ATLANTIC SUMMER

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Photos on a walk from Clogher Beach to Cuas na nEighe (Cuas na Nae), on the wild Atlantic coast of the Dingle Peninsula, on the Souh West of Ireland. The sea pinks were just slightly past their best, after some stormy winds, but still looking pretty marvellous.

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The Tiaracht is the triangular Island on the horizon above – one of the Blasket Islands group.

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Above and below is Inis Tuaisceart, (AKA The Sleeping Giant) another of the Blasket Islands group.

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Rough though it looks, the water was relatively calm for this area, on this day.

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My walking companions hadn’t seen this spot before, they were enthralled!

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I hope you have enjoyed my photos. Keep safe!

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

JUST CATTLE

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I often take photos of cattle and other animals as I pass them in the fields.   Recently I met up with this herd of young ones all waiting at the gate of their field by the sea at Ventry Beach, as if they were expecting to go somewhere.

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Cattle are often very curious and jostle and push to get a close look at the one-eyed (telescopic-eyed, zoom lensed)  stranger in front of them.

 

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Thanks so much for viewing my post.  I hope you all stay safe.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c101-animals–birds-and-other-nature-photos

 

 

 

MORE WILD THINGS

corona times

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Over the past week I have accumulated a number of more photos  of wild flowers and insects in the garden and beyond.  I am going a little further afield now and have some images of some coastal wildflowers as well as those in and around my garden.

Above are wild violas, very small flowers which are very common on the roadsides. Below are several photos of thrift, or sea pinks. They grow on cliffs overlooking the sea, and close by. The individual flowers are very tiny, but they grow in clusters and can be quite stunning.

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Below are white thrift, not so common as the pink variety. Don’t know the name of the above flower.

 

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Escallonia above, not a wild flower but I love the bee – he’s so fluffy he’s almost cuddly!

 

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I recently read on another person’s blog that dragon flies are scarce at this time of the year. Not sure where he lives but my garden is teeming with them, which I’m very happy about because they eat loads of midges and mosquitoes – yes we do have mosquitoes here, although some people think we don’t. I certainly know when I’ve been bitten by one!  Thankfully no malaria here.

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I’m really not sure what flower this is. It’s very small and reminds me of an antirrhinum.

 

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A hedge of primroses.

 

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Common dandelions.

 

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Above and below, herb robert.

 

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Below, scarlet pimpernel, which looks rather orange when you see it on the ground. It’s a really tiny flower but the colour just sings out.

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This fellow above looked like some kind of shield bug. He was hanging about on my window and I took this shot with my phone from the inside.  On reviewing the image later I was better able to see it.  He was not much more than 10mm long.

Irish wildflower photos available on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c802-irish-wildflowers-photos

I can receive enquiries through my website.

More soon. Thanks for visiting today, please come back. KEEP SAFE!

WILD THINGS

corona times

I heard recently of a number of Covid-19 cases in this area, within a couple of kilometers of my home. Mostly they are kept hush, hush, until it eventually leaks out. It really is uncomfortably close. An employee of the shop that delivers my groceries was infected. That’s very close! Best not to dwell on it, but it’s a fact to be aware of.

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I’m still continuing with exploring around the garden for subjects to photograph, in the absence of opportunities to go out and about on the beaches and cliffs etc., due to the Covid-19 restrictions. These wild yellow rapeseed flowers are so attractive to bees that I happily encourage it in the garden. Currently there are apparently several varieties of bees around it.

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The bee in the picture below looks different from the usual bee visitors.

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I just love these fellows with their fancy hats below, ribwort plantain, they are called. They commonly grow wild all over the country, as far as I know. I would be delighted if someone could tell me their name. As kids, we used to play a game with these, each child holding one by the stalk and trying to bash hell out of the head of the other’s to knock the head off. At the time it never occurred to me that they were so pretty.

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This poor butterfly appears to have had a lucky escape from some pair of claws or jaws, I think.

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Above are wild bluebells by the roadside outside my home.

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I don’t have a clue what type of insect is on the apple blossom above and below, it’s possibly some type of bee mimicking fly.

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Buttercup with insect above. Below is some skinny type of fly, like a gnat, on a red currant bush.

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Wild primroses above.

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Wild daisies colonising the rockery, choking out a delicate campanula. I’ve left it for now, being such a pretty flower.

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Captured through the double glazed window. Not an ideal method for wildlife photography, but good to record the images of the birds on the patio feeder.

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Below is another recording of garden birdsong. The picture brightens when you click it. The purpose of the video is to play the sounds of birdsong in the garden. You can see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, and with a northerly wind the sound of the incoming waves makes a bit of hiss on the recording.

And just to end this post I would just like to mention that I saw my first swallow of the year today! It’a great to see them return.

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!

