BRANDON POINT

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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.

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With the Connor Pass well behind, this is Cloghane Estuary

 

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View from the car park at Brandon Point.

 

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

 

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

 

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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!

 

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Brandon Beach

 

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On the journey back to the pass.

 

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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:

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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

VENTRY BEACH

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Recently I visited Ventry Beach a couple of times. It’s not far from my home on the Dingle Peninsula in West Kerry, on the South West of Ireland, and it’s a nice long beach for a walk.

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Being a fine sunny day, the sky was kind of featureless and with no clouds and moving shadows to add drama, it was a little more challenging to find interesting compositions.  This guy who came by in an inflatable kayak added a little interest to the situation.

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Now this unfortunate creature was not what I was expecting at the far end of the beach. A minke whale, that apparently beached itself. I heard that a couple of nights earlier some people had pulled him back out to sea, but he just came in again.  Despite attempts to keep him hydrated, he (or she) eventually died.

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Note the little heart shape of stones that someone has made.

 

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A sad sight, but so common!

 

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Fishing boats, above.

 

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On an earlier walk, I only had my mobile phone, someone was kite surfing.  I just made the best of the situation.

 

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This mobile home is in a park beside the beach. I decided to photograph it because it used to be mine, some years ago, so I have a sort of emotional attachment to it. It’s had 2 owners since then. The colours and puppets etc. are the current owners’ doing, my colours were mostly inside, at the time. I loved it, but maintaining it was a bit of a responsibility.  The roof once blew off at 5.00 am one morning! Not funny!  One winter, 2013/14,  12 or more mobile homes were destroyed completely there in the storms, and the tide came in around some of the mobiles.

That’s all from Ventry Beach for the moment. Thanks for viewing my post.  More images of  Ventry Beach on my website:

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

Also, do checkout some of my earlier posts with Ventry photos. Unfortunately I have already deleted some in order to make more storage space for my media. But these one are OK I think.

VENTRY

ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL EVENING ON VENTRY BEACH

LAST RAYS OF SUN ON VENTRY BEACH

BALLYDAVID WALK

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This was a walk along the coast and cliffs from the small village of Ballydavid, just a few km down the coast from my home. Thrift (sea pinks) were in bloom and looking glorious.

 

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Above, looking across to Mount Eagle; the small beach opposite is Wine Strand, which has appeared in many of my posts, from a closer viewpoint across the way.

 

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The small lookout post above was one of 83 that were built during World War 2 around the coast of Ireland and were manned by the Local Defence Force.

 

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Cruach Mharhain and  Mount Eagle (right and left) opposite, viewed across from Ballydavid.

 

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The Three Sisters above and below, also to be seen in many of my photos.

 

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The headland in the distance above is Ballydavid Head.

Below, another view of the WW2 lookout post.

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More images of the Ballydavid area can be seen on my website:

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

As always, I appreciate your visit. Do take care.

KEEPING LOCAL

corona times

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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.

DSC_3318 On Cúl Dorcha

I digress – back to my walk, still at Cúl Dorcha Beach.

 

DSC_3327 Cúl Dorcha

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CULROSS, SCOTLAND

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Culross is a really charming village in Fife, Scotland. A former royal burgh and parish, the village has a population of around 400.  Culross was once  a bustling industrial centre of the coal mining and salt panning industries during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and many of its buildings are from this era. Originally it is believed that a religious community was founded here by Saint Serf during the 6th century.

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The building above is surely one of the most picturesque in the village.

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The National Trust for Scotland is involved in the conservation of this historic place and owns several of the buildings.

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Stepped gables and outdoor stairs to the top floor are very typical of houses in this area. I was told the reason for the stairs was that animals were kept on the ground floor but I can’t quite believe that, looking at the style of the ground floor windows. Perhaps they were two separate houses.

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Above, the incongruous appearance of a petro-chemical works can be seen from the village.

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Of course every sweet well kept village has its share of doorstep flowers.

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I was slightly surprised at the red roof tiles but then I read that it is thought that the collier ships carried them on return from Holland as ballast, and that’s how they were introduced to the area.

