Author: inesephoto

Till we meet again

comeraghs

It is my last post of the series, but I will return to the mountains as I always do, and share more pictures in the future.

I will probably visit the mountains in May to walk through the Rhododendron Fairy Tunnel…

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…and revisit Glenary village.

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I am also curious if the tiny spruces and larches that are hidden in the tall grass haven’t grown up already since the picture was taken in 2013.

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To add the last touches to my photo story about Comeragh Mountains I drive along the Eastern ridge which I hope to revisit when the weather gets more summery. Late afternoon sun paints the mountains in rich, warm colors.

I park at the side of the road and enjoy the beauty of Stookangarriff Ridge and Coumshingaun. At the bottom of the almost vertical cliff there hides Ireland’s most beautiful lake.

I continue driving along the mountain road, and it feels like flying a small airplane.

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More coums, big and small …

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… and sheep, always sheep, with red, blue or yellow painted bottoms.

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The mountains are their life. Rough life.

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To complete a full circle around the Comeraghs, I drive along the Southern part of the mountains.

Once I stuck in this place for a couple of hours, because my car refused to start. It did, eventually, and I still have no idea what happened. Must be fairies. Anyway, as I managed to start the car and hurried home, I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed something unusual in the sky. I got out of the car and could not believe my eyes: a perfect heart-shaped cloud was hanging at the edge of the hill, and another cloud that looked like a pair of angel wings, was hovering over the heart. I had already packed my camera, but managed to take it out quickly and get a couple of shots before the clouds disappeared.

This Cloud Heart is here for all of you who took your time to read about my favorite mountains, and to be an active participant of our grand hike 🙂 Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and friendship! When I take more photographs to put up another Comeragh mountain blog, we will meet again. Stay fit 😉

My next blog is about creatures 🙂

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Cannon Hill

cannon hill

We are rounding up our calorie-burning Comeragh hike. Before we are done, I want to share this post about a small but very important part of Comeragh Mountains –  Cannon Hill,  one of beloved places  of Clonmel people  ( I have already written about Carey Castle, St. Patrick’s Well and some other local favorites).

We take the left turn up a narrow road just before the Carey Castle sign, and start our walk along the side of Cannon Hill. There are two roads, the upper one is wider, and there is a nice space for parking. A couple of years ago I came here to assess the old farmhouse ruins for a photo session. I had only one hour, but there was the man with his dogs, and he started a conversation that lasted 40 minutes 🙂 He introduced himself as Richard, and it came out he is a father-in-law of my former colleague, but the most important, he is Clonmel history enthusiast, it is why I forgot about time and listened to the stories about his ancestors and historical events I have never heard about before.  The funnies part is that recently I came across an article where another man mentioned his long conversation with Richard that took place in exactly the same spot 🙂 So, if you want to learn more about history of  Clonmel, hang around Cannon Hill.

The best part of Cannon Hill is the views we enjoy as we walk.

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Cannon Hill

This is Kilmacomma Hill. It looks like a huge green sleeping bear. In background you see Galtee mountains some 20 miles away.

The fertile land between Comeragh, Galtee and Knockmealdown Mountains is traditionally called Golden Vale.

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Knockmealdown mountains to the west of the Comeraghs.

Cannon Hill is a great place to walk a dog. Or two. This is us returning from that photo session.

Cannon Hill

The ruins of an old farmhouse are easy accessible in the winter time, but overgrown with the weeds in summer.

I already shared this photograph as a part of my project two years ago.

It takes about half an hour to get here from the car park, and even our dogs are tired.

This is another walk around the Cannon Hill, and another model 🙂

Local fauna can include Deer, but my only picture of a fawn sleeping in the grass is lost in a hard drive crash. I photographed this herd of cows, and discovered the fawn in background. All that is left from that shoot is this big lad with gorgeous albino eyelashes.

And of course, there are sheep. It is Ireland 🙂

It takes a couple of hours to explore all the paths.

Cannon Hill

These are two versions of the same song – different accent ;). Tom Healy and Brian Coll sing about all the places I have mentioned in my blog, so you can learn how to pronounce the Irish names 🙂

 

 

 

Thank you for taking this simple local walk. Treasures are often closer than we know.

www.inesemjphotography.com  Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Magic road to the Mahon Falls

mahon falls

It was a sunny day elsewhere, but Mahon Falls greeted me with a perfect rainbow towering over the mountains. This picture was not retouched – all the colors are natural. I parked at the bottom of the Magic Road and held my breath. I used a wide lens for this picture, but in fact the rainbow was so close that I could see the colors on the grass just a few meters away.

