Month: August 2019

A day out with The Fox Man

I promised Pat Gibbons, The Fox Man, to take him to the Jerpoint Abbey some day. Pat lives outside Thomastown, five minute drive from the abbey, but he has never been there before. It took me a while, but I finally came over to pick him up a couple of weeks ago. It is when I learned that beautiful Gráinne, the fox perching on Pat’s shoulder, has died in her sleep, apparently of old age. Gráinne was twelve – it is how long the domesticated foxes can live. In the wild, however, they live 1-5 years.

Gráinne was Pat’s first fox. Pat’s brother-in-law found her dying inside a cardboard box, weighing just a pound. Since that day, Gráinne has had an amazing life – from the point of view of both a fox, and a human 🙂 She was a happy fox, never short of fruitcakes and vine gums 🙂 She starred in 12 movies! 

I asked Pat if there was a grave, on which he replied that he took her from the Nature, and returned her back to the Nature. There was an old tree with a big hole under the roots, he said, so he put Gráinne’s body in that hole.

Run free, beautiful!

Pat Gibbons foxes

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Pat went to the pen to get Henry. Henry’s left eye never recovered and seems blind.

We took a few pictures.

 

 

Now it is Minnie’s turn to pose for a picture. Sweet old Minnie. She is ten this year.

 

Pat and his brother decided that we take a family picture of Minnie and their new dog.

This was the best we could get. All the dog wanted to do was either sniff Minnie’s butt or run to the road to watch my car in case it starts moving.

I hope to see you when I come again, Minnie.

The day continues. In my next blog post, we will visit some historical places with Pat The Fox Man.

There are some links for those who want to hear the fox story: 2014    2015   2015  2017   2018

www.inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Spraoi 2019

Spraoi 2019 hit the streets. Most of people are merry, but not the Morbid family. Business is dead! People are too fit and healthy, they are not dying any more! Family is struggling.

The son is starving!

The last chance would be to open a pop up funeral shop and offer a funeral demo with the slogan “Buy now, die later”.

A school teacher Lisa got the privilege to demonstrate her best ‘dying face’. I think it is very impressive, and Lisa has secured a discount funeral with the Morbid & Sons for the future.

As always, I am amused by the reaction of those in the audience. The younger generation looks a little bit scared, and some are openly bored. What would they care of the discounted funerals, anyway 🙂

But the Morbid family look very hopeful. Teacher Lisa returns to the world of living with the promise of future ‘perks’, and another show – and a new customer – is just 15 minutes away.

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With the Waterford Crystal House in background, The Tamarros marching band from Italy look very appropriate flashing their disco ball baton.

Old tunes and old jokes are fun and get a lot of applause.

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Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to watch the Roaring Clubsters show from Berlin because of the huge crowd, but I caught a glimpse of the spectators, and, as always, watching the different reactions was very entertaining.

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Now, this is something new. A Russian Baba Yaga is roaming the streets in her automated mortar, and her little cottage, Izbushka, is trailing behind on its chicken legs. A tag on the cottage states that it is for sale, but don’t believe what you see. Baba Yaga wants to look legal while hunting for children to cook them for dinner. The pack of salt tied to the mortar speaks volumes…

Be aware, little children.

Checking for lice nits 🙂 She wants her food organic 🙂

Smart children escaped being cooked. Baba Yaga keeps trying.

We wouldn’t wish her luck, would we?

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Charming show and a great music – the Los Rabinovich brothers from Mallorca! Musical clowns who don’t utter a word, but unite the hearts.

Even the rain didn’t stop the brave travelers. They are determined to stay in this city for the Bank holiday weekend and see what comes out of it.

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There sits the Always Drinking marching band from Barcelona, very sober and focused: the show is about to start in a minute. The Spraoi brochure states that their name refers to the “Mediterranian way of life – socializing in the streets, hanging out with friends in the squares, having some beers and tapas”. Sounds much better than “sitting alone, staring at computer screen” to me.

Always Drinking productions is a company of musician, artists, clowns, jugglers – name it. The guys in yellow were the stars of the festival.

Mila von Chobiak, the actor, kept his finger on the pulse of the crowd.

The show was seamless and very professional – they instantly grabbed their audience’s attention and held it to the end of the show.

It didn’t take long to make them all dance.

The band even auditioned a new conductor!

When the 30 minutes long show was over, the band played another extra 15 minutes! Brilliant band, I hope to watch their show again next year. They are so attuned to the spirit of the festival, because it is what Spraoi is about – to have fun together!


Thank you for visiting Waterford 🙂

Here are more links to some of my previous posts about Spraoi:  2015, 2017, 2018.

www.inesemjphotography Have a great weekend!

Kilmore Quay

Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, is a fishing village from where you would take a boat to travel over to Great Saltee.

Seabirds here are foraging around the fishing vessels and chippers. See who is lucky today? This Great black backed gull got a crab, and the Herring gull – a chunk of battered fish.

Before we begin our walk, please watch this 2 minute ‘bird eye’ video, and visit this web page to look through the colorful pictures 🙂

We will take a short walk just to see a glimpse of what Killmore Quay has to offer, and I plan on writing more blogs in the future.

