN ROAD

conor pass

From Dingle to Tralee, one has two choices: the Conor Pass,  or the N86 main road. Both roads join together after the village of Camp, and continue towards Tralee. The Conor Pass, which is the highest mountain pass in Ireland, and has spectacular scenery, ever changing with weather, light and seasons, is quite unsuitable for buses, trucks and other large vehicles. You’d be surprised how many tour buses fail to see warnings and get stuck on the pass, blocking it for some long time. But to be perfectly fair, the alternate route is also well worth seeing. So I thought I’d post some photos from both routes. They were obviously taken at different times of the year.

conor pass rainbow

 

conor pass lakes 2

 

DSC_0199 conor pass lakes

 

DSC_0200 conor pass lakes

 

DSC_0201 conor pass

 

DSC_0202 conor pass road

 

conor pass _16_05_45

Below, are the views from the main road, Dingle to Tralee. Different, but still beautiful.

DSC_0204 dingle road

 

DSC_0205 dingle road

 

DSC_0206 green fields dingle road

 

DSC_0208 dingle road

 

DSC_0209 green fields dingle road

More Dingle Peninsula photos on my website, I hope you will check it out:

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

Thank you for visiting my post.

 

 

AERIAL PHOTOS 2

Leaving Dublin Airport early on a December morning, below.

IMG_20191207_074754 leaving dublin

When travelling, I really love to pass the time taking photos out through the aircraft’s window.  For those who will only accept technical perfection, this is not for them. Scratched windows, sometimes with condensation and reflections do not give a perfect image, and often, depending on the position of the sun there will appear  a spotty effect on the images. But in general I’m happy with a pleasing image and to gain that I’m often happy to forfeit technical perfection.

Below are mountains in Europe, I guess the Alps.

DSC_0408 alps with snow

 

DSC_0407 alps

 

DSC_0409 alps

 

DSC_0424

Spot the plane in the centre of the picture below.

DSC_0418 alps with plane 1

 

DSC_0418 alps with plane

 

DSC_0413 aerial view of alps

 

DSC_0439 aerial

Arrival at Cyprus below, showing one of 108 dams and reservoirs in Cyprus.

DSC_0465 cyprus aerial

 

DSC_0458 aerial cyprus

The following photos are views on the flight from Kolkata to Aizawl, Mizoram, via Imphal

IMG_20191224_150329

 

IMG_20191224_150146

 

IMG_20191224_150100

 

IMG_20191224_150446

 

IMG_20191224_145549

Thanks so much for viewing my photos. If you would like to see more aerial photos please take a look at my earlier post:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/aerial-photos/

Also, there are more photos on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c22-aerial-images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIZORAM, INDIA, up in the Mountains

DSC_1141 mizoram hmuifang small print

In my previous post, https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/mizoram-2/ I showed several photos of Mizoram, mainly from around the city of Aizawl, the State capital, but this time I would like to show some images captured in the mountains outside Aizawl.

Mizoram, this North Eastern State of India, is a land of forested mountains, lakes, rivers and plains and therefore, as you can imagine it is particularly beautiful and scenic. Travel through this land is not easy, and many of the few existing roads can be narrow and potholed. Regrettably, I didn’t get much chance to explore as much as I would like, but I did manage a couple of days out of the city.

Below are images of Hmuifang, a few hours drive from Aizawl, where heavy rain and fog descended upon us, but eventually we got a short window just before dark when I took the following photos from the roadside on the route back.

DSC_1148 hmuifang mizoram

 

DSC_1142 mizoram hmuifang

 

DSC_1145 hmuifang

 

DSC_1144 mizoram hmuifang small print

 

DSC_1107 aizawl

 

DSC_1108 hmuifang

Before our return, from Hmuifang we moved on to Sialsuk where the fog was very heavy and the wonderful views that I know are there, were completely hidden. There are very old gravestones there at the site of a disappeared village, and I took several shots of them, being all that could be seen, and although the light and visibility were poor, I thought the misty appearance enhanced the feeling of history and mystery.

DSC_1128 grave stones mizoram

 

DSC_1133 childs gravestone mizoram

 

DSC_1137 childrens gravestones mizoram

Sometimes, if the colour is a bit weak, I find that I may get a better result if I convert the image to black and white, as with this image (above / below).

DSC_1137 childrens gravestones mizoram bw

Another day, another place, just outside Aizawl, viewing the city from a distance.

DSC_1209 aizawl

 

DSC_1220 aizawl

This cross had a highly reflective surface. The pattern appearing on it was just a reflection.

DSC_1217 aizawl

 

DSC_1225 aizawl

 

DSC_1212 aizawl

 

DSC_1201 aizawl

 

DSC_1207 aizawl

 

DSC_1246

 

DSC_1261

 

DSC_1265

Do take a look at my other posts on Mizoram:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/mizoram-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/mizoram-closer-copy/

Thank you for viewing my post. There are several more images from Mizoram on my website.

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

If you would like to contact me please do so from my website.

MIZORAM, INDIA

DSC_1060 aizawl balcony

I have been quieter than usual for some time now, because I was doing some travelling and visiting some different countries. My main focus was the beautiful state of Mizoram, India. Up to a couple of years ago I was completely unaware of this place, and I find most other people are just as unaware. Over the Christmas period a family event enticed me to visit Mizoram, and it was a very interesting trip.

DSC_1038 aizawl sunset

I stayed in the state capital, Aizawl, and most of my photos are of this city which is built haphazardly and mostly with very basic resources on these very steep slopes on the top of several mountain peaks. I managed a couple of trips outside of the city but not nearly as much as I would have liked.

