Flu hit me Monday. I almost have no memory of the first two days, just some strange dreams and random, chaotic thoughts. Thursday my head cleared up a bit so that I could think about my next blog post making notes on a piece of paper ( I was too weak to open my laptop). The misery of my condition couldn’t produce anything cheerful, and somehow I started thinking about all the innocent creatures of this world who’ve got to suffer for nothing. Goats came to mind.
My first image was taken on a bright summer morning during Waterford Hot Air Ballooning Championship . I got a few good shots at the take off in the grounds of Waterford Castle, and was on my road to Passage East where I expected to take a ferry and cross to Co Wexford. I was almost there when the events took a rather surreal turn and the scene changed to somewhat apocalyptic in a matter of seconds. The goats. They started falling out of the thick bushes, off the almost vertical cliff – all sizes, shapes, genders and breeds. The sun was blinding me, but true to myself I was pressing the shutter. Two cars in front of me navigated out of the scene when more goats jumped from above, not less than a hundred of them, and I was stuck. I missed the ferry, but took a great set of pictures.
Goat is one of the first domesticated animals. When and where he ruined his reputation, is not clear, but he is associated with the satyr Pan, notoriously mischievous god who had a long beard, goat legs and horns. Read this article, it is very informative and amusing.
Pan was so ugly that even his mother run away from him horrified and disgusted. It is where the word ‘panic’ came from. I don’t know what to say, but look at these pictures and prove to me that this goat is not a saint among his people.
Some goats have a better fate. The picture below was taken ten years ago, in Killorglin, Co Kerry. Every August people gather to celebrate Puck Fair in Killorglin, and a goat is crowned to become a king of the land for three days ( you can watch a video on this link). The earliest known reference to Puck Fair is a charter by King James I, dated 1613, granting a legal status to the existing fair. The farm hands had a clause in their contract to be free of work for those three days.
The festival is a great event, and I hope to attend it some day. If you travel Ireland around 10 – 12 August, make a note.
These skinny goats were spotted in Bunratty Castle, Co Limerick.
Co Kerry has a weakness for goats – in town of Dingle, Goat Street is an extension of the Main Street.
In the Shakespearean tragedy, Iago works Othello into such a state of jealousy, that the poor man imagines things that have never happened. He exits the scene with the exclamation ‘Goats and monkeys!’ using the name of innocent creatures to express his disgust.
The Hot Air Balloon Festival ended with amazing take off from Waterford Airport, but I will remember it because of the Passage East goats.
I do hope I have been a good advocate for the creatures not favored by some. What if we change the tradition and make “Goats and monkeys” a funny exclamation, not a symbol of immorality? It is the 21st century, after all.
Happy Christmas to you all, peace, love, inspiration and joy!
Have a wonderful weekend!
As a Capricorn, I thank you for this post 🙂
Haha, Laurie, you are very welcome! 🙂 Written from my heart! 🙂
Love this first shot ~ the goats themselves are in awe of the balloons, and the way you processed the photo has a great, surreal effect. And the goats, I love them…in part because earlier this year just as we entered the Year of the Goat I met one on a mountain, could have been satyr Pan himself ~ and when you mentioned Othello exclaming ‘Goats and monkeys!’ this will be by call for the next couple months as we exit the Year of the Goat and enter the Year of the Monkey – your post is absolutely perfect, both in photography and prose 🙂
Thank you so much for so perfectly recognizing my hidden message, Randall 🙂 I put this photograph on hold for the end of the year. I took almost all the pictures through the windscreen, and the colors are as taken, but the lens flare and dirty glass ruined a lot of shots. This one is a composite. Still, it doesn’t show the moment when my car was actually surrounded with a sea of goats 🙂 The balloons were floating away; the goats were coming down like the creatures of hell; the drivers behind me were impatient; I was shooting everything in my sight, knowing I won’t have another chance like this.
I remember your post about the goat – I have read it more than once. Your experience was like a personal revelation, illustrated with your outstanding photographs of the messenger :).
Hope for a great year! 🙂
What a scene this must have been ~ it is always in our out of the chaos that we often come up with the best ideas (or as a photographer, the best shot), as you did here. Onwards in 2016 🙂
Thank you so much for the encouragement! 🙂
I like almost all animals and particularly think goats can be gentle if raised by gentle people. I have seen monkeys but dont really “know” them. I do know goat owners, farmers and families who raise them for milk and to make goat cheese. I believe we are supposed to be good caretakers so I won’t make fun of these creatures as you asked us not to, Inese. Hugs and happy wishes for your 2016.
Thank you Robin! I am not always serious when I write my blog 🙂
Happy and creative New Year to you!!!
I do like the balloon pictures. I has nice mood to it and I love the pictures have many of them. I went to the occasion once but there were only few of them and most of them were just on the ground. They were very colorful though.
I hope you are felling well now.
Thank you! This event is an international competition. There are rules and everything. Last May it was a great success, and Waterford was chosen as a host city again, but because of the bad weather in August many flights had to be cancelled, and now I doubt that Waterford will get chosen again soon 😦
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