I drove under the rainbow and turned around the corner wondering what the Falls look like today, and sure there was a good reason for the rainbow to appear because the Coum Mahon was hosting a huge cloud. I found a spot, parked my car and fearlessly walked into the cloud.

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I did it three times and had to return half way because the rain and the wind made it impossible to take any picture of the waterfall.

This was the worst moment. The lens got all wet and foggy, and I had to give up.

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On the other side of the car park the weather was beautiful and even my windscreen was dry. I parked so that I could see the ocean and the rainbow.

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I didn’t get to see the Falls that day, but other photo opportunities were literally running around 🙂

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The cloud was still there but the rest of the world was dry and sunny.

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The sheep decided to migrate, and it was fun to watch them

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There was nothing else to see and I went home to return in two weeks.


This time the sky was blue with no clouds and rainbows. I approached the Magic Road, took this picture, drove a little bit further down the hill, and because there were no cars around, I did what everyone else does in this place: put my car in neutral, and rolled UPHILL with lively speed and style. This is a magic road after all 🙂

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Some people say it is an optical illusion and there is no elevation. Look by yourself. This car was rolling backwards on neutral from where I stand. The family inside it were so excited that the driver forgot to use his steering wheel and almost drove the car in the ditch. There definitely is an elevation, and I actually started even further down the hill. You can watch a good few videos on Youtube about this road. Fairy magic, if you ask me.

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These Hawthorn trees should give you a clue of where the magic comes from.

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Coum Mahon in all its glory. The path to the waterfall is about one mile long, and there is no climbing necessary. The path is wheelchair accessible almost all the way down to the Falls. Coum Mahon is V-shaped, unlike the other coums (hollows) in the Comeraghs that are U-shaped. By the way, the word Comeragh, or Cumarach  in Irish, means ‘full of hollows’. Many of the hollows nestle lakes.

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Semi-wild sheep are perched on the edge of the cliff.  If you are lucky, you might see a herd of feral goats around the Coumshingaun ridge nearby.

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Black slug is a common sighting. The slugs are quite big and alien-looking.

With very little rain this winter, the Falls don’t look too impressive, but nevertheless it is the most visited and loved place. It is advertised as a picnic area, with which I totally disagree. The wind is usually very strong here, and if everyone decided to bring a takeaway with them, the place would be littered in no time. If you come to visit Mahon Falls, please eat in your car with the doors closed.

Mahon Falls are a 80 m high series of cascading waterfalls. River Mahon begins her jorney from the high plateau of the Comeraghs, falls down the steep back wall and continues to the village of Bunmahon where she drains into the Celtic Sea.

It is possible to ascend the slope quite close to the waterfall. The most popular is the right hand side route, but I have also seen people climbing the left hand side of the Falls. In both cases you have to be very careful. In 2014, two people got trapped on a steep cliff at 45 m with no way down. Luckily, they were able to call rescue services, and were lifted off the cliff by a helicopter crew.

This is a closer view of the lower cascade. I was planning to climb to the upper cascade, but I saw a photographer set up his tripod in the middle of the falls,  and didn’t want to bother him. I climbed to the flat rock over which the water flows down, continued half way to the upper cascade, and returned to the valley.

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Lower cascade.

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Upper cascade. I would love to climb along the gorge and take pictures of entire waterfall, but the surface was quite wet and slippy, and I didn’t even have hiking footwear, just a pair of Skechers boots.

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A view from the top of the lower cascade.

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River Mahon heading south 🙂 The blue stripe at the edge of the picture is the Celtic Sea.

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A long walk back to the car park. The sky looks washed out because there is not a single cloud in the sky, and the valley is in the deep shadow.

My plan was to continue driving to take more pictures of the other parts of the Comeraghs, but when I reached the tiny upper car park, I was absolutely blinded by the sun and had to reverse and drive back to where I came from. The contrast between the bright sun and deep shadow was striking. In the picture below you see Majestic Knockaunapeebra lit by the bright sun.

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So, that was my latest trip to the Mahon Falls. Here are some photographs of the Hawthorn trees. This one was taken on that stormy day when the rainbow was hanging over the mountains for all the duration of my visit.

