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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STILL PASSING TIME…

corona times

I’m losing track of time, but since my last post on this topic the restrictions have tightened and I’m limited to staying around my house.  So, I am trying to find subjects in my garden and very close by. No more cliff or beach walks, and another three weeks minimum of this has recently been announced. 

A local covid-19 case was diagnosed recently, a mile or two from here, with a holiday home visitor contact, I believe. This was the first I know of on the peninsula. It illustrates the importance of staying put and not travelling to holiday homes, running the risk of bringing the virus with you. Most people are observing this advice, but some do not.

The good news is that our government has announced a reduction in transmission rate of the virus and it’s now down to one or less than one per infected case, which mean the restrictions are working. The total number of cases in Ireland is 13,271, with 486 deaths.

I’m trying to get on with some painting; I procrastinate a lot, but it’s hard when the weather is so nice – I prefer to be in the garden topping up my vitamin D and doing a few jobs outside, in this wild unruly space, where the birds are happy and unfortunately so too are the brambles, rushes, rampant yellow iris, montbretia and fast growing indestructive willow. I’m so glad the japanese knotweed hasn’t found its way down here yet, although it’s not too far away! Any ambitions I might have about growing pretty wildflowers are fairly swamped by the over aggressive growth of these highly invasive species, which refuse to be controlled, so far.

I have however managed to complete some paintings; here is one of them. It shows the Tiaracht Island, one of the Blasket Island group, viewed from Clogher on the Dingle Peninsula. It’s an oil painting on canvas, 70 x 50 cms.

Tiaracht

Sunsets still happen, of course, although they have different levels of beauty.  I’ve previously captured and posted several from outside my home. Here are some recents.

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DSC_2633 Emlagh Sunset

 

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Above is Sybil Head, and I like to remind people that this was a location of the Star Wars movie The Last Jedi. The set, a replica of the ancient stone beehives on Skellig Michael, was placed on top of this headland for the entire summer during that filming.

DSC_2635 Three Sisters from Emlagh

 

Above and below you can see the Three Sisters, iconic images of the Dingle Peninsula. Here they are at sunset and in bright daylight.

DSC_2511 The Three Sisters from Emlagh-

 

Below is a photo of the recent pink moon – not looking so pink here – just a tinge, perhaps. It was covered with clouds within seconds after this. I barely had time to grab this.  Atlantic clouds! It was clear over the rest of the country

DSC_2567 emlagh moon

 

 

Like thousands of others at this time the birds are attracting my attention. There was a newcomer to the garden feeder recently; I’m still trying to discover whether he is a redpoll or a linnet.

I decided to have a  bit of fun recording myself playing some tunes with my flute along with the birdsong in the garden. The birds don’t always perform to order, and you have to take whatever type is active at the time, but there is usually some kind of peeping and chirruping. At first I tried sound files only, not wishing to video myself playing, but WordPress didn’t accept those files, so I had to start all over again using  video, which was difficult in terms of where to place the phone to get some kind of half pleasing image on it. The result shows an upside down image and the cold breeze did nothing for the tone or the tuning of my concert flute, but it was only for fun. I’d never have thought of doing it were it not for Covid-19. 

I tried a couple of bird related slow airs, here is The Lark in the Clear Air .

When you click on it the image it seem to right itself.  Don’t know why it won’t stay upright then! But the purpose of the exercise was really just to record the sound.

 

I consider myself lucky to have a peaceful environment and a good outdoor space in which to take some exercise and fresh air. It must be so hard for some people who have less comfortable surroundings in which to be confined, especially if they are trying to keep children entertained, or deal with stress and conflict –  even domestic violence.  I really feel for them, and especially those who are confined to apartments.  I’m not religious so I don’t pray, but I sincerely wish the best for everyone in these very unusual and (for some people) very difficult times. KEEP SAFE, all of you!

 

 

 

 

 

MURIOCH SUNSET

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Another evening walk on Murioch Beach. The sky was somewhat featureless, no clouds, and the tide was a bit far out. I didn’t expect to get anything better or even as good as previously. I have shown photos from an evening walk here in previous posts, like this:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/evening-beach-walk/

But as the sun dropped low and the colour changed I got a few images that I thought were worth capturing.

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For those Star Wars fans out there, the rocky ridged hill on the right of the picture above is Sybil Head, (Ceann Sibéal), on which the Star Wars set was located for the entire summer of 2016, during the making of The Last Jedi. Some filming was also shot on Malin Head in Donegal that same year (up north), and one or two other locations. But Star Wars was not new to Kerry that year. The Force Awakens was filmed on Skellig Michael the previous summer, in South Kerry.

DSC_2257 Murioch Village

More photos of Murioch (Murreagh) Beach on my website:

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

Do pay a visit.

Thanks for viewing my post. Stay well.

STAR WARS IN KERRY

This post was updated in November 2017.

sceilig watercolour copy

Above is a watercolour painting of Skellig Michael, where much of the Star Wars film, The Force Awakens was filmed in 2015.

I have previously written about the film Ryan’s Daughter, which was largely shot on the Dingle Peninsula, and how it brought the beauty of the place to the attention of the world and stimulated the tourism industry in the area.

Not only tourism was stimulated, several other movies followed, which were also partly shot in County Kerry. Here is a list of some movies shot in Kerry since Ryan’s Daughter:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

The Field (1990)

Far and Away (1992)

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009)

Excalibur (1981)

The most recent Star Wars movie – The Last Jedi was partly shot on Sybil Head (Ceann Sibéal) on the stunning Dingle Peninsula.

 

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Sybil Head, is a majestically beautiful place, having a commanding, yet magical presence, adjacent to a collection of other stunning iconic landmarks to be seen from the roadside of the famous Slea Head Drive from Dingle.

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Sybil Head in a Storm oil pastels, above.

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Sybil Head from Cruach Mharhain above.

The Force Awakens was partly shot at Skellig Michael, a World Heritage site, off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula, South Kerry, amid much controversy regarding the damage they may do to the ecology and the antiquities on the island.

The Skellig Rocks are two rather spectacular looking tall craggy rocks rising up from the Wild Atlantic Ocean; there is also a third but smaller rock known as The Lemon. Skellig Michael, or Great Skellig, 714 feet tall, is an ancient monastic site where in the sixth to eighth centuries AD, a community of monks built their monastery – a number of beehive shaped stone dwellings and oratories, and lived their lives there, in considerable hardship and isolation 12 miles from the mainland of Ireland.

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Skellig Rocks, oil on canvas, above.

I have a number of paintings and photos of these famous and spectacular landmarks. Please click the images to see more information about any of them

http://www.worldheritageireland.ie/skellig-michael/

To help you locate these peninsulas: The south west of Ireland has three magnificently beautiful peninsulas. Two of them are in County Kerry – the Dingle Peninsula, and the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), going south, and the most southerly one is in County Cork – the Beara Peninsula (West Cork).

More information can be found on:

http://entertainment.ie/cinema/news/Pic-Disney-Lucasfilm-are-heading-back-to-Kerry-to-film-part-of-Star-Wars-Episode-VIII/377968.htm

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Please also visit my website for more images of the Skelligs and Sybil Head