Irrelevant story

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Having a real summer ( I use the term loosely) in July here in Ireland is something of fiction. Some people live here all their life still waiting for their first summer. This year they finally have got it, but in October.

Last Friday afternoon, a couple of hours before the sunset, I went for a walk around beautiful Tramore Bay & Backstrand, enjoying unusual weather, soft light, and tiny wildlife. I don’t have a real macro lens and have to manual-focus my trusted 70-200, but it is how I like it.

At home, I picked up some images, resized them, added them to the draft of my new post, and started thinking about a story to match.

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My thoughts drifted away… The story I am sharing is not relevant to the pictures I have selected, but …  may be it is?

Sometimes we have dreams so vivid that they can be quite disturbing. When it happens, we either maniacally want to know the meaning of the dream, or to erase it from our memory. It is only a bad dream, right?

In winter 1985, shortly after my father’s death, I had a terrifying dream that woke me up breathless. I saw a man with long arms that reached down below his knees. The man was dressed in some sort of rags, and stood at the edge of the forest. He did nothing, just stared at me – not blankly but as if considering something. This stare followed me for months.

The same year, in early autumn, I took my mother and my three years old daughter for a spin. The weather was sunny, chilly  and dry, and the air was filled with that bitter-sweet scent of fallen leaves and sadness.

We drove through an unfamiliar forest, but it looked friendly and we decided to stop and walk, and pick some berries. On our way through the forest we didn’t see any farmhouses, or any sign of human presence, so we felt quite safe. Our car was parked just behind the trees. I laid a blanked on the soft moss for my daughter to play on, and my mom and I walked around with our mugs in our hands picking lingonberries.

After half an hour our mugs were almost full, and I sent my mom and my daughter to the car to start packing so that we could leave soon, and I would stay another five minutes to fill up my mug. I didn’t see them, just heard their voices. The mug was finally full, I stood up and there he was. The man from my nightmare.

Our eyes met. He stood there exactly as I remembered him – dressed in some dirty, shapeless gown, and with his arms hung down way below his knees.  His hands were empty and it scared me the most: people are not walking that deep in the forest with their hands empty. He stared at me, and I could not read his stare.

I knew I was going to die, but there was my child, and I had to act quickly. All my instincts came to my rescue. I gave him a blank, uninterested look, slowly turned my back to him, and slowly started walking away. The only thought pulsing in my brain was ‘… don’t run… don’t scream…’ I called the first male name that came in my mind, and added ‘ I am coming!’ I kept walking; I expected being hit from behind at any moment. When I was at some distance, I finally looked back. He was no longer there. Gone. And then I ran.

My daughter was already in the car. I yelled to my mother to get in, fell in the car seat and locked all the doors. My heart was pounding with terror. With shaking hands I started the car and took off still expecting him to jump out of the bushes somewhere along the road. Yet, he was gone for good.

I have never been nowhere near that place again. What was that dream? Who was the man? How long had he been watching me? I will never know.

After the photo session with the spiders and caterpillars, I walked to the strand. The tide was out, but the sand was still wet and reflected the skyline.


The sun was already low, but the cloudless sky wouldn’t make any dramatic sunset pictures.  I sat on the rocks staring at the distant water.

I love shooting into the sun. Dream and reality are somewhat mixed in this kind of pictures.

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Thank you for listening to my story! Please share your ideas – I still feel like I need some explanation.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a great weekend!


  1. Your photos are truly wonderful Inese – you’re a master of that art! As for your story, I just feel puzzled by it. The telling of it was excellent, but I’ve no idea what the man’s appearance signifies. If you’re certain that his appearance in the woods was after your dream, then the dream could only have been a premonition of some kind. I wonder why you felt the man wanted to kill you. Was it the way he stared at you? It must have been absolutely terrifying. It’s obviously had log-lasing effects. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I though that he wanted to kill me because 1) he was wandering that far in the forest (miles and miles from the main road) without anything in his hands that could indicate what was his business there 2) he didn’t tell a word, but held the eye contact. Later, at home, after rethinking, I knew he wouldn’t do me any harm unless provoked and frightened. In my dream, he did nothing. Still, it was scary, especially because I had my child with me.
      Things happen, and just a couple of years later I got in a real danger, but I was on my own and didn’t panic. That “man with empty hands” taught me a good lesson 🙂

      1. Another story yet to be told … or was it too disturbing to relate? This one was certainly creepy, and the way you handled it was commendable. Most of us would have panicked and run. 🙂

        1. I am not ready to share the other stories yet. If I were a writer, I could use them in a novel… In this story, the danger was questionable. In my other stories it was real.