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This one was taken on my way home after the second trip.

And this is the most famous rag tree that is guarding the Magic Road.

rag tree

If you are interested in climbing the Comeraghs,  read the De La Salle Scout group website.

Thank you for enjoying the magic of Mahon Falls with me. What do you think about the Magic Road and Fairy Power? 🙂

Here are links to my previous Comeragh blogs -1- , -2-  and  -3-

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Nire Valley

In my second Comeragh post, I shared photographs of the road that crosses the mountains from Clonmel to Ballymacarbry. It is how we are going to drive ( or walk) to the Nire Valley.

I have never hiked in this area, but I know that there are several trails and loops, and beautiful lakes. An annual Nire Valley Walking Festival page might help you make your choice, and there is an information board at the car park from where I took most of pictures for this blog. Some of the trails start from the car park, but if you want to start with a hike to Coumfea and Coumalocha, and see a beautiful stream falling from the Coumfea Plateau,  you have to walk back to this gate and start from here.

nire valley

nire vlley

nire valley

In the picture below, car park is on your left, and several trails start here.  If you hike up the hill to the left, you will reach the south slope of beautiful Knockanaffrin ( the pyramid-shaped mountain in my previous post), and if you turn to the right, at least four spectacular glacial lakes – coums are waiting for you. These coums were formed during the Ice Age. I don’t know if I ever hike to see Nire lakes – the shortest trail will take 4-5 hours roundtrip, and I don’t know if I am ready for that, but you can visit Get Lost Mountaineering blog to have an idea. It features both ridges – Knockanaffrin and Coumfea.

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Curraghduff with Fauscoum in background. You don’t necessarily have to start your hike from the Nire Valley side to get here. There is a track that starts on the other side, over the Gap of the Knockanaffrin Ridge ( featured in my second Comeragh blog). All the trails vary from 5 to 25km. Some loops may require an overnight camping in the mountains. There are also cliffs and gullies for the experienced mountain climbers.

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Nire Valley photographs taken over the years.

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nire valley

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nire valley

Nire Valley

Ruins of the old farm and spectacular stone wall attract photographers.

I am glad that you visited this beautiful part of Comeragh mountains. I know that I failed to take you to the Nire Lakes, but I have visited some other mountain lakes, and hope to share them with you in my future posts. This time we didn’t hike, but please be fit for the next weekend’s  two mile long round trip, some climbing, and magic 🙂

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Pat and his foxes

Pat Gibbons

On my way back from an assignment I turned off the main road and drove under the canopy of old trees to the house of my favorite people. I wrote about Pat Gibbons and his family in these blog posts : in 2015  and 2014 It has been a while since I last visited, and I didn’t call in advance. I saw that the door was half open, and parked at the side of the road. Another car slowly approached, and parked across from me. I didn’t plan to take any pictures and knocked on the door just to say hello, but Pat was about to take the foxes outside for a minute anyway, so I went to pick up my camera. Meanwhile, a family got out of the other car and asked me if it was the Fox Man’s house. The word spreads 🙂

Pat is always happy when someone shows up to see his foxes. ‘It is why they are here’ he says. He told the visitors about where the foxes come from and about Gráinne’s career as a movie star. She is as beautiful as always, just with more silver in her fur.

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Minnie is soft and shy – nothing has changed here 🙂

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It is the time for hugging.

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Gráinne is tired.

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She does a bit of posing for pictures.

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Pat is asking Gráinne to perform her famous trick.

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We walk to the den to visit with Henry. He is not in the mood to go outside this time.

In a couple of hours they all will go to Pat’s house and enjoy their evening together cuddling and watching the TV.

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I know you all love this post and the foxes 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

inesemjphotography Have a beautiful weekend!

 

Back to Comeragh Mountains

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After a short break we resume our hill walking exercises.

When you look at the picture, you see a sharp-peaked feature on the silhouette of the slope of the mountains in background. Remember it, I will tell you what it is in the end of this post. The mountains you see in the picture belong to the Knockanaffrin Ridge, and we are walking across the Comeragh Plateau.

I feel sorry for the little lamb – the gusts of wind are throwing the hail at the car window, but he is standing there and staring at me.

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Another season, another storm. Heavy rain passed over Clonmel and the hills we visited in my previous post from the Comeraghs.