DSC_1169 aizawl from museum

Generally, I am more attracted to landscape and seascape photography, which offers opportunities for capturing beauty, or what I see as beautiful. In Aizawl I felt challenged in my attempts to find beauty in the narrow, noisy streets, with motor bikes, taxis, buses and private cars creating such a level of pollution that many people have taken to wearing masks. Skeins of electric wires, looping, coiling and dipping around the streets would definitely challenge the temptation to edit them out of the picture, as I might do at home! I made the decision that in this city I would focus mainly on capturing the character of the place, I would even make a feature of these tangled wires and untidy buildings! So not all my photos would be about beauty, but I tried to embrace the beauty when I found it, and there was a lot of it there.

DSC_0980 aizawl

DSC_0802 christmas morning electrician smaller

Viewed from my balcony on Christmas morning, an out of hours electrician works on the electric connections. Power cuts are frequent, but not usually too long lasting.

DSC_0959 aizawl

HIV/AIDS infection affects 2% of the population. Mizoram is one of the poorest states of India which must make it even more difficult to deal with the problems and needs that this poses. These posters are a very common sight here.

Although economically poor, Mizoram is very rich in culture and tradition, and have at the heart of their society a great sense of community and caring for others. They come from South East Asian tribes and became converted to Christianity around the end of the 19th Century. Almost 90% of the population of 1.5 million is Christian, Presbyterianism being the most common. Perhaps because of this they do seem in many ways more western than the people in mainland India. They manage to combine the western Christian lifestyle with strong cultural traditions of their own.

DSC_0973 aizawl

Below, houses appear to be tumbling down the mountainside.

DSC_0837 aizawl

Along Hospital Road, opposite the hospital, I couldn’t believe how many pharmacies there were. Almost every shop was a pharmacy, with a few other medical or dental services thrown in between. I was told that each one has its own specialisation.

IMG_20191230_155032 aizawl pharmacies

DSC_1052 aizawl pharmacies

DSC_1051 aizawl

Most buildings appeared to have these corrugated metal roofs.

DSC_0952 aizawl

DSC_0964 aizawl

DSC_0931 aizawl

IMG_20191229_131139 aizawl

DSC_0842

DSC_1057 aizawl ying yang

The above painting was on the wall of a house or block of flats, see building below.

DSC_1058 aizawl ying yang house

DSC_1000 aizawl

DSC_0944 aizawl

DSC_1080 aizawl graveyard

Colourful graveyards appear to be integrated into residential areas.

DSC_1082 graveyard Aizawl

DSC_1139 poinsettia house

As it was Christmas time, these poinsettias were flowering everywhere – outdoors!

DSC_0863

There are many beautiful views from around the city.

Please take a look at my other Mizoram posts:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/mizoram-india-up-in-the-mountains/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/mizoram-closer-copy/

Also, There are several photos on my website. Please visit.

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

Thanks for viewing my post.

OCTOBER WALK ON MOUNT EAGLE

DSC_0112 mt brandon from mt eagle

It was a fairly short walk, a few weeks ago, on Mount Eagle, which is on the west end of the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland. I didn’t go to the top, but it was just a bit of much needed uphill exercise and an opportunity to take a few photos along the way. I have of course taken many photos on this route before, but in this climate the views are ever changing.

DSC_0117 dunquin from mt eagle

The winter colours are so lovely in the October sunshine.

DSC_0124

Mount Brandon in the distance, above and below, so clear with no heavy cloud on top.

DSC_0128 mt brandon ballydavid head from mt eagle

DSC_0133 mt brandon ballydavid head from mt eagle

DSC_0139 mt brandon from mt eagle

DSC_0141 dingle bay iveragh from mt eagle

Dingle Bay, above, with the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula, South Kerry, across the water. The peaks of Carauntoohil, Irelands highest mountain can be seen.

DSC_0150 blasket islands from mt eagle-2

The Blasket Islands, above and below.

DSC_0164 sleeping giant from mount eagle

Views over the fields of Dunquin, in these last few pics.

DSC_0165

DSC_0167

On my website I have many more photos taken from this mountain, many from the top also. Please take a look, using this taglink:

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

Thanks so much for looking at my photos. Please come back.

TROODOS MOUNTAINS 2

 

troodos_1858

Here are some more photos taken in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. This is a beautiful area with lush scented forests and picturesque villages. I have named some of the villages, but unfortunately, some are forgotten.

 

DSC_1814

 

DSC_1815

Trooditissa Monastery, above, viewed from the road.

troodos_1823

 

Village in the mountains.

troodos_1825

 

Omodos Village, a wine producing village at an altitude of 800 metres in the Troodos mountain range, in the beautiful area of ‘Krassohoria’, just 42 km from Lemesos town.

troodos_1830

 

 

troodos_1832

 

Dora village, above.

troodos_1835-2

 

 

 

troodos_1836

 

 

troodos_1842-2

 

 

troodos_1843-2

 

 

DSC_1844

 

DSC_1845

 

DSC_1848

 

DSC_1851

 

DSC_1852

 

DSC_1855 2

 

DSC_1856

 

Thanks for viewing my photos. Please visit my Cyprus Category on my website:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c857-cyprus

Also see my other posts on Cyprus here

PAPHOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

CYPRUS, IN THE TROODOS MOUNTAINS

WINTER IN PAPHOS, CYPRUS

TIME AND TIDE – and Flaking Paint (old boat at Latchi)

THE MAGIC OF LIGHT  (Zygi Harbour, Cyprus)

 STAVROVOUNI  (Cyprus)

STAVROVOUNI 2  (CYPRUS)

APPROACHING CYPRUS

TOMBS OF THE KINGS, PAPHOS, CYPRUS