          1. I understand that Inese. I just wondered, with you mentioning it. I love your posts as they are, anyway – they’re varied and your photography is superb.

              1. I’ve often wondered where you were from. Inese. Your name is intriguing. To be honest, I thought you had links to the U.S. although that wouldn’t account for the name. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, you do remarkably well. I wouldn’t have guessed. 🙂

                1. As all English children l learnt French at school. How much I’ve retained is a different matter. I also learnt Spanish in the sixth for – which I recall quite well. I can’t claim to be fluent in either! ☺

  2. Wow Inese! What a riveting story! The photos are absolutely stunning BTW. I am not sure of the meaning of the original dream and the vision you had of him in the woods. I know I have had experiences at a much later date of something I dreamed about, but nothing that was quite this direct. Definitely food for thought! Excellent blog!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, it is stunning how direct the dream was. I have never met anyone with such long arms, and I actually did a research on that in the library and later in the internet, because I have never forgot the sight.

      1. I would never not stop by your beautiful work. If I don’t do that straight off, it is only because I am elsewhere and, seeing your name there, I am prepared to wait and savour that moment. Your photographs are breath taking. I wanted that moment today. I got it.

        1. Thank you again! How do you find time to visit the other bloggers I don’t know… Hamsters sure keep you busy!
          I haven’t started the Lady Fury book yet. So busy these days, dropping dead every night, no fun.

      2. Inese, you are so sweet, you really are. I just live at a certain pace, you know. I never get a second. We have been so busy this last year too, doing up our new home, then there’s the two days a week we look after our ‘grandbaby’. I always get there and that is the main thing. x

  3. I kept thinking the whole time I was reading this, that surely this was all a bad dream. I would be scared to death to go back there again. The dream you had was surely a premonition and one that quite possibly saved you. I still have goosebumps from reading this. I can handle stories like this that are fictional, but real stories like this, give me the heebie-jeebies. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I too think it was a premonition, but i should have taken it seriously. I should have realised its purpose – to warn me that I will meet someone in the woods who will scare me but do me no harm. After that episode I had been in much more dangerous situations at least twice, with no premonition whatsoever, but my good luck and survival instinct helped me escape.

  4. Wow! I love the photos and narrative, and the story is terribly scary. I think the dream may have been a type of warning. The way you handled it, was just right in my opinion. Since you had “seen” him before, you were better prepared. In fact the dream may have saved you life.

    1. Thank you so much for reading, Nikodemas! I think he wasn’t mentally stable, and yes, if I had screamed and scared him, he might attack me. Also, I made him think that there was a man in the car waiting for me, and it worked too, otherwise he might follow me just out of curiosity and scare me even more 🙂 Well, now I am analyzing and everything, but back then I was so scared for my daughter that a simple heart attack could have killed me easily 🙂

  5. Lovely flower picture, I like those little critter pictures too. Those shots into the sun are nice! That is an interesting story. I am glad nothing happened.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, I follow her blog but I don’t think she follows me.
      I want to write a series of blogs about the beaches of the South Coast. Have been to most of them, but still need some more pictures. So many projects, so little time…

  6. Such amazing photography. The fuzzy caterpillar reminded me of those I played with as a child.
    The dream and experience? Chilling, indeed.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Sometimes I read other people blogs and think – wait! i too have experienced something similar.

      Glad you like the fuzzy fellas. I hope they will have enough time to build themselves the cocoons.