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In my first Comeragh blog post you saw the other side of these distant Laghtnafrankee mountains – Glenary Valley. To get a closer look at the mountains, we will turn to the other road. There are two roads, both of them finally coming together and taking you across the Comeragh Plateau from Clonmel to Ballymacarbry. Right now we are walking along the Harney’s Cross Road, the upper one.

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This is a closer view of Laghtnafrankee  from the lower road.   The real summit is right behind it. There is also  Laghtnafrankee SW Top on the left side. On the other side of Laghtnafrankee there is a natural amphitheater – so called Punchbowl. If you enlarge the image by clicking on it, you will see a tiny lone hiker on the slope, right where the shadow of the cloud begins. He gives you sense of the scale.  The Comeragh Plateau is nestled between the Lachtnafrankee and Knockanaffrin Ridge.

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This is the view from the lower road with the Knockmealdown Mountains in background.

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I took many photographs of these stunning crepuscular rays that winter afternoon.

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Another season, and the mountains look different again. Shauneenabrega Mountain is wrapped in thick fog.

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The horse ignores me. She hates snow. I think that this horse ‘works’ at the nearby turf cutting. I remember the bad experience I had  visiting the Woodstock Oyster farm and abandon the idea of walking across the bog to the turf cutting site. May be another day.

The same road in Spring with the Three Graces refusing to pose for me.

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More of the Knockanaffrin Ridge in this picture. The summits of these mountains offer beautiful vistas with Lough Mohra Coum nestled beneath the steep slopes. You can walk from one mountain to another along the crest. Most of the summits have cairns.

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comeraghs

I like the minimalist look of this picture 🙂

The top of the Long Hill ahead. We are returning to the main road between Clonmel and Rathgormack .

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Early June is my favorite season in the Comeraghs when Rhododendrons bloom.

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Do you remember the first picture and mysterious sharp-peaked thing on the slope? It was the summit of the beautiful Knockanaffrin.

Knockanaffrin Ridge

You can walk from Knockanaffrin to Knocksheegowna along the crest.  There is a trig pillar near the highest point on the top of Knocksheegowna. If you hike over The Gap ( the trail starts just a few meters from here), there is a beautiful Nire Valley on the other side – it is where we are going to walk in my next blog.

Down the hill to new adventures! 🙂

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inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Comeragh Mountains

comeragh

Today we will do a bit of hill walking as most of us have consumed those extra calories between the Christmas and New Year day 😉 Comeragh Mountains is a good place to start since you have already seen them from the top of beautiful Slievenamon. Here she is, my favorite mountain, as seen from the ascent to the Long Hill of the Comeraghs. First of all we will find the source of peculiar clouds that look so nice in the photographs, so let’s walk towards Slievenamon and have a closer look.

slievenamon

Bulmers! Or Magners, as the product is called outside of Ireland. Famous Irish Cider brewery is situated right next to Slievenamon. It also produces clouds 😦 Just look at the next image.

bulmers

It is not always that bad though, but some days are worse than the others.

bulmers

Dramatic clouds enhance your photographs, but is this steam emission harmless? I don’t know.

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The Comeraghs are formed by twelve mountains and various hills. They are located between Clonmel, Ballymacarbry, Dungarvan and Rathgormack. The highest point is at 792m ( 2,598 ft). In the photograph below you see the foothills of the Comeraghs from Clonmel side of the mountains. The upper part of the hills is wrapped in a tick cloud.

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This picture was taken in March. The setting sun colored the tops of the bare trees and made them look like autumn foliage.

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You are standing on the top of Scrouthea Hill – Cnoc a Chomortais. To get there you walked from Clonmel town all the way up, catching your breath and feeling lightheaded. Well, you can also drive most of the way. If it is an August Bank Holiday, another thousand people are walking up the hill beside you, partaking in the annual tradition of The Holy Year Cross Walk. The Holy Year Cross was erected in 1950. The original timber cross was carried by fifteen strong men.

I hope you already recognised the mountain in background 🙂

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From here you will walk south.  The picture gives impression of a rather flat surface. In fact, the descent and the following ascent are quite steep. All the brown-colored area is infamous Comeragh bog.  It is wet all the year round.

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In summer, the bog turns purple with the blooming heather.

 

 

Before you continue uphill to the crest of the Long Hill, walk off the main path to visit the abandoned farmstead that used to be a home to the Ireland family.