ANOTHER WEEK

corona times

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It’s more than two weeks into Covid-19 partial shutdown, now growing into a more major shutdown. Numbers affected by the virus in ireland are growing, approximately 1500+ to date.

The only notable event for me this past week was my birthday on Tuesday. It was an unusual birthday, in a number of ways. A walk with friends (maintaining recommended physical distance of course), and a bring your own picnic was planned, but bad weather postponed the walk until today (Thursday).

It was like the first day of summer today, warm enough to sit out in a t shirt, but considerably cooler on the Feothanach cliffs, not very far from my home on the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland, which was the chosen place for our walk.

So here are the photos from this walk on this very unusual time of social isolation / physical distancing.

DSC_2370 On Feothanach Cliffs

Above and below are the Three Sisters, and Sybil Head.

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Mount Brandon, with a little covering of cloud, above and below.

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See the caves in the rocks above.

 

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Trying to maintain recommended physical distance.

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Feothanach Beach above and below

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It’s a stunning area, a lovely walk, a really enjoyable picnic and chat on the rocks, a great day and a really good thing to do for one’s birthday.  We’re looking forward to a proper celebration when things return to normal. But you know – it would be hard to beat the above! 

STAY WELL

A COLLECTION OF KERRY RAINBOWS

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I love rainbows.  I mean I really love when that arc of vibrant colour appears in the sky after some dark dismal weather, and the sun breaks through the shower and creates this wonderful image.  I live in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland.  We have a lot of stormy wet weather, especially recently. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of rainbow phtotos, and although I have previously published some of them  in different contexts,  I just wanted to show some of my collection of rainbows here.

Most of the images will show a clearer and sharper version when you click on them

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The above photos were all taken in the Emlagh East area, Ballyferriter.

Below are several images from Cuas, by Brandon Creek.

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The cottage in the above photos has been undergoing renovation recently, and looks in a somewhat better shape now.

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From the Conor Pass road, above, with Mount Brandon under cloud and beautiful corrie lakes.

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On Murioch Beach, above. Below are three photos from Béal Bán Beach

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On Wine Strand above, with snow on Mount Brandon.  Wine strand was so called because according to local folklore, several casks of wine were washed up here after the wrecking of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The rest of the photos below were taken from the towpath by the canal in Tralee.

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Check out some more rainbow images on the website:

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

Thanks for viewing my post.

BEAUTY AND THE BEASTS

The storms are coming think and fast these days. Fierce though they are, they provide a wonderful magnetic attraction, particularly around our coasts, for along with the beasts that they are, they create powerful spectacles in the form of giant waves, massive splashes and magnificent movement.

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Thank you so much for viewing my post. If you like stormy sea images, check out this tag on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/rough+sea

BIG PAINTINGS

Atlantic Movement

Atlantic Movement

These are quite large paintings. Oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cms (60 x 40 inches approximately), inspired by the wonderful coastal imagery of the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland.

I think that large paintings are difficult to show sympathetically on a website. The larger the painting, the greater the reduction of the image. This has the effect of making the image look much more tightly painted than it is in reality. It’s always worth bearing that in mind when viewing paintings on the internet. These here can be viewed much larger if you click them, and you may still be able to open out the image and see the style of the brush-marks more clearly, and be able to evaluate the freedom of the style or the discipline that is employed.

I have been sitting on these for several months, in a manner of speaking. This is the first time I have shown them on my blog. They are on my website on this page:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c863-new-paintings-2018—2020

I needed to wait for at least 6 months before applying varnish. Many painters are not aware of the need to wait and may apply the varnish too soon. As yet most of these are not varnished, except the one I have sold (Blasket Islands).

The purpose of varnish is to protect the picture, but if it is applied too soon it fuses into the paint below, and cannot in the future be removed if desired. It might never need to be removed in the life of the picture, but it’s best to follow good practice, as the varnish yellows with age.

Some painters think it’s best to not use varnish at all, as it can create problems of its own. Large paintings in particular are difficult to varnish evenly. It’s not strictly necessary to varnish, and many painters use an oiling out technique to bring up the colours and create an even sheen on the picture. I sometimes do this myself. An oil painting, once completely dry will have a washable surface and as long as it is kept in a clean unpolluted environment there should be no real problems. Most people do not now smoke inside their homes, and this has removed the main polluting agent in one’s home.

Steamy Atlantic Spray

Steamy Atlantic Spray

 

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Rushing Wave in the Wind 9172Rushing Wave in the Wind

 

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West Coast

 

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Blasket Islands

 

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View of Mainland from Great Blasket Island

I would be delighted to respond to any questions that anyone would have. Please enquire through my website.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c863-new-paintings-2018—2020

For those of you who might be in my area, I have a gallery, showing these large paintings and several smaller paintings. Here is the big paintings room. Directions on Google. I look forward to meeting you.104718 gallery big paintings