Month: October 2017

Halloween special: Petticoat Loose

bay lough

Bay Lough is a beautiful lake sitting in the coum at the feet of the Knocknalougha (Knockaunabulloga) Hill in the Knockmealdown mountains.

To take these photographs you don’t have to leave your car. After you pass the hairpin bend of the Vee, there is an ample laybay overlooking the lake where you can stop. Make sure you come in May-June in the morning hours. If you know what is good for you, take your pictures and leave.

Bay Lough

This path runs downhill from the car park. Having been to the lake numerous times, very seldom I meet another walker. I also don’t have that ‘feeling of loneliness’ that, as some say, surrounds the area. In fact, I never feel alone there. If you know what I mean.

Bay Lough

If you don’t get my hints and still think about walking down to the lake, or may be even about taking a dip, then I will share with you this scary video I have found on YouTube. Make sure you mute the sound in the beginning as the music is too loud, but when the music stops, the silence makes things even scarier.

Few ever swim in this lake for fear of being pulled under and kept there forever; at least, I haven’t found any record of someone swimming across the middle.

( Here is a bit of editing, as I posted a link to a cool blog but added two extra letters to the blog name by mistake, so I just take this link out altogether).

It is not possible to walk around the lake.

Bay Lough

It is where the path ends. Looks like an end, doesn’t it?

As you have already guessed, I have a ghost story to share, but I just don’t know how to start. These pictures don’t really fit…

Bay Lough

I know! I need to add some drama! ( I didn’t put the sign. It was there for a Drama class…)

Now that the setup is right, I can share the story of the most famous ghost, the Petticoat Loose.

Petticoat Loose was a six foot tall farm girl born in the 1800’s whose real name was either Mary or Brigid, depending on the storyteller. She did the man’s work on the farm, drank like a man, and would also wrestle and fight the local men when they mocked her. They say she killed a bull with a single blow of her first. They also say she killed a farmhand with his own spade and threatened to kill everyone if they tell on her.

Her nickname stuck to her after an incident in the Quills pub in Dungarvan where she used to be a regular. Her petticoat got undone while she spun around in a drunken dance. Petticoat Loose was a great dancer, no man could match her.

It is how she met her future husband – on the dance floor. The marriage lasted a year.

There were rumors that Petticoat Loose had a lover, a local hedge-schoolmaster. One night when she and her servants were milking the cattle, a cry of agony came from the fields. A servant girl was about to run and find out what was the matter, but a milking stool flew through the air and hit her on the back of her head. Petticoat Loose then told her to stay put and mind her own business.

Poor husband was never seen again after that night.

Another year went by. One night Petticoat Loose was in the pub, drinking with the local workmen. She was challenged by them to prove her drinking skills and offered half a gallon of beer. She drank it down, and then suddenly collapsed. She died without a priest, and no priest was called for her burial.

Seven years later Petticoat Loose ghost returned to haunt belated travelers, and was also seen around the pubs and dance halls. She became the terror of one particular road, and was responsible for at least one death. For some reason, she would never harm anyone by the name of John.

She even challenged a local man to a dancing contest. I don’t know what would happen to him if he wasn’t clever enough to make a ring with Holy Water round himself and stay within it.

All this horror lasted another 80 years. The local people had had enough, and called for a priest.

The priest doused the ghost with Holy Water and asked her why she kept coming back, to which she replied that she was damned, and admitted that she had killed a number of people. The priest banished her to Bay Lough, but she told him that she would do evil wherever she was. ‘We will see’, the priest replied. ‘I will place you head downwards.’

At these words, Petticoat Loose vanished and was never seen afterwards, but the priest soon died. Some say he didn’t die though. He just disappeared because he wasn’t from this world.

Bottomless Bay Lough was a good choice. St Patrick once gathered up the monsters in Ireland and put them in Bay Lough. He told them to stay there and wait, and that he would be back tomorrow. So, they are still there, deep in the dark waters, waiting. Some say that Petticoat Loose ghost took a shape of a monster with the body of a horse and the head of a woman. Others say she still looks like her old self, a large woman with red hair that sometimes appears out of the water and asks the same question all over again: ‘When will the day of judgment come?’

I am not the only one who has a feeling that Petticoat Loose isn’t gone for good yet.

 

You can google Petticoat Loose and find more versions of the story.

inesemjphotography Happy Halloween! Stay safe!