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The Ireland family farmstead is the most tranquil place I have ever visited.  You will spend at least an hour around the farmstead reflecting and meditating, taking photographs and enjoying the beauty and serenity. Only a hiking club party might disturb your peace, but this seldom happens. A lone hiker will more likely wait until you leave, and come down later.

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comeragh

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After walking through the bog you will appreciate the flat, firm and dry land and silky grass of this oasis.  How sad it is that the family had to desert their home and fields as they had given up the struggle to work the land.

By the way, the Ireland children had to climb the hill to attend the school in Clonmel.

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Leaving the oasis you continue uphill through the bog to the summit of the Long Hill ( just for a spectacular view), keep walking south until you reach Lachtnafrankee mountain, and then a steep ascent takes you to Glenary river valley.

Across the river, there are remains of Glenary village. This was a street with the houses on the riverside and the fields on the hillside.

Glenary

The village mostly consisted of clochans – clusters of houses with a shared entrance and farmyard.

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It is difficult to believe that the last inhabitant left the village in the 1960s. His house had thatched roof and red door. It only took a few decades for the Nature to consume the buildings so that some of them literally disappeared.

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Glenary with Long Hill and Laghtnafrankee mountain in background.

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The view from the hillside over the valley. Carey Castle I recently wrote about is in the woods behind the cottage.

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To return to the Cross you climb a steep and muddy track – you will need your Wellies for that. A herd of cattle walk in the deep mud twice a day, which doesn’t improve the surface of the track. This is the view from the top. The Cross is on your left, but it is not visible from here.

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These photographs are 8-10 years old. I have no time to return to the Glenary Valley, but I visit Carey Castle every year.

It was a long walk but we only covered a tiny part of the mountains.

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I am taking a break, and hope you will be in a good form to continue hiking in the Comeraghs in two weeks from now. Meanwhile, I will repost some of my old stuff from 2014.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful January!

Looking back – and forward

I always pay attention to what Chinese Lunar Calendar says in general: year of Rooster – check. Fire, gold and red – check. As to the details, they are sometimes contradicting each other, so they have to be approached critically. Like, in some sources I have read that the year of Rooster is always the worst of all the years of the Cycle, with which I totally disagree.

(I thought about roosters and cycles when walking the streets of Waterford during Winterval festival)

Lets go back and see what the years of Rooster were like. I will start from 1957, for a particular reason 😉

1957

The Treaty of Rome was signed by six countries establishing European Economic Community – the future EU.  Yay for that. Soviet Union sent a dog Laika into Space. Federal Troops were sent to Arkansas to enforce anti-segregation laws. Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.34%; UK 3.3%

1969

Richard Nixon was inaugurated. Apollo 11 astronauts took first walk on the Moon. The US had the greatest number of troops in Vietnam. To compare with turbulent 1968,  1969 seems to be quieter, but the same problems remained.

1981

Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. First flight of Space Shuttle Columbia.  Yearly Inflation Rate USA 10.35%; UK 11.9%. Margaret Thatcher’s Government began privatisation of nationalised industries that revived economy ( I think it worked).

1993

Bill Clinton was inaugurated. Islamic Fundamentalists bombed World Trade Center. Earthquakes and floods happened all over the world. The US and Soviet Union signed Start II Treaty ( bilateral reduction of nuclear warheads). The World Wide Web was born.

2005

Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes all over the world. London bombing, terrorist attacks in India and Egypt. Natural disasters and terrorist attacks are typical features of the past decade, not only of 2005.

So, in general, the years of Rooster most definitely were not the worst years ( not the best either…) For me personally, 1981 and 1993 were both tragic, but 2005 was all right, so I see a trend of improvement 🙂

I think that we sometimes have to get off the carousel, sit back and contemplate for a minute. It helps put things into perspective and illuminate priorities. We might even re-evaluate our ‘bad years’ after all.

This Christmas tree is a part of a charity project.  It was displayed during the Winterval festival in Waterford. Soft toys remind me of a furry friend whom we lost this December.

I took this picture in May. In July my daughter wrote me that Grishnak was dying, and all family members spent some time with him saying goodbye.  Yet, he miraculously recovered after a few days, and I saw him again in August. He lived to welcome another baby in the family, but after that his health started to deteriorate again, and on December 11 he was gone.

This picture was taken in September. Now the empty box symbolises the emptiness he left behind. I didn’t realise that it would be my last picture of him.


