THE VILLAGE THAT WAS…

Walking up Cruach Mharhain, from Dunquin, on the Dingle Peninsula, in County Kerry. The weather was particularly dull for the most part, and many of these photos needed some help  in showing a bit of colour.

The Islands here are the Blasket Islands. The largest one, on the left, was once the home of 150 or more remarkable people, the most westerly community in Europe, until about 1953.

 

Head butting sheep!

 

A road to nowhere? Actually this was the scene of the fictitious village of Kirrary, that was built for the 1970 movie Ryan’s Daughter. A substantial village was built here, using local labour, which was a welcome source of income to local small farmers when there was very little employment or tourism in the area.  Most locals now seem sorry that the village was demolished. It was offered free to anyone who wanted it at the time, but I think there were issues around the fact that it was built on commonage. It would have been a great tourist attraction.

Just as we came over the shoulder of the mountain just beyond the village, there was this wonderful view of Sybil Head. A bright sun shone out from the dark clouds, with a strange light. Strangely enough, the top of Sybil Head was the location of a Star Wars movie set a few years ago.

The schoolhouse that was built for Ryan’s Daughter is down at the coast, falling to ruin. I have many photos taken at different stages of ruin:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ryans+daughter+schoolhouse

Thanks so much for your visit to my post,

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!

STORM BELLA

Storm Bella has been blowing for a couple of days now. Today I went out for a few shots of big waves, hoping it wouldn’t be too challenging for me.

These photos were taken in the Ballydavid area of the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland.

I have to say it was indeed difficult to stand up to the cold strong North West winds, while being battered by rain, hail and sea spray. My fingers went numb, making it difficult to manage the controls on my camera. Keeping my lens clean was impossible. I had to continually wipe it, only to create a smeared affect on the lens. The spray was relentless.  I lost a lot of good images through having a foggy lens.

The results weren’t the best I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I went out and got the fresh air. In these covid days we have to make an effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting. If you enjoy images of turbulent sea, please visit my website:

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

NOVEMBER SUNSHINE

 

A collection of photos from Ventry Beach, on a November Day in glorious warm sunshine.  Yes, sometimes we do have lovely weather in the winter here – just not as much as we might like.  But this was one of those lovely days.

Ventry Beach is a few miles from Dingle town on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village of Ventry can be seen across the water here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have many more photos from Ventry Beach, taken at different times of the year and in different light.  Please visit my website for more photos.

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

Also, I have published several previous posts here on Ventry Beach. Here are two of them:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/ventry-beach-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/ventry/

Thanks for viewing my photos. I hope to see you again soon.

CAPE CLEAR ISLAND and BALTIMORE HARBOUR

 

My trip to Cape Clear Island involved an 8 mile ferry ride from the charming small coastal town  of Baltimore in West County Cork, in the South West of Ireland.

There are also at least seven towns in USA called Baltimore. I wonder how many inhabitants of those towns have any idea what it means. I used to assume it meant big town, from the Gaelic (Irish language). Baile means town and mór means big. But I recently looked it up and apparently it means town of the big house. Baile (town) + Tí or Tigh (house) + Mór (big). So, Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish name Baile Tí Mór = town of the big house. The big house seen in the top of this photo above is Baltimore Castle, originally built in 1215.

Just hanging about, waiting for the ferry.

 

On the ferry out of Baltimore Harbour one can see the Beacon. It was constructed in 1884 and marks the headland of the strait between Sherkin Island and the mainland at the entrance to Baltimore harbour.

Approaching Cape Clear Island.

 

These photos were taken from the boat.

 

 

 

Approaching the Island’s North Harbour.

 

 

 

Just next to the harbour is this old ruin, St. Kieran’s Church, dating from about the 12th century.

 

At the harbour there is a tourist information centre, cafe, pub, heritage centre/museum, all of which were closed, due to the covid-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. A map outside the tourist info centre would have been useful, but there was none.  Food and tea/coffee were available from a kiosk, where the woman serving was run off her feet with the visitors from the ferries.

Nothing to do here on this 3 x 1 mile island but walk, nothing wrong with that on a beautiful sunny day. Of course I took the usual hundreds of photos on this walk around the roads of the island, which is very hilly, up and down, up and down… and very short of signposts.