Little Robin of Marlfield Lake

Robin

We let the zoos be for now. I hope they become a place of refuge and education, as they should. This is a post about Marlfield Lake inhabitants who are free to move around as they please. The low fence is protecting them from the visitors who can fall in the water and frighten the chicks. I have mentioned Marfield lake in one of my last year’s posts.

Robins live an average 2 years, but it all depends. If there are no predators, the weather is good and the food is plenty they might live a decade. This particular robin has been around for some 5-6 years. Of course I cannot tell for sure that it is exactly the same robin, but I think I recognize the behavior.

As it happened, during my latest visit the robin had been moulting.

Robin

He probably could not fly well, so he hid in the shrubs and came out only to pick up some crumbs.

Robin

A century-and-a-half long history of feeding the local waterfowl with bread has probably made them sort of domesticated.

Robin

After the lunch, robin comes from behind the fence to visit with me. When there are no dogs around, this robin can come quite close. He is a great poser.

Look at him! He is standing right next to my feet.

Robin

Robin

The robin is hopping around, picking something invisible from the cracks in the rocks.

Robin

I notice something else, and say bye-bye to him. I swear he knows the word.

Robin

‘Something else’ is a young blackbird that sits on the ground behind the fence with his wings spread wide. There is nothing wrong with him. He is just cooling himself.

Robin

I wonder why he doesn’t walk to the water and drink a few drops to cool off. May be he is afraid of the swan family? This is a daddy swan…

Marlfield Lake

… and this is his mate and their cute fluffy cygnets.

Marlfield Lake

I also spot four female ducks strategically perched on a fallen tree, minding each other’s back.

Marlfield Lake

Marlfield Lake

If you think that I have posted too many bird pictures in this blog, here are two butterflies and two very useful herbs for you.

Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta, a very common butterfly around the Marlfield Lake.

Robin

Speckled Wood butterfly.

Fragrant Pineapple weed is good for your stomach. When you crush its feathery list between your fingers, you feel that sweet pineapple scent. If you taste a flower head, it has a light citrus flavor.

Hedge Woundwort smells like mouse urine – so they say; for me it is just a very unpleasant aroma. Woundwort is a very powerful antiseptic remedy, healing to the wounded tissues.

I will be away for a couple of weeks. For my next blog I have scheduled a Halloween ghost story, and after that you can walk around the Mount Congreve Gardens two weekends in a row 🙂

I link this blog post to the Robin’s blog – you can see why  🙂

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Dublin Zoo II

Dublin Zoo

Shortly after my trip to the Zoo I read this blog post on Weave A Web. It is supposed to be humorous – which it sure is – but in connection with my zoo visit, it gave me some food for thoughts. Do we really need to interfere and ‘improve’ the Nature? Is the ‘conservation’ real? What is the percentage of successful reintroduction of a species to the wild? Especially if ‘the wild’ is made unlivable for animals by humans.

I don’t want to upset you at the beginning of my post. Let’s go back to the hippos and watch Atiya and her antics.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

In 2002 a tragedy struck. Linda, a 28 years old female hippo, became ill and died. A post mortem revealed the tennis ball blocked her intestine. As they don’t sell tennis balls in the zoo, it had to have been brought in by a visitor. Linda’s 13 month old son Hoovie who had never left her side, kept wandering around the enclosure, lonely and confused, looking for his mother. Henry, her mate of 16 years, was left bereft. Later he got a new mate, Heidi.

Dublin zoo 2007

The last group of animals we will visit today are our ‘cousins’, the primates.  Saki monkey in this picture looks gorgeous, but I would love to see him more contented.

Dublin Zoo

Western lowland gorillas look even less contented. It was the saddest place I visited in the zoo.

Dublin Zoo

Are they still grieving?  Sunday May 29 2016 was one of the saddest days in the zoo. Harry, the ‘gentle giant’, beloved silverback passed away. Ireland was heartbroken.

harry

Harry presumably suffered a stroke after being unwell for a few days.

Harry arrived at Dublin Zoo in September 1995 when he was just nine years old. He was 29 when he died. His mate of 21 years, Lena, and the other gorillas  searched the island for Harry and cried. Lena and Harry had six babies over the years. When Harry died, she was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby boy Kitoko two months later.

harry

It is what their enclosure looked like in 2007. The main entertainment was to sit and stare through the glass into the greenery.

harry

Henry died shortly after the troupe were relocated to the spacious Gorilla Rainforest. Was it too much for the 29 years old leader to monitor such a big territory? I don’t know. He was a great leader anyway, calm and gentle. If a fight broke out, he would step in and stop the conflict.

harry

Life is going on. New babies are born in Gorilla Rainforest.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

And here are some pictures from the Chimpanzee Island.