This year I lost a relative and several former schoolmates. It was a sad year of losses for all of us as we said goodbye to David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fisher (dang it, I had to edit this sentence twice before posting this blog! What a horrible year!)  and many others who were part of our life. The last, and the most painful loss that still hurts so much, is the death of beloved blogger friend, the finest Poet and amazing Human, Cynthia Jobin. Here is a link to her last poem she posted just a week before she left us. I keep coming to her blog, like an orphan – I just cannot move on.


Soon we will leave this sad year behind, and I look forward to the New Year’s arrival and the start of a new calendar. I don’t know what this year will bring, I just hope I will do my part and bring something good myself, regardless. The year of Red and Gold Fire Rooster – it will be spectacular if nothing else 🙂 But I do hope it is also kind and gentle on all of us – please, no rooster fights!

Happy New Year to all!

Thank you for your friendship, and for your wonderful blogs that made my 2016 a better year!

rooster

There are links from my previous Christmas – New Year posts:

https://inesemjphotography.com/category/happy-new-year/ https://inesemjphotography.com/2014/12/13/year-is-running-out/ https://inesemjphotography.com/2014/12/06/christmas-story/ https://inesemjphotography.com/category/christmas/

www.inesemjphotography.com

Merry Christmas!

merry christmas

 

I truly wish this week is filled with good feelings, all are content, honest with themselves and comfortable with others.

I truly wish your life is simple, and you always have time when you need it.

I truly wish no one is hungry, scared or hurt.

I truly wish there is someone for you to love.

 

 

Yet, it is not always like that. Not with all of you.

 

DMC

 

Some of you are trying to keep your balance relying only on yourself. 

 

 

Some of you put their trust in God.

 

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Yet, it is not always like that. Not with all of you.

Some of you have lost hope and have given up, both on God and on themselves. 

Please look out for those who might be having a hard time this Christmas – look out, even if you are one of them.


I traditionally share this Christmas video on my Facebook page. I think it is a treat to both believers and non-believers. Mike Masse performs acoustic covers at gigs in the US and internationally.

 

 

Joy and peace to the world.

 

www.inesemjphotography.comHope you are having a Wonderful Christmas!

 

Slievenamon

slievenamon

Before Christmas, I want to squeeze in a blog about the most beautiful mountain in Co. Tipperary – Sliabh na mBan, or Slievenamon. In the ancient times, when the slopes of the mountain were covered with forest of hazel, beech, oak and alder, young giant warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill went out hunting deer. It is when he met Sadhbh, the daughter of the magician Dearg,  in a form of a white doe. Sadhbh was turned into a deer by a druid Fear Doirich – Dark Man – whom she refused to marry.

The forest is long gone, but the magic remains. Slievenamon has a troubled history, and who knows, may be the Dark Man is to blame.

When driving from Clonmel to Waterford and back, Slievenamon is always in your sight. Seasons change, but Slievenamon doesn’t.

slievenamon

slievenamon

The only change is an occasional layer of snow on the top.

There are a few cute little villages at the foot of Slievenamon. Kilcash is the one from where Slievenamon can be climbed. Another place to visit in Kilcash is Medieval church and graveyard, and the ruins of the Butler Castle behind it.

kilcash church

kilcash graveyard

Standing in the graveyard, I look at the path I am going to take to reach the summit.

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For a fit local resident climbing Slievenamon is a piece of cake, and it takes less than 50 minutes ( elevation 2,365 ft, climb 1500 ft ). People walk there with their dogs.  I have been to the summit only once, when I was much younger. Since then I was only able to make it to the stone wall half way to the summit. The good news – you won’t get lost because there is a distinct track.

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slievenamon

slievenamon

slievenamon

Waterford bridge is 40 km away, but I can clearly see it.

Closer to the summit, it is cold and misty.

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The ‘false summit’ – rather flat, with a pile of rocks (cairn) in the middle ( I am standing on it). Some people pick up a rock at the foot of the mountain and take it to the cairn to add to the pile. I was barely able to take myself up there… The cairn marks an entrance to the underworld, they say. Who knows. A less distinct path takes me a few meters higher to the real summit. Unfortunately I have lost the photograph. There is a waist-high standing stone up there.

