Month: March 2016

Springish

sheep

Spring is the morning of the year…  The Golden Rod by Frank Dempster Sherman  is written about autumn, but I couldn’t find a better description for the season. All the forces of Nature awaken, the Sun is regaining his strength, a seed begins to sprout and a lamb is born. Life is young.

lamb

Morning in the mountains is quiet, hazy and cool. I get out of the car and all the sheep run away. Then they stop, and slowly come back. You think they look at me and pose for a photograph? Not at all. I left the car door open, and it is the music that fascinates the sheep. It is Camille Saint-Saëns, The Carnival of the Animals. I am not joking. The old sheep didn’t move until the music was over. The lamb were not overcome by art to that extent, and soon went around jumping and just being lamb.

sheep

The sun goes up and soon the rolling hills are lit and warmed. The weather in March is never the same too long.

comeragh

The fowl of the earth are celebrating spring too. No chicks yet, but I came across some moorhen chick photographs in Sarah Potter blog . They are so cute, have a look ! 🙂 I love these green legs! This moorhen is marching around the pond in Stephens Green Park in Dublin.

moorhen

A young gull with dramatic wings looks like a Fallen Angel. In fact, he is just trying to catch a slice of bread.

gull

I took this picture in The Burren, right beside the Poulnabrone Dolmen. These cheerful sprouts are Lamiaceae family members, but I am not sure what exactly they are.

This picture was taken in Clonmel, between Lady Blessingtons Bath and Raheen Road on St. Patrick’s day 2007. Sadly, this daffodil field doesn’t exist any more. It was leveled during the City Council reconstruction works.

daffodils

You wouldn’t believe, but the next three pictures are taken in March too. It was in 2009, we got a word that the famous Magnolia trees in Lismore Castle park were in bloom.

lismore

magnolia

Camellia, Lismore Castle garden.

camelia

An when you think that the winter is gone, there comes a hailstorm.

storm

The weather changes in a matter of minutes.

storm

reflection

On days like this, you want to sit in the beach and listen to the surf and the rustling sound of sand…

beach

…or build a castle.

castle

They say that Mark Twain once observed “one hundred and thirty six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours”. That must have been in March. Capricious March! Sometimes it is difficult to be nice and balanced in the morning, even if it is the morning of the year 😉

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Easter!

easter

I had a draft of this post ready for publishing when I heard the tragic news from Brussels. Christian world has been targeted once again. My heart goes out to all the people of Belgium, and the families of the victims. The Evil wants to destroy everything that is good in this world with word and weapon. You can use religious or philosophical, or even scientific terms to give a name to that evil. It exists, and it is feeding on fear and its derivatives.

Fear not!


This set of Easter Eggs is dyed and ready for painting. Two pairs of little hands took care of that, and did a splendid job. When I was young, we used to dye eggs with onion skins. The skins were collected all over the winter.  “Don’t throw out the onion skins!” I heard this phrase often enough to always remember of Easter. When the time came, the skins were placed in a huge saucepan, and the eggs carefully arranged so that each egg was well covered. There was always a smaller saucepan for ‘special’ eggs. My mother tied different flowers and leaves to these eggs to create patterns. When she got older and lost her creativity, she only used the flowers and leaves from her Geranium plants.  Here is a link to a blog that will give you a good idea of the process.

Easter has a nostalgic feel to me. It even has a fragrance – my aunt who stayed with us every winter, always baked a special cake with rum and raisins. All the house smelled divine. I also remember some chocolate eggs and bunnies in shiny foil, but they didn’t taste great, and were mostly used as toys first. We would also receive postcards from our distant relatives – pictures of fluffy bunnies and cute lamb.

Some ‘old style’ pictures seem appropriate for the memory flood.

lamb

Another aunt always came over for Easter. She has never been married and never had children. Every summer she would take me home with her for a couple of weeks, and staying in her house in the dunes is another bright memory of my childhood.  We exchanged letters since I learned to write until her death in 2000. In this photograph, we are holding wild anemones. We would walk about a mile into the woods, to a special place, a blue lake of flowers. Our Easter dinner table was always decorated with wild anemones  – they are in bloom from March to the end of April.

