Castle and Peacocks

Johnstown castle

I learned to read very early: the magic of putting the letters together opened the whole world to me. One of my first books was a photo anthology of European capitals. Very little text and a lot of pictures, but when you are four even very little text is too much, and architecture is not your idea of fun. The only worthy images in the book were those of Zoo animals.

I memorized their names. I hadn’t been taken to the Zoo yet, but living in the farm with my Grandparents, surrounded by forests and bogs and all sort of wildlife I appreciated the variety of species… I don’t remember seeing much of exotic animals on TV until the mid of the 60s, except some cartoons, so the photographs in that book were my only source of knowledge. The most beautiful of all the animals in the book was a peacock. In my imagination I pictured him walking in our back yard where my Granddad’s blue, green and brown beehives were sitting in the lush grass. My imagination painted the bird pink, purple and gold: the pictures in that old book were black & white…

I want to share a few images from my recent visit of Johnstown Castle and Park, Co Wexford. If you want to go there some day, here you can find useful information about the tickets and directions.

As you can see, the weather was gradually getting better. Cranky grey morning turned into the perfect sunny afternoon. Photographers are wandering around the castle looking for a good composition.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Since the days I was four I learned to love architecture, but still I visit Johnstown castle mostly  because of the peacocks.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Their beautiful plumage  hasn’t fully grown yet at this time of the year, so I didn’t take any breathtaking images of a peacock in his full glory.  I was simply happy to be close and watch them.

A bold one came to me to check out if I had any snacks.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

After getting some pieces of French toast he settled in front of me.

Johnstown castle

I don’t remember how I found out that the peacocks are not pink and purple, but I was right about the gold.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

There are two images of the trees taken into the sun.  I loved trees before I learned to read.

Johnstown castle

Johnstown castle

After that I went to the lake and took all the pictures I posted in REFLECTIONS. This is how the castle looks from the lake.

Johnstown castle

Thank you for visiting Johnstown Castle with me! Do you remember what animal or bird impressed your young mind? 🙂

Photography tip of the day: Horizontal means horizontal. Keep your camera straight. Of course you can straighten your images with the editing software, but sometimes it means losing the details that are important for your composition.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!


  1. The peacocks are so beautiful. I love the close up you took of the feathers. I made it bigger on my cell phone to see the colors. So pretty.

    Annie ❤

  2. They are magnificent- those peacocks! I can picture little Inese on her grandfathers farm, dreaming of the brilliant birds. What a wonderful story ❤️

    1. Thank you Alisa! I used to dream a lot at that age. Just a couple of months later I read Johnny Weissmuller’s story and dreamed about saving his life. That dream was a complete fiasco – I never learned to swim. 😉

  3. Love those close ups Inese, so iridescent and colourful. I think the animals that most inspired me as a child were horses – I read all sorts of horsey things, including books about looking after horses, though there was never any chance I’d be able to afford a horse of my own 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading, Andrea! Horses are very special, and once you get to know them you get to love them forever 🙂 You probably learned to ride too 🙂

  4. Me too, I loved your background story of these beautiful photos. It must have been a special time, to experience it in person. Maybe someday, I will have a chance to visit here too 🙂 Wish you a great day, and great weekend!

    Warm wishes,
    Takami 🙂

  5. Dear Inese, Those peacocks are “royal”…
    I wonder if they live in the castles!? 🙂 …
    Seriously my friend you are an amazing lady.
    Stunning gallery ❤
    Best wishes and hugs to you, Aquileana 😀

  6. This was interesting, I didn´t know you had a book out and you said this was your hobby? I knew you where a liar.

    The castles they just come out from some kind of magical dream it seems and the peacocks…those are some bright bright beautiful colours. Maybe even made you squint when you took those pictures. What I want to know is if that first picture of the peacock seems she or he is trying to say something, what would he or she be saying…

    Another thing, how in the world do you take the pictures of these animals that by nature animals move, how in the world do you always manage to take a picture of them while they are static. How long do you wait for the right shot, you must have quite some patience. Either that or you shoot an anesthetic dart into them.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I guess you have many old castles in Spain. We have them mostly in ruins, but this one is in a good form. I agree that the peacocks walking around the castle look like a dream 🙂

      I set up my camera for freezing the movement. Fast shutter speed. You are right, the birds don’t know how to stay still unless they sleep. Also I talk to them, and they listen and don’t move too much 🙂

      The peacock was asking for another french toast, that’s it 🙂

  7. Something about the peacock is so shockingly beautiful and sensual, and some of these photos bring out their colors so vividly and in detail. Lovely! thank you for sharing them 🙂

  8. I love the defiance of genetics that a peacock represents. These are beautiful. Were the birds friendly?

    1. Thank you! 🙂 Some birds were friendly and expected treats. Some just walked away without showing any interest. They live in the castle grounds for generations.

  9. Have you seen the recent pictures floating around of peacocks flying? It was a great shot and I love the ones you have shared. Looks like you had a great trip.

    1. Thank you, I did have a great trip 🙂
      No I haven’t seen the images, but I will check out. I have never had the peacocks of Johnstown do something amazing:)

  10. I loved trees before I could read too! The animal that impressed me when I was a child was the cow. I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Montserrat! The cows look very impressive for a little child, aren’t they. Their size, eyelashes, voice and everything. That was probably before you visited any Zoo:), the first huge and friendly animal in your life 🙂 My Grandma had two cows, and all the milking and the processing of the milk was fascinating for me too. I still remember the awe:)

  11. Fascinating and beautiful birds! The plumes on top the head are so unusual. I remember admiring Canadian geese while in flight, growing up on a lake in Michigan. The are like miniature airliners!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! Isn’t it amazing that a little boy’s mind makes the geese look like airliners, and it is what they still look like to the grown up you. 🙂

  12. Looks like it turned out to be a lovely day with lovely photos! Wonderful! Thanks for your photo tips! 🙂

  13. Lovely photos – peacocks are very fidgety creatures and tricky to photograph as a result. We used to often drive past a “pet” peacock in Surrey on the way to school which used to sit in a tree very close to a dual carriageway. The birds in Aus are pretty spectacular too ! Well done.

    1. Thank you for your comment! Fidgety, that’s true. Faster than my shutter 🙂 May be it has something to do with their long neck: the muscles are getting tired.

      Oh you have some amazing birds!
      Thank you again!

  14. Great title, love the castle shots! I am fascinated by peacocks too and have a small zoo nearby with hundreds of them getting into everything high and low! Interesting that you created your own color scheme as a child since you only had black and white images. I’ve been into animals, etc… Since I was about 5 too. I find these images turn into my most interesting art works and about half the time I completely alter the coloration. It just depends on what the image “speaks to me” as I’m in the zone creating the portrait. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Becca – thank you for your kind comment. I think that the purple and gold were the colors of something royal for me, and the pink is always a favorite of the girls 🙂
      I would love to have a hundred of peacocks around, even that their voices are so loud. Instead, I have two herons fighting every night, and their voices sound even worse 🙂
      Do you have a web page? I would love to see your art. I like the idea of altering colors.

          1. Ohh yes, that was my profile page for business. You can find Being Bettr’s official page on my blog or search it for on facebook. Every new post is updated there. 🙂

        1. White peacock could be an incarnation of a person, and there are very interesting facts about the white peacocks behaving like that particular person. I have read many books about India’s spiritual heritage.

          1. Ohh, yes absolutely agree that on that fact. It’s good to hear you had ready books on Indian Culture and Spiritual. Please feel free to share some knowledge on your blog. I will love to explore my culture. 🙂

            Be Bettr, Stay Bettr! 🙂

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