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On the other side of the valley there are beautiful Comeragh Mountains. I will write about them in January.

slievenamon

Always nice to see  a friendly face. Walking down the mountain does not take that long.

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And here is a famous Irish song Slievenamon for you to enjoy.

I share a link to the blog Walking in Sonoma County…mostly , and also to La Audacia de Aquiles mythology blog. Please visit and follow 🙂 I will be back with more historical facts and myths about this beautiful mountain.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful weekend!

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache II

canyon road

This is my last post about our Uinta-Wasatch-Cache trip.

Some of Aspen, Gambel Oak and Maple trees started turning red and yellow early in September. Scenic canyon roads that run through Wasatch and Uinta mountains repeat the U-shape of the glacial-carved canyons characteristic for Wasatch range. There are seven such canyons. Little Cottonwood Canyon takes you to the Snowbird and Alta ski resorts, and Big Cottonwood Canyon – to Solitude Mountain resort and Brighton ski resort. If you want to visit famous Park City, home for the very successful 2002 Winter Olympic games, take the equally famous historical Lincoln Highway from Salt Lake City, and turn right at Kimball Junction. If you drive from the airport, it will take you about 40 minutes.

All the ‘bald’ spots on the mountain slopes in the picture below are the future skiing tracks, when they will be covered with the best snow in the world. The Park City Base Area was opened on November 18 ( some other areas on November 23), and it will be close for the summer  season on April 16 2017.

wasatch mountain state park

On our way to Uinta Forest we took the Mirror Lake scenic drive that parallels Provo River. If you don’t know it yet, Steven Shaw resides in the cabin high in the mountains. He is hunting and gathering wild berries, but he loves to have a sandwich now and again, and kind little children always bring with them a sandwich for Steven, and leave it on a rock.

provo river

Steven Shaw is very shy. He won’t show himself and you won’t notice him come and take your offering. We admired Provo river deep beneath our feet, and when we turned around, the sandwich was already gone. True story 😉

Provo River

After driving another few miles, we stopped at the Upper Provo River Falls. With seven rainless weeks, there was very little water flowing, but we could imagine how impressive  this three-cascade waterfall might look.

Upper Provo Falls

We drove to the campgrounds. I have no idea what is this mountain. All of a sudden the sky darkened and the colors became unusually saturated in the low sun. I rushed to take a picture.

uintas

The storm was short living, and after a couple of minutes it was warm and sunny again.

The wildlife in Uinta is abundant with species like Moose, Mountain Lion, Bear, Lynx and even Wolverine, but we didn’t see any of it. In my previous blog I posted two pictures of Mule Deer, and here is another wild beast – a Chipmunk.

chipmunk

I won’t tell you how many pictures of this Chipmunk I brought home. For many of you it is a waste of time and disc space, but it was a stellar day for me. We don’t have chipmunks in Ireland.

Look what he was doing! I didn’t know they eat flower seeds.

chipmunk

chipmunk

chipmunk

chipmunk

chipmunk

We had a great time and answered many questions like Who has cut the rock??

uinta

On they way back, most of us were sound asleep 🙂

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And here is my last picture. After taking off, our airplane made a turn, and we flew over Antelope Island  I wrote about last year. How cool is that 🙂

antelope island

Thank you for traveling Northern Utah with me. I am linking this post to the blogs that feature wildlife photography: NATURE IN THE FOREST OF DEAN AND BEYOND, Travel and Wildlife Adventures and Victor Rakmil Photography. Please visit and follow these blogs!

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache I

canyon road

Summer is long gone, but I still have some pictures from my holidays that I haven’t shared yet. I will mix and divide them between two blog posts.

This canyon road goes through Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest  all the way from Utah to Wyoming. There are countless opportunities for hiking, but with our newborn baby we only did what we could 🙂 These pictures are simple snaps, our family memories.

Jordanelle Reservoir is a good place for landscape photography with all those mountain layers that change the view as you move along the road. This picture was taken from Kamas side of the reservoir, on the go, from the car window. Water level is too low this year, which is not good at all.

jordanelle state park

This cute barn in Kamas looked more beautiful than ever adorned with sunflowers.

kamas

There are many lakes of all sizes in Uinta forest. I am not sure but I think this is the Trial Lake.

uinta

Somewhere around the Mirror Lake Drive we saw a family of Mule Deer.

mule deer

mule deer

More finds 🙂 A Hawk Moth caterpillar …

hawk moth

… and a wasp nest.

wasp nest

Young explorers had a field day 🙂

Uinta forest and mountains are home to moose, elk, mule deer, black bear, cougar and many other smaller animals and birds. There are more than 1700 miles of trails, and people of any age and ability level can find something suitable to spend a day in the wild.

canyon road

I will share more Uinta pictures  in my next blog.