Our house is on the left, and the lake is on the right, down the hill.

anemones

These photographs from my 2013 project were taken in the place very similar to the one where I used to spend summer breaks with my aunt. All these houses were built in the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the beautiful summer houses are restored and with certain investments turned into great modern homes.

home home home home home home

What is memory without music!

One of my beloved pieces of music is a chorale prelude Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ by J.S Bach. There are many brilliant interpretations, both for organ and piano, but I want to share the one of a Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva. A slow tempo (almost one minute slower than any other interpretation, for such a short piece of music!) has an expressive and poignant effect.  Every note breathes and lives.

And this one is a truly magnificent piece of music. 2500 individually submitted videos of singers are combined with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the virtual performance of “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. Among the submitters are Donny Osmond,  Alex Boye, Tiffany Alvord, Madilyn Paige, Maddie Wilson, Firefly, and various vocal ensembles. The finished video premiered on March 12 this year.

Nestle and Cadbury have  removed the word ‘Easter’  from their chocolate eggs. I don’t know about Nestle, but Cadbury have removed something else from their Cremes, because they don’t taste right anymore.  Here you can learn how to make your own Easter Chocolate Eggs 🙂                                    

inesemjphotography  Happy Easter! Love and hope to all!

St. Patrick’s Parade 2016 in Waterford

St. Patrick's Day

This picture is my personal favorite. I took it in a small town a couple of years ago. Proud mother and her beautiful baby daughter, surrounded with their family, are standing in the crowd of spectators during the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the first such Parade for the baby.

St. Patrick’s Day parade features everything Irish. It is a wonderful spectacle of marching bands and dancers, schools and community groups, and various floats, that include local businesses, artists, firefighters and many others.

This year, almost 60 parades and many more cultural events and festivals took place throughout the country. The main National Parade in Dublin city attracted more than 500,000 spectators

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, some of the parades include the re-enactments of the events.

Waterford City was the first city to declare St Patrick’s Day a national holiday, and to entirely suspend business on the day. Before 1903 St Patrick’s Day was not a national holiday in Ireland.

The theme of this year’s parade in Waterford city was ‘Three Sisters 2020: Celebrating Waterford’s Cultural Diversity’. The Three Sister’s bid sees Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford in a joint initiative to become European Capital of Culture 2020. The annual parade was accompanied by various street performances and other cultural activities throughout the day.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

The county’s cultural diversity was presented with a number of international entries. For the first time, members of the Ukrainian community took part.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

Members of the Filipino community, who won Best Community Float last year, returned with a new colourful creation.

St. Patrick's Day

Three African communities participated in the parade this year.

St. Patrick's Day

My favorites are the local theatrical groups, because the characters are interacting with the spectators during the march, and it is always fun.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

 

Marching to his own beat 🙂

St. Patrick's Day

Evolution themed SPRAOI float is leaving the parade, and the spectators are leaving too, but the celebration is not over.

In addition to the parade, a series of events are staged in the city centre, featuring entertainment from local bands, amusement rides and a treasure hunt.

This year, about 60 different communities were presented in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Waterford City. Thank you for taking part!

St. Patrick's Day

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

This blog is two years old

In February 2014, I installed WordPress offline using Wamp server, and started this blog. Only a couple of my first posts survived until this day. My initial idea was to create a portfolio-type blog, and I wrote ten posts and stuffed them with children pictures. When I went online on St Patrick’s Day, I got a few ‘likes’ and was very pleased that someone took interest in my creation.  My very first followers were https://lisalabelleblog.wordpress.com/https://poemsandpeople.wordpress.com/ and http://www.tonyeveling.com/blog/. They are not blogging anymore, I am afraid.

Then came a nightmare. Certain webpages linked to my posts tagged ‘children photography’, and certain sort of spam flooded my Spam folder. Akismet catches spam, but doesn’t protect from those who deliver it. I deleted my posts. Only after a year I dared to use this tag again. Nothing happened so far, but the same spammers linked to one of my Saltee Island posts, and I was getting hundreds of spam comments daily until I closed the comments altogether. WordPress  is not all white and fluffy.

These ten bloggers are among my first followers, still active and sparkling with talent. They have been my friends and supporters since early spring 2014.