 

The sight of old ruined stone cottages is a common one all over ireland. Over the years, particularly the past two centuries, people have left their homes and many emigrated for a variety of reasons, mostly because of poverty, famine, eviction etc.  Some, in better times, simply built a new house nearby and let the old one decay.

 

 

 

 

Cork has many islands but only about 7 of them are inhabited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

True love!

There are about 100+ inhabitants on this island, although pre-famine (mid 19th century) there were over 1000. They would like to attract more people there now, particularly young families. If I were younger I’d give it some thought!

Capr Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) island.

 

 

 

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.  This is the closest I could get to it. There is a ferry trip from Baltimore that goes to the lighthouse, as well as calling at Cape Clear Island. I would really love to have done that trip, but due to my propensity for sea-sickness, I had to give it a miss. But now that I’ve seen the boats (they’re quite big and stable) I think I should do it next time.

 

 

 

 

The island’s South Harbour, above.

The old lighthouse and signal station unused since 1854, when the first Fastnet Lighthouse was built.

 

The lighthouse is in amazingly good condition, with its precision cut granite  block construction.

 

 

I suspect these harbours would normally be much busier. Covid-19 has taken its toll on tourism and marine leisure activities.

 

Glamping has come to Cape Clear; there are some yurts for holiday rental.

Time to return to the mainland.

 

 

 

Leaving Cape Clear Island.

 

Back at Baltimore. A gorse/heather fire was on the hill, creating a lot of smoke.  Farmers burn the gorse and heather to create more grazing land.  Don’t know why they don’t use goats.

Baltimore Harbour, with the big house, or castle, overlooking the harbour.

 

 

I was going to split these photos into two separate posts, but I decided to put them all together. Thank you for your patience if you have reached the end. I hope you enjoyed the trip to Cape Clear with me. Thanks so much for viewing my post.

More West Cork photos on my website: https://www.helene-brennan.com/c865-west-cork

 

 

GAP OF DUNLOE

These photos are from the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass in County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland. It separates the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east.  It’s a lovely scenic route from Killarney to the West County Cork area, an alternative to the faster N71 main road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaunting cars for tourists operate between 7.30am and 6.pm and can make the journey very slow and tedious for those driving cars. The jarveys (jaunting car drivers) don’t always like to enable motor cars to pass them.

However, I am sure the jaunting cars offer a great way of slowly taking in the wonderful scenery, and no doubt the jarveys are a great source of local knowledge.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really appreciate your visit to my post. If you would like to view more photos of the Killarney area and Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), please visit my website:

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

 

 

GOUGANE BARRA

Some photos here from a trip a few weeks back to Gougane Barra, in County Cork. This is a beautiful forest park with a romantic looking lakeside church, Sr. Finbarr’s Oratory – a popular venue for weddings as there is a hotel on site also, just facing the church. This was also the site of an early Christian settlement.

There are several forest trails, high and low level, with stunning forest landscape, and precious little phone or internet coverage. You may need to wait until later to post your photos.

Unfortunately, I still cannot find a way in this new editor to separate the images in the way I would like them to be viewed. On my computer they appear all joined together when previewed. Very disappointing. Yet they are ok when viewed on my phone. I hope you will enjoy the photos anyway. Thanks so much for visiting.

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

MOODY HUES

Béal Bán Beach_5138

Some recent photos from my local beach Béal Bán, Ballyferriter, on the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. It was one of those moody days, when the light quality could change in an eye-blink. Just a normal day here really.

Béal Bán Beach_5174

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5168

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5166

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5163

 

 

beal ban beach_5160

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5159

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5140

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5134

 

 

beal ban beach_5133

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5130

 

 

beal ban beach_5128

 

 

Béal Bán Beach_5123

 

 

beal ban beach_5175

I guessed that the tartan slippers belonged to the occupant of a camper parked here. They created an unlikely and incongruous image by the beach.

beal ban beach_5176

Thanks for visiting my post, I hope you enjoyed  this beach walk.  Please visit my website for more Dingle Peninsula photos, with images of several other lovely beaches in this area.

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