Walking downhill to the tunnel I heard familiar gentle, somewhat melancholic whistles. My heart skipped a beat – Bullfinches! First time this year! I looked around and saw three birds, two males and a female, quite afar, and in the blinding sunlight. I took pictures, and stood there with a huge smile on my face. I so love these birds, their stocky bodies and unhurried manners. They don’t have the cheerful voice and funny curiosity of Robins, but their quiet presence is so soothing and comfortable 🙂
We meet again and resume our walk along the River Suir. This tunnel was built under the bypass to facilitate the railway. Notice the combination of a steep downhill gradient and a sharp curve.
Dan Donovan supervised the laying of this railway track.
A look back at the River Suir Bridge.
Beautiful views on the both sides of the track – lush green countryside and tranquil River Suir, charming at any season of the year.
Gorse bushes are in bloom and smell like honey.
This is one of the sharpest curves on the line.
Here the cycling path deviates from the railway track. I walked both.
It was fun walking on the tracks between the river and the thick wild growth of brambles, thorny bushes and reed grass. I felt like I was cut off from the rest of the world.
Dry yesteryear reed grass was making calming rustling sounds – actually there were no other sounds, and I didn’t see any birds.
The reed grass jungle looks more beautiful in winter than in summer, especially when it is bending in the wind and has that silvery silky look.
I took some double exposure photographs – one of dandelions…
… and one of a wild plum blossoms.
Looking at the new growth I thought about the wildlife in the area. These gentle weeds that are poking through the track bed will grow and obstruct the path. Will the maintenance team use herbicides? My thoughts went to the little Robin.
Another look back. The buildings in the background belong to the new campus of Waterford IT. The campus is situated on the banks of the River Suir in Woodstown and Carriganore, or Stone of Gold in Irish. Woodstown is the site where numerous Viking era artifacts were found when the area was inspected before building the motorway. There were no indications that the Woodstown site could have any historical importance, but there has always been a myth that Carriganore was the place where the merchants of Waterford buried their treasures hiding them from Cromwell. Finally, 39 test trenches were excavated in Carriganore in 2007 but nothing significant was found, only a few pieces of broken pottery ( 19th-20th century).
On the right side of the tracks there are old lime kilns. When putting up this blog I realised that I have never taken a single picture of them, because they just look boring, and they are also obstructed with some construction materials. You see many lime kilns when you travel around Ireland. The practice of burning lime was very common in the last century. The lime was used as fertiliser. The wood for fuel was brought from across the river by boat.
I have got a word that there is a Barn owl living in the kilns. I am not sure whether it is still living there with all these construction works, cyclists and dogs.
This is where I parked my car. Next week we will resume our walk from here.
Thank you for joining me for this walk.
Due to special circumstances, I am closing comments on this post and also on some of my future posts. I am very sorry and hope you will bear with me ❤
Have a wonderful weekend!