Back to the Beautiful Dingle Peninsula.

This is a selection of beach views . The photos shown here were taken on different days, at different times of the year. Most of them just happen to have been taken at high spring tides, but I can assure you that the beaches are very sandy at other times.

If you click on these photos individually you will see a much sharper image.

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Viewing Ballydavid Head from Béal Bán on a sunny evening with a high spring tide.

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Mount Brandon with a little cloud cover and Ballydavid Head, viewed across a high spring tide.

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On a crisp winter’s day, Mount Brandon is seen here covered in snow.

Like many other beaches in the area it has magnificent views. Mount Brandon, next to Ballydavid head, and on the other side the rear view of the three sisters, aptly frame the scene at each side of the beach.  No monotonous straight horizon line here, the picturesque forms of its beautiful geographical features provide ample relief from this possibility.

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The Three Sisters are seen to the left of the view from the beach

The water here forms particularly regular long uniform waves. Sometimes perfect for surfers, but often unchallenging for the more experienced. To the observer these virtually straight lines of surf which appear to form on top of each other can seem incongruous with one’s expectations of the Atlantic Ocean.

The breaking waves appear larger in the distance, completely contradicting one’s experience of perspective, and as they come closer to the beach, they collapse down, while the next waves breaks on top,  appearing larger and larger; becoming smaller and smaller as they drop down.

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A young couple play hurling at Couminole Beach.

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Ventry Beach

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The lovely Trá Bán (White Strand) on Great Blasket Island, also showing the ruins of deserted houses. More Blasket Island photos on: http://www.helene-brennan.com/c53-blasket-islands-photographs

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The builders have gone home after their day’s work, leaving their creations to the tide

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Creative efforts, now left for the course of nature.

Mount Brandon, the highest mountain on the Dingle Peninsula, often seen with its peak shrouded in  cloud,  is on this day shyly hiding behind a delicate transparent mantle, showing only faint,  tantalising glimpses of its lovely contours as rhythms of light sneak through the thin stretch of cloud.

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Dún an Óir. This is a truly beautiful place, and must be experienced.

This beautiful area, at Dún an Óir is overshadowed by a rather dark history. In November 1580, there was a massacre of several hundred Italian and Spanish Papal troops who landed here to aid an Irish rebellion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Smerwick

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Commemorative monument at Dún an Óir

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Beach offerings. Fresh seaweed has a beauty to be appreciated.

PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE FOR MORE DINGLE PENINSULA PHOTOS:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c25-dingle-peninsula-photos

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Cruach Mharhain

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This is a modest sized mountain on the Dingle Peninsula, between Ventry and Dunquin, via the Clasach. A small but steep walk will take one to the top of this peak from the car park by the mast. It’s also a very satisfying journey, offering stunning views on the ascent and descent, and an even more rewarding vista at the top.

I always feel that this walk is best after few dry days, as the ground can be a very boggy, soggy affair. It’s also advisable to tuck your jeans well into your socks, as even this precaution doesn’t prevent the ticks from finding their way to a bit of your flesh, as I discovered. It’s a question of making it as challenging as possible for them. This is sheep country.

There is an easy path to the top, except where is gets so squelchy that one may have to deviate, carefully. This is probably where the tick risk arises, as one treads through the growth of heather.  Near the top it becomes more steep and demanding, as is often the case when walking up mountains; the top appears to be drawing near, but with each hump achieved, another looms large, until finally the real peak is conquered. I always have a good excuse for stopping to catch my breath, as I would need to take a good look around and take some photos. If the weather is good there is no point in rushing this very delightful experience; every moment should be savoured. I feel sorry for people who think they should rush to the top of every mountain; they miss so much.

Finally, the top is reached. This is really a wow experience! So many familiar landmarks of the Dingle Peninsula can be seen from this vantage point, and don’t they look spectacular from here? Sybil Head and the Three Sisters have that ‘hey! look at me’ kind of attitude, while the Blasket Islands just have ‘attitude’, Mount Eagle is quietly condescending and Mount Brandon just has it all (– when it’s not hiding under a cloud!), with Ballydavid Head, its faithful companion. It’s also possible to see across Dingle Bay to the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula. After heartily consuming all this splendour and taking several photos -while hanging onto a fence post to brace oneself against the wind, one reluctantly starts the descent. The views towards Mount Brandon are particularly attention grabbing on the downward journey, which doesn’t seem to take long at all, even with several more photo stops.

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View of Sybil Head from the top of Cruach Mharhain

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View of Inis Tuaisceart, one of the Blasket Islands – also known locally as The Sleeping Giant, or The Dead Man.

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Mount Brandon and Ballydavid Head

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In this image one can see across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula, also towards the left is the entrance to Dingle Harbour.

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Another view of Mount Brandon

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Dingle Bay and The Iveragh Peninsula under a beautiful sky

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Fields of many colours with Dingle Bay and the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula

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The Three Sisters as seen from the top of Top of Cruach Mharhain

Check out my website: http://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/cruach+mharhain

DINGLE PENINSULA PAINTINGS

Oil pastelsOIl pastels Ferriters cove 1 Oil pastels Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland, is one of the earth’s most gorgeous places.  As with most parts of the country, it’s seen at its best when there is good sunlight, which enhances the characteristically beautiful and luxuriant colours of the land and sea. The range, intensity and vibrancy of blues and greens are particularly distinctive; added to this is the often luminous quality of the green fields, particularly in spring and summer. Summer brings other changes to the landscape as some meadows are cut and the greens turn to shades of beige, pink and pale browns. The hedges appear to expand and soften, indeed resulting in a softening effect on the entire landscape. The often seen dramatic weather – at any time of the year – also adds tremendously to the picture, when there is a juxtaposition of brilliant saturated sunlight, dark moving shadows, with heavy billowing clouds in several shades of blue and purple, white edged; their dark shadows moving across the hills, revealing fascinating contours and details that otherwise may not be noticed.

Being a peninsula, the sea (the Atlantic Ocean) is a dominating feature of the visual aspect of the area.  The sea colours, like everywhere of course, reflect the colours of the sky and clouds, but there is something about the blue that appears here on a clear day. A glorious deep blue – not dark but rich and satisfying. On other occasions, less frequently, there is a very special, rewarding shade of light blue – to be seen for only a short time of the day.  The effect is enhanced by the sun being in such a position that precludes visible shadows on the sea waves, so that the pale colour is not darkened by the shadows on the water. To observe this colour and soak it inside you is like having a deeply relaxing massage

But all weathers have something beautiful and special. The sea and the landscape have many different moods and seasons, ever changing, always compelling. I love painting and photographing these diverse moods, each mood being unique, never to be seen again. If you don’t catch it on the moment, you will never see it like that again. Described by many as a magical place – and why? Well in my view it’s not about magic in the sense of being outside of reality, but about the gloriously therapeutic effect of just being there, experiencing and observing. Being a person who is deeply responsive to visual encounters, this wonderful place is a source of profound joy.

There is so much more to be described; I hope at least to whet your appetite. More  on specific locations later. More paintings on my website: http://helene-brennan.com/c15-dingle-peninsula-paintings