UP ON A MOUNTAIN – SLIEVANEA

Here are some photos taken on a walk up a mountain from the car park on the Conor Pass road, on the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. I have previously posted photos from this Conor Pass road. https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/conor-pass-or-main-road/ The path northwards from the road goes up the Slievanea Mountain, which has wonderful views, as, as you might expect.

I find – on my computer it takes two clicks on most of the photos to see the best, sharpest version.

Mount Brandon is the mountain in the above view.

Here in this one above one can see Dingle town, and below, across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry)

 

 

These corrie lakes are stunning, at any time of the year, looking a  little frozen at the moment. The grass was crunchy with frost under our feet. It was really cold, with a bitter North East wind.

 

Would you believe it – that someone was so stupid and thoughtless to walk up a mountain, behold the wonderful views, and leave a beer bottle behind!

There were quite a few other walkers about, not surpringly, being such a beautiful sunny day.

Unfortunately we ran out of path, and tried to make our way through humpy boggy ground, before abandoning the walk in case of not being able to find a safe route back. Besides, it was bitterly cold. Another Day!

 

 

The above shot was taken from the road on the way back to Dingle. It shows the Kinard area, with the sea stack The Searrach, meaning foal, in view.

The Conor Pass is the highest ashphalt mountain pass in Ireland, and one of the most scenic routes you could find.  It’s not easy to drive for the visitor who doesn’t know the road, being very narrow and winding with overhanging rocks in places.

Thanks for visiting my post. If you would like to see more Conor Pass images, there are several photos and paintings on my website. Please check out this tag on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/conor+pass

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.

VENTRY BEACH

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Some shots of Ventry Beach (again!) just with my mobile phone, on a couple of recent walks. The phone has developed an annoying habit of reverting to low resolution – used to stay on high res, now I have to keep checking. Anyway here are some of the results.

 

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The sky being unusually clear for this climate, combined with a very calm sea, like a lake, made for some fairly minimalist images, especially this one above.

Below, on a different day, the clouds created a much more interesting sky and some lovely patches of light and shade.

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A socially distanced conversation about social distancing, one could guess, above.

 

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Doesn’t this beach look quiet? Yet there was nowhere to park in the small car park.  One way of keeping the beaches quiet here. Currently the area is full of visitors.

 

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I hope you have enjoyed walking with me. This is Ventry Beach, a few miles from Dingle Town, on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, South West Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way. Obviously not looking so wild in these captures, but for some really wild ones, please visit my website, try this tag:

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

 

DINGLE HARBOUR AND MARINA

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In this post I am showing images of Dingle Harbour and Marina, which are the soul of this popular little town and tourist resort.

 

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A boat full of tourists (now less full than usual, to facilitate social distancing) heads out to see Fungie, the Dingle Dolphin, which has lived here of his own free will, since 1983, and has brought millions of Euro to the area.

 

 

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In the Dingle sunrise, there are some signs of work starting.  Some of these very early morning shots were taken a few years ago.  It’s rare for me to get up early to capture the sunrise.

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I loved capturing the light on the boats and the reflections in the still morning water.

 

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Setting out on a fishing trip in the light of the rising sun.

 

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The above was taken recently, but not so early in the morning as the previous shots, the colours look so different.

 

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In this photo above the boats in the foreground are traditional currachs, known in Dingle as Naomhóg, (pronounced nave-oge) which means Young Saint.  They have a timber framework and are covered in tarred canvas. They used to be used for transport between the islands and for fishing. The style of these boats have been adapted for racing, built by Eddie Hutch, who with Maunza Heidke have been dedicated to the traditional sport of racing the naomhóg, and have run the Dingle Rowing Club for several years. See below a photo of naomhóg lined up for a race at the Dingle Regatta, an annual event, but sadly not this year, because of Covid-19.

 

 

 

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Some more recent photos below.

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At Dingle Pier can be seen the face of Charlie Haughey, who was the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland for a number of years, in and out of office until 1992. He died in 2006. Some loved him, some didn’t. But here he is in Dingle because he was instrumental in providing funds for creating the excellent harbour and marina in Dingle, and that has been a significant factor in the development of all the marine activities here.

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The following photos were taken as I was out rowing in a naomhóg, the traditional rowing boat as described above. It’s a great opportunity to get captures I wouldn’t get from the shore.

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Really, there’s so much more to Dingle than I could describe here, although it’s only  a small town; I have only given snippets of it’s character.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you will return periodically. I confess to feeling a bit blog-fatigued recently and it gets harder to keep up the enthusiasm, but hopefully my motivation will return.

Meantime, there are loadsa pics of the Dingle Peninsula on my website:

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

BEACH WALKING AGAIN

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Here are several photos taken on Béal Bán Beach (White Mouth), one of my local beaches in Ballyferriter, near Dingle, in County Kerry in the South West of Ireland.

 

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Thank you so much for viewing my post. More Dingle Peninsula photos are on my website:

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

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.

MORE WILD THINGS

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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!