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This building above and below is known as Culross Palace – not actually a royal palace, it was built by a very successful merchant, Sir George Bruce, the Laird of Carnock, between 1597 and 1611.  James VI is believed to have visited in 1617.  It is open to the public and there is a cafe there, which I didn’t manage to have time to try.

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Getting a bit out of date now, the above two notices were displayed on either side of someone’s front door, giving a flavour of local sentiment.

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Culross Abbey was founded in 1217. The monastery is now a ruin but the remaining part of the building is used by the Church of Scotland as a local Parish Church.

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This village has been a film location for several films, not surprisingly, the most recent being the popular TV series Outlander.

There are other notable buildings but I have lost several photos.

The name Culross is generally pronounced Cooriss locally.

These photos are from June 2019.  I have more Scotland photos to come. Do come back again. Thanks for visiting.

I can be contacted via my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

 

 

 

CHARLESTOWN, ITS LIMEKILNS etc.

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I visited Scotland last summer, where I visited friends in Charlestown, Fife,  but haven’t got round to showing these photos until now. Staying at home more due to the corona virus restrictions has finally motivated me to try to get it done.

Charlestown was a planned village created by Charles Bruce, the 5th Earl of Elgin in the 1750s.  The village cottages were built to house the workers operating the limekilns, intending to make the estate a major producer of lime for building purposes and fertiliser. Coal and limestone were resources already available on the estate. The lime industry was previously located in the neighbouring village called Limekilns.

Charlestown soon became one of the most important industrial centres in Scotland, served by a railway and harbour. It’s located on the coast of the Forth estuary, which flows into the North Sea on the East of Scotland.

But from the 1930s lime production diminished and the limekilns at Charlestown finally closed in 1956.  They quickly became derelict and neglected but work on their restoration began in about 1990 and today they represent an amazing bit of history and industrial architecture.

Here are my photos of those wonderful architectural old lime kilns at Charlestown.

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The harbour, now a rather sleepy place compared with it’s once hustle and bustle.

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An old type of houseboat, moored at the harbour.

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The old worker’s cottages on the Elgin estate, now desirable residences. The tiny stone cottages, with their spacious gardens, all appear to have extensions built now.  Most of them have fabulous gardens, some in the front and back.  I was so impressed with my friend’s garden, above. You couldn’t do that in many parts of West Kerry.

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The above rooftops and chimneys are of houses on the coast road, Charleston.

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A view of the Queensferry Bridge, with the evening sun illuminating the cables, one of three bridges over the Firth of Forth. Another bridge can be glimpsed in the background. I will show more of these bridges in another post.

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The area is amazingly colourful with flowers – wild and cultivated, everywhere. Above is a field of wild poppies, close to the village. I was amazed to see how much more flowerful the area is compared with back in West Kerry, and the foliage growth on the trees much more advanced, in spite of the more northerly latitude, and also on the cold North Sea. The windy Atlantic coast at home does seem to shorten our summer. They also get more sunshine in this part of Scotland than in West Kerry.

I have more Scotland to show. I hope to do so soon, now that more severe Corona Virus restrictions are keeping me at home.

There are more photos of Scotland on my website, I’m still in the process of adding to that:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

It’s possible to contact me from the website.

Thanks for visiting my post. BE SAFE!

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.

MIZORAM, CLOSER

I think Mizoram touched my heart a little, so I have decided to return – not physically, but I have revisited my photos and would like to take a closer look at some of them.

Mizoram is a state of North East India, which I visited over the Christmas and New Year period. I have written two earlier posts about this very interesting place.

In this post I have attempted to convey the impressions gained from everyday images, including street posters and notices, which are offering a window into the main values, concerns and issues in the community. These are just the images I happened to see, there are probably many more that I didn’t see or notice. It’s really just a small personal view.

In this post I have cropped some images close, in order to focus on some more specific details. The results may be a little grainy or fuzzy in some cases, but I was never one to let technical imperfection get in the way of saying what I want to say.