At low tide we walk east from the marina along the shingle beach to St. Patrick’s Bridge, a natural bouldery gravel causeway, glacial deposit where the real St. Patrick has probably never set foot – though legends say different. He was chasing the Devil who took a bite of a mountain in Tipperery, The Devil’s Bite mountain. I am planning to go there this year as a part of a project. Anyway, the Devil quickly realised that he had bit more than he could chew and spat the Rock of Cashel, but St. Patrick kept chasing him and throwing rocks at him until he was gone under the water. It is how the Bridge and Saltee islands were formed.

A product of the last Ice Age, St. Patrick’s Bridge is believed to be a moraine. The boulders you see in the picture below are so-called erratics, very large boulders of a rock type that is not found locally, which means they were carried by the ice. The biggest erratic is seen on the left, and has a name – St. Patrick’s Rock. Naturally 🙂

In the 18th century, local fishermen started building a safe haven to moor their boats. They collected the rocks from St. Patrick’s Bridge and transported them to the village where the rocks were piled to create an L-shape barrier – a predecessor of the harbour we know today. The first pier was constructed in the mid 19th century, and the major redevelopment took place in the 1990s.

Centuries pass by but St. Patrick’s Bridge still curves out to Little Saltee, and they say that “no stones are washed from it”.

I spotted a Ruddy turnstone on my way back to the marina.

There are two different formations in Kilmore Quay which are often confused one for another in photographs. St. Patrick’s Bridge is the one on the right (East) from marina, and the Forlorn Point causeway is on the left (West).

Storm Ophelia that hit Ireland in 2017, unearthed an ancient body at Forlorn Point. The body was once buried there, not washed up by the sea.

A herring gull landed on the old boat.

Unnamed C.92 is navigating the sea of grass these days.

Past Forlorn Point, overlooking Ballyteigue Bay there stands a sculpture depicting a grieving couple. The stretch of sea from the Hook Head to Tuskar Rock, is called Graveyard of a thousand ships. And not only ships. Aer Lingus flight 712 went down into the sea off Tuskar Rock when en route from Cork to London on 24 March 1968, killing all 61 people on board. A cause of the crash was never determined, and only 14 bodies were recovered.

Remembrance Garden is dedicated to the memory of those lost at sea. Some families have no graveside to visit. They can come and grieve for their loved ones here, in this beautiful peaceful place.

The garden incorporates a propeller blade from the SS Lennox sunk off the Saltee Islands in 1916. Her crew was saved by the Kilmore lifeboat.

When the promenade ends, we step on a path that takes us to Ballyteige Burrow – a natural treasure of County Wexford.

I didn’t have much time that day. At the first opportunity I crossed the dunes towards the sea and after 50 min was back at the Remembrance Garden. This map is to show you all the 9 km of the narrow coastal townland consisting of a series of sand dunes and hollows, and circled is the part I have walked across.

Ballyteige Burrow dunes are 2000 years old.

Why ‘burrow’? The townland was managed as a rabbit warren for over 600 years. Rabbits are not native to Ireland. The Normans brought them as a source of protein for their armies.

The sand dunes include embryo dunes, shifting dunes and fixed dunes, each with their own type of vegetation. Coastal flora is diverse, even though it doesn’t look so from the first sight because many plant species are tiny and hidden in the grasses. March orchid is the most spectacular flower that will catch your eye.

Sea bindweed is different from the familiar Field bindweed – the leaves are small and fleshy, and the trumpet is vivid pink. They call it The Prince’s flower.

In this picture you also see the green stems of Prickly saltwort.

On my way I take many photographs and make a few compositions that will be put to use in the future.

Sea carrot is hosting a wild Red soldier beetle party.

I wouldn’t notice the tiny Burnet rose, not higher than 4 inches, if not for the bright shiny hips.

The path is not paved, but it is distinct and probably used by both humans and wildlife. It doesn’t go straight to the sea. Instead, it is winding between the dunes, up and down. Breathless I get to the top only to see another dune. Well, even if we get lost, the longest we have to walk is 9 km ( 6 miles). Phew 😉

We can see far away from the top of a high dune. Ballyteige Castle in the picture below was built by Sir Walter de Whitty, a Norman settler. It is a typical tower-house built to protect the household. Members of the Whitty family managed the rabbit warren at Ballyteige Burrow.

The roofs of Kilmore hidden behind a fixed dune.

Marram grass.

Vegetation is changing, and we can feel the fresh breeze – the sea is near, at last.

This view is so Wexford!

The beach looks deserted apart from a small tent pitched in the sand. Some other time we will walk all the 6 miles, but today we turn east and walk back to the marina car park.

A huge piece of kelp with rhizoids washed up in the sand. Here is a good website Galloway Wild Foods for those who is interested in foraging. I am too tired to pick up the heavy kelp.

The Forlorn Point looks close but it takes another 15 minutes to get there – walking on soft sand is, well, hard.

This picture was taken from the Great Saltee. The seagull’s bill points straight to the Forlorn Point, and the beach and dunes are on the left hand side.

This is the Great Saltee as you see it from the Forlorn Point. Our trip is complete, at least for today.

One more bird shot before we leave Kilmore Quay.

Here is the last video to summarize your day 🙂 Thank you for joining the walk. See you in a week at Spraoi 2019 street festival!

 

www.inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!