This chimp looks sad and lonely.

Dublin Zoo

Another chimp sees that and hurries to his pal to offer comfort.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Too late! Someone else is already there with a hug.

Dublin Zoo

Oh well.

Dublin Zoo

It is so good to have a friend by your side.

Dublin Zoo

As some of you might have guessed, I went to the Dublin Zoo to see Philip. However on that day the old Reptile House was closed as the animals were in the process of moving to the Zoorassic World. I left without answers. Later that day I emailed to the customer service and asked if they had a Water dragon in their Zoorassic World collection. A lady named Jennifer replied that they hadn’t. Then I asked if a water dragon they got from the Reptile Village has died, and she said no, he just moved to Dudley Zoo in April this year. I opened their page. The dragon didn’t look like Philip to me. I have to see the dragon to be sure as he has some distinctive features I could recognize. I don’t give up on finding Philip yet.

Thank you for your wonderful company!

inesemjphotography Have a great weekend!

Dublin Zoo I

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo was opened to the public on the 1st September 1831 with 46 mammals and 72 birds on display, all donated by London Zoo. The entry charge was sixpence that later was reduced to one penny on Sundays. It was basically a shed with the animal cages housed in a random order. The animals were routinely taunted and abused by the visitors. During the Famine of the 1840 many animals died and the institution almost collapsed. Another tough time was in the end of the 1980’s. The zoo was struggling and the council considered closing it, but with the aid of the Government it eventually started to recover. At present, Dublin Zoo is a home to some 400 animals.

I am going to the Dublin Zoo once in a decade. I have mixed feelings about the Zoos, especially about breeding in captivity. This time there were three baby elephants born within a year.

This little baby bull elephant Kabir was born to mama Yasmin in May. He is Yasmin’s fourth calf.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

The other two baby elephants are Zinda born in September 2016 and Avani born in March this year, both girls.

Zinda’s mum Asha was the first Asian elephant born in Dublin Zoo back in 2007, the year of my previous visit (picture below). She was hiding behind her mother and I had a hard time taking a good picture of her.

dublin zoo 2007

Asha’s mum and Zinda’s grandmother Bernhardine is still alive. She is the matriarch of the herd.

Dublin Zoo’s first elephant was a female called Sita, and her keeper was James McNally. In 1903 Sita cut her foot and as James was applying ointment to her wound, she knocked him down with her trunk and stamped on his head. The coroner decided she had acted out of malice and sentenced her to death. Nearly 30 years of good behavior prior the accident didn’t help, and after two days an experienced elephant hunter and a firing squad did the killing. Even McNally’s son said that his father would not have wanted the animal killed.

Sita’s stamping foot was preserved as an umbrella bucket in the Zoo cafeteria for decades.

I didn’t have a good view of the other babies – you see Zinda in the middle and Avani on the left. They look happy, but their future is unclear.

Dublin Zoo

Another set of cute babies –  Tamworth piglets.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

Not a baby anymore but still good looking 😉

Dublin Zoo

African Red river hog, shy nocturnal animal with long tufted ears.

Dublin Zoo

Just a billy goat from the Family Farm.

Dublin Zoo

Bored chicken from the Family Farm.

Dublin Zoo

Southern white rhino, endangered species. They have a big herd here in Dublin Zoo, and a male calf was born last August.

Dublin Zoo

More than 100 animals died at Dublin Zoo during the 24 month period from 2014 to 2016, among them Southern white rhinoceros, two Rothschild giraffes, three grey wolves and a red panda.

Rothschild giraffes in 2007. They are no more.

dublin zoo 2007

Red panda in 2007. Gone.

dublin zoo 2007

Humboldt penguins are very quiet. Ten years ago there were more of them, and I remember the sounds they made – trumpet-like, even elephant-like.

Dublin Zoo

This picture is 10 years old. Three Humboldt penguins died in 2015. There are fewer than 12000 of the penguins left in the wild..

Dublin zoo 2007

Penguins and zebras look good in monochrome pictures.

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo

I love these neat animals.

Dublin Zoo

Another black & white favorite – European magpies. They are living in the zoo along with many other wild birds including a Grey heron. I saw him in 2007 and he is still alive, still hanging with penguins and probably stealing their fish 🙂

Dublin Zoo

Here are some links you might be interested in:

National Animal Rights Association, Ireland

Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS)

Thank you for visiting Dublin Zoo with me. One more post next Saturday.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!