Sheri de Grom,  Marcus Dilano Photography,  MoodphotoJasonFrancisCharlyMihranLeyla Harrie Nijland, Jet Eliot

There are more than a hundred bloggers in my community since 2014 – great friends and brilliant writers and photographers. I cannot name all of you here, but you know who you are. Thank you for blogging and reading my blog! Way to go to us all!

There is a potpourri of photographs from some of my older blog posts. They are not linked to the post or larger versions. Please scroll down – I hope you remember some of them. Thank you so much for your visits over these two years!

Green St Patrick’s Day illumination in Carrick on Suir, 2014

patrick_day

Spring in Ireland.

ireland_daffodils1

swans_in_the_haze2

winding_road

bluebells_jenkinstown

Clancy Brothers festival

clancy festival

257clan

Edinburgh

edinburgh

Knockmealdown Mountains, Co Tipperary

the vee

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Saltee Islands

Saltees

Saltees

gannet

gannet

Street photography

pose

sell

pride 2013

pride 2013

Birds of River Suir

stonechat

heron

Herbs

suir

suir

oregano

linden

Scarecrow Festival in Co Laois

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Patsy Gibbons and his foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Carrick O Rede Rope Bridge

rope bridge

Giants Causeway

giant's causeway

Dark Hedges

dark hedges

dark hedges

dark hedges

Irish summer

Irish summer

Irish summer sunset

Sunsets

sunset

sunset

Water

reflections

Johnstown castle

Barcelona

fountain

gaudi

Barcelona

Faceless

faceless      faceless   faceless

Trees

book cover

sand tree

sand tree

Fairy tale

20

Another spring

Ireland

ireland

ireland

Ancient

dolmen

Mystery

creepy tree

 

 

 

Foxes

fox1 291gauss

pat_gibbons

Hoodoos

 

Bryce Canyon Bryce Canyon

More birds

Bryce Canyon

cian_finn

Streets

dublin

dublin

spraoi

beggar

Thank you again!

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Living life to the fullest

granaigh

People love sharing quotes on social media. Recently, I came across a Keanu Reeves quote – or, perhaps it was Richard Gere quote as some people state – anyway, this quote made me think not only about the trustworthiness of the Internet, but also about life.

The first photograph illustrates my life these days, and the second one – my life’s beginning. As you see, the richness of color increases over the years, and the dark areas only mean that I finally know that I know very little.

beach

Let’s go back to the quote. I am sure you have read it many times. I just copied and pasted it.

“My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any ‘bad’ food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible – so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could. She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.

My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest. He is 81 and the doctors say his health is that of a young person.

People you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother: ‘if I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!’”

I am honest with you – I have read this piece many times, trying to attribute it to Keanu Reeves. I couldn’t. My friend had eaten healthy and lost her life to cancer, leaving behind three children. This part I understand. What I don’t understand is the definition of “living life to the fullest” in this message. Somehow I feel that the old couple have nothing to do with the idea of a ‘full life’ measured in eating, drinking and challenging the common sense. Yet, it is not the first time I hear this definition – eat what you like, drink what you like, party, do stupid things, live your life to the fullest. I have done a good couple of stupid things myself, but obviously not many enough to experience the joy of fulfillment and achievement… So, instead, I am trying to fill up my life with the things that are more meaningful. You can guess that it is not as easy as simply eat my favorite food ( I have many favorite foods). Sometimes I feel discouraged, but then I think about many terrific humans who truly live their life to the fullest, and I do my best too, spending time with my family, learning as much as I can take in, traveling as much as I can afford, doing nice things to others. I know that this list is not impressive at all, and looks pretty selfish too, but it keeps me busy, and gives me many opportunities. I love being alive.

An overused proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons…” has many recipes to get you through the unpleasant experiences. But what if life gives you garlic? I googled and learned that I can use it to kill vampires. Be happy for everything life gives you 🙂 There are some pictures from the English Market in Cork City.

garlick

Sometimes life seems so awful. Can it get any worse?

english market

Yeah, it can!

english market

But hang in there, it will all get sorted in the end 🙂

english market

Sometimes your life is a reflection in the river.

bridge

Sometimes it leaves lasting marks.

photographers

Life is never the same, and to live it to the fullest means to embrace all the aspects and do your best to enjoy it. Your best, not only your basics 🙂 With all my sincere love for chocolate…

evening

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!