IMG_20191231_152106 good manners

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It’s so nice to see how the core values of respect, kindness and consideration are painted on the walls of the local schools (above).

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Many street posters are relating to child development, health, nutrition and child safety.

 

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As it was Christmas time in this state where nearly 90% are Christian, Christmas decorations and lights were much in evidence on the streets. Strange (for me) to see colourful flowers at Christmas time. The snow covered trees and reindeer would be more familiar Christmas images here in Ireland.

Christmas Lights at Chaltlang, Aizawl City.

 

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K V Paradise

KV Paradise, at Durtlang, outside of Aizawl City is a monument and mausoleum created by a local teacher in memory of his beloved wife who was killed in a car accident. A Mizo version of the Taj Mahal, though not so well maintained nowadays. Here the local children are playing in the disused fountain.

I think Mizo children are so delightful and beautiful. You would nearly want to take them home with you. These three below asked me to take their photo as I passed by – and don’t they just know how to pose!!  I hesitate to show children’s photos but they are all so sweet I hope it’s ok to share them.

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Christmas Feast Queue--

Above is just part of a very, very long queue of people for the Christmas Community Feast in a local Community Hall. Mizos don’t have a big Christmas dinner at home as we do. They all go to Church on Christmas Day, and from what I could hear they sing their hearts out, and the following day they all go to their local community meal, which I can tell you was very good – apart from the pork dish with a lot of big lumps of stewed fat. But there was a big choice of delicious food. The queue was very fast moving and served very efficiently.

Careers, below.

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Some of the street posters related to training and careers.  This one above appealed to me as the woman selling inflatable toys was standing in front of a poster offering air hostess training. “Let your dream come true”… I also noticed that only females are wanted in this one. On all my recent flights both men and women were employed as cabin crew. The job title “Air Hostess” seems to be very old fashioned now.

Below are more street posters or wall paintings relating to training or occupations

Homes

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Homes, a subject close to my heart, come in many shapes and sizes, and different building styles. In Aizawl city there are of course blocks of flats as well as single and adjoined houses. But to hugely simplify it there are 3 different types of houses that I observed. 1. Traditional Mizo bamboo houses, mostly outside the city centre and in the mountains, pretty but not very weather proof (I have no photos).  2. Timber framed cottage style houses with walls of some type of thin porous board (possibly MDF or similar?) and corrugated roofs.  3. Concrete and steel supported single brick boxy shaped multi floor buildings, also with corrugated roofs or flat concrete balcony roofs (often both). Now many would also like to remind me that you would often see houses with a combination of all styles of building. But in general I would say that the structures are basic and not of good quality particularly in terms of insulation and waterproofing.

The following photos show several different examples.

My impression was that the concrete and brick structures appear to grow upwards, floor upon floor, as and when more space is necessary for the family, or to create rentable income. So, while the road space outside cannot be expanded, the number of people living in the area grows and grows, putting more and more pressure on the overcrowded streets which are very polluted with the traffic fumes, smelly, noisy and most unhealthy. There is a massive need to create sustainable business opportunities outside of the city to encourage more people to move out of this crowded place.

Burial

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The graves in Aizawl are worth a close look because of their colourful and decorated appearance. They are also closely integrated with the residential areas.

By contrast with the modern well tended graves in Aizawl, I have included a couple of photos of older graves in the mountains in Sialsuk, some miles from Aizawl, where a village has now disappeared.

My earlier posts on Mizoram can be seen here:

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

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

I still have more photos I would like to show, but maybe later. Thanks for visiting. Do come back again. More Mizoram photos can be seen on my website:

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

I can be contacted via my website.

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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rainbow at Emlagh East

 

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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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conor pass rainbow (2)

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.

HOMING IN ON SUNSET

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Just a few recent shots of a sunset from just outside my west facing home. The mountain in view is Cruach Mharhain.

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I hope you enjoy sunsets, as I do. Thanks for visiting. Lots more of my sunset photos, from Ireland and other countries on this link:

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