Crotty’s Lake I

I am standing above the Crotty’s Lake, Crotty’s Cave somewhere under my feet. To get there, you can either hike from any other part of the Comeragh Mountains, or choose to walk a road, which leaves you with only 450 m of rough land to cross.

This is Bernard Cullinane, the owner of the land around the Crotty’s Lake and a trusted source of information 😊. You can stop at The Ass’s Ears and have a cup of tea before you walk further up the slope.

When the pandemic began, he and his family did a great job on their picnic area project.

My favorite is The Labyrinth.

Bernard’s sister Vera has an Instagram page where you can share your pictures of the lake and the area.

Another great source of information is Barry Dalby of EastWest Mapping, a company providing cartographic services. They have a Facebook page too. EastWest maps are very detailed and linked with historical data. You can also download an EastWest app on your phone.

When I say ‘we will walk a road’, I mean we will walk about a mile of a steep grassy path with the mountain slope on our left and a breathtaking bird-eye view on our right. We can expect to see some wildlife too. One day a fox stuck his head out of a gorse bush right in front of me. We had an eye contact and after a minute he slowly retired back into the bush. I kept walking for another while until I had to stop and take a breath. It is when I realised that the fox had been following me all the way up. I slowly moved towards him to take pictures.

I have never seen a wild fox that close. Left a piece of banana for him – it must be the reason he walked in my steps all the way. I know they love bananas.

Another beautiful thing that makes your hike delightful is the mountain stream gurgling along the road.

Even sheep appreciate the view.

You will see many sheep around.

This is the last stretch of the road before climbing up the slope. I am not sure the road was actually there 300 years ago, but I can easily imagine William Crotty riding along.

Breathtaking view on the right.

The path to the lake is marked, but you will like some little deviations to take pictures of many interesting objects and wildlife. Be careful not to stray away though. Return to the marks and walk from one mark to another – you will save your energy and time.

You might see a rabbit or Irish hare.

The rocks of many fantastic shapes will fuel your imagination

 

I found a rare Crimson waxcap – Hygrocybe punicea – among some other waxcaps. You can see them from far away.

Gnarled Hawthorn trees – some of them long dead- are a striking part of the landscape.

I didn’t see a hoof-marked rock, but spotted this skull mark from a distance. It looks pretty menacing.

There are four arrows to give us the right direction, but it is up to us where to put our feet, so choose wisely. Another 450 m, or a third of a mile, and we will reach the lake, but don’t expect it to make it to the lake in 5 minutes, especially if it is your first time on the slope 😊 How about 35 minutes? That sounds reasonable 😊

We will complete the hike by the weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  Have a wonderful day!

102 comments

  1. Really wish I was there in person hiking along with you, what tremendous views ~ and most spectacular was your encounter with the fox, so beautiful. To have the freedom to roam such beautiful lands, and then to actually do it and share it like you do is wonderful. Wishing you well, Inese, and onto part II 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Dalo! Wish I could climb to the Crotty’s rock, but it was an uneducated, trial and error kind of a hike. and I was running out of the daylight 😊 These hills can be tricky to hike if one has no clue. Some day, some day…

  2. Such a stunning and rugged hike, Inese! You must’ve used your wings😉 The fox’s red coat is just gorgeous and if I were him, I’d have followed you, too… banana or no banana! 🦊

  3. Beautiful portraits of the life there, and haunting definition of labyrinth. One I would like never to forget. Thank you, Inese, it is a very wonderful lake inside a place with taste of legend.

        1. Yes, it is exactly what they look like. I might put up a blog about Comeragh plants and fungi some day and share more pictures. I have a soft spot for alpine flora.

  4. OMG! Didn´t find a bird? Where´s the bird? Just joking 😉
    Amazing pics as always, plus it´s the very first time I see a fox “in person”… Thank you!!!

  5. I love your wildlife photos, Inese. Especially the fox. They are so shy around here that seeing one every ten years is a treat. I think he knew you were a fox-whisperer. A wonderful hike. Thanks for taking me along and I look forward to the lake!

  6. I read the sign about the labyrinth and that makes me want to go in to clam your mind. I am sure walking in and out of that would definitely calm your mind.

    The fox looks like he has curious look at you. I am glad you leave him some thing to eat 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! We have such labyrinth in the hospital park. My friend was there, dying from cancer, and I would take her out in her wheelchair and drive to the labyrinth. She loved it.
      The fox wasn’t afraid of me, but wouldn’t let me come too close. I went away first to show some goodwill 😊

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