  7. What a frightening experience – beautifully written and your pictures are exquisite! Lovely. We are having summer here in California as well.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I have been to many forest since, and hiked solo for hours in the mountains. Sometimes I felt somewhat uncomfortable and hurried away from the place, but generally I had no fear – this incident didn’t affect me in the big scale. Still, too many questions are left unanswered.
      It seems that the weather is very unusual around the world this year…

  8. Perhaps one of those strange (weird?) peasants… When kid I saw some of those little men and women, they don’t like to speak but just to stare with empty eyes. They don’t have the politeness to talk and say “hello” and for some reason even they don’t look like humans.
    I think perhaps that wasn’t the first time you saw him or one of his kind. The dream could have been a lost memory and unconsciously you went to a place where that person was before.
    In the Peruvian countryside there is this rule, when two people met there a “good morning/afternoon*/night” is obligatory. Otherwise the person is labeled as dangerous. I’m glad you made to your car, what you saw was dangerous :S

    1. Thank you for commenting, Francis. There was no crime reported in the area neither before nor after our visit, so I think it was just a weird man living somewhere on the other side of the forest and walking around without any particular business. Me screaming and running might trigger a bad response though… The dream is another thing. Resemblance was striking.

    1. Thank you Patrick! The most strange thing about the dream was that the real man was looking nearly identically to the man in the dream. First of all, the arms, but even his age, and his neglected clothing were the same. And I didn’t feel any warning signs when we came to the forest. We have never been there before, wanted to explore. I was pretty focused on my thoughts, not surroundings. I didn’t have any strange sensations or premonitions. Now I am certain he meant no harm – it wasn’t in my dream.

      1. Hi Inese. Beautiful photos and interesting story. I do not believe in premonitions or supernatural occurrences. I believe you must have seen him before without consciously being aware of it and unconsciously realised that there was something wrong about him. I think your dream was a memory. The fear of ‘the other’ or people who are not like us, is innate within all of us. I wonder what would’ve happened if you had tried to engage him in conversation? Maybe he was just a harmless intellectually disabled man? Of course it wouldn’t be as good a story if you looked at it that way! 😊

        I was interested that you refer to your mother as mom rather than mum. Did you grow up in the USA? All the best to you.

        1. Hi Katherine! Thank you so much for reading, and for your suggestions. I don’t think I have seen him anywhere because I would remember that. I don’t even think he has been to town often. I agree with you that he was of no danger, unless I provoked him with screaming or running. It is why I think that my dream was some sort of a warning : you will be scared, but there is no danger.
          I do believe in supernatural, but it doesn’t scare me 🙂 Real people can scare me though, like in the song: ‘I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest. Where the people are many and their hands are all empty…’
          Ah, and about ‘mom’. I have two granddaughters who call their mother ‘mom’ or ‘mama’ 🙂
          My best wishes to you! 🙂

        1. It is what I think too – to tell me that I will be safe.
          In your books you write about the people who know what real danger is 🙂 I look forward to reading the second Linden book.

  9. Wow Inese… I have goosebumps and I think they’re going to stay all day! That was a powerful telling of that day.
    Loved all the pictures. The clarity on the first group is amazing. I especially like the hairy caterpillars. Thank you for this outstanding post. Have a wonder-filled weekend. Hugs! ⭐ 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Teagan! So far my luck has been keeping me away from real troubles. There is someone who sent me that dream to reassure me that I won’t be harmed if I stay alert:)

  10. I really enjoyed your photos, Inese — so mellow and autumnal. The dream story is gripping and well told…sometimes life can be so mysterious.

  11. Wow. That was a terrifying story. Something like that must still be with you today. I have no theory on who this man was but I hope his appearance was a one time occurrence. If he does appear again and you have your camera maybe take a picture, unless your hands are shaking too badly.
    Thank you for mentioning my story.

    1. The man was very real. He must be lived somewhere deeper in the forest. How did he appear in my dream – it is what has been haunting me since. Your story is one of the same kind.

      1. It is the staring and not saying anything that is really scary. Have thought about going to look for him? Maybe take a couple rugby players with you for protection or something. I wonder at what point my curiosity would override my fear.

        1. I did think about coming with someone and just drive further and see if there were any houses, and make inquiries. He could be a man with some mental problem, living with his family in a distant farm. I don’t know. The truth is that the dream warned me: you will meet this man, you will be scared to bits, but no harm will be inflicted.

  12. Oh my goodness! The photos are extraordinarily beautiful, but the story gave me chills!
    Do you sell your prints??? If so, how would one go about making a purchase?

  13. What a seriously panic-inducing experience….looks like the dream was premonition. I once had a premonitory dream, really weird. It takes over for a while, and you never completely forget it.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! Could you share your dream some day? I really want to read about other peoples’ experiences since this one haunted me all my life.

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