Big Cottonwood Canyon Road takes us to the Silver Lake.

lake

The trail around the lake is only a mile long, easy and family friendly. Half of the trail is a boardwalk, and the other half goes through the forest. If you are in wildflower photography, Silver Lake is the place. There are more than 100 species of plants, among them Shooting stars, White bog orchid, and Elephanthead orchid. I took a picture of wild Columbines…

columbines

… and Aspen trees, still green.

aspen

Sunset over Silver Lake, the end of the trail.

Silver lake

On our way back home we were lucky to observe Mammatus cloud. I was absolutely stunned and almost forgot that I had to take pictures. It is all I have got as we had to turn.

mammatus clouds

mammatus clouds

I am linking this post to the blogs that feature travels and far away land : Global Sojourns Photography,  Adventures , Two Brown Feet, Image Earth Travel. Please visit and follow!

More pictures in my next blog post.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a wonderful weekend!

Seasons and horses

This post was written in May 2015, but something new came up, and the post was left in draft until I found it this week, and rewrote it, and added some new pictures to fit the season. The opening photograph was taken in Kilmokea Country Manor House, the best place for event photography around here.

ireland

The real horses belong to Kildalton Agricultural college. The college offers 18 courses, including Farm Management, Horsemanship, and my favorite Plant Identification & Use. I took the pictures in spring – the time of rejuvenation of life.

ireland

ireland

ireland

horse

This Wisteria grows in beautiful College park.

ireland

I am not sure if the rapeseed field is a college property, but it lays right across the road.

ireland

Short Irish summer is not worth to mention 🙂

horse

You wouldn’t notice a difference between July and October anyway 🙂

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This horse is posing in front of a cottage in Connemara in the end of October.

horse

These two snack on hay in the paddock at the foot of Slievenamon mountain in December.

The last leaves are still hanging on.

Sometimes an occasional sun beam breaks through the fog…

… but  ‘Winter turns all the Summer’s love to grey… Winter takes what the Summer had to say’

horse

Seasons come and go.

I took pictures of a semi-wild horse in winter. These are less fortunate – hairy horses with narrow eyes live outdoors most of the year.

horse

This post is supposed to be about horses, as the title says, but you know how it is with the internet – many titles are misleading, and many contents cannot be trusted.

The truth is that there are other farm animals grazing on the mountain slopes. Like cows. Some of them spend nights under the roof in a warm shed, but some stay outdoors for almost a year. The ‘wild’ cows grow a coat to stay warm.

comeragh

These cows live at the foot of the Comeragh mountains in Clonmel, and walk up and down the steep slope every day.

clonmel

There are also sheep in the mountains, white dots. They look so very lonely in this picture, taken in the middle of February.

sheep

I used to hike for hours, but I have never seen different kinds of animals fight with each other. I mean, I have never seen a horse kick a sheep, or a cow attack a deer, or a sheep give chase to a rabbit. If it is not food, they let it be.

sheep

I wish all of us were wise enough to control our tendencies towards hate and aggression; towards being irritable, demanding and petulant. I wish we didn’t waste our time on being a smaller individual than we have the potential to be.

I also wish that all political leaders demonstrate the best in  judgment as they govern their countries, and never encourage their people to raise a hand against another human being, regardless of their race, political views, or anything else.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! xx

Blaa

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
A blaa /blæ/ is a doughy, white bread bun (roll) speciality; particularly associated with Waterford, Ireland... 12,000 blaas are sold each day.  
There are four bakeries making blaas, two of them in Waterford city – Hickey’s Bakery, and M & D Bakery. The Waterford blaa has been around three hundred years, since the Huguenot settlers introduced this simple bread to the locals. Never cut a blaa with a knife! It has to be torn apart by hand and eaten with butter or any filling of your choice, like rashers or chicken filet.
A student who preferred to stay anonymous, kindly gave me permission to take a picture of his blaa and rashers.
blaa
Blaa has a very special place in the heart of  Waterford people.
The graffiti in my opening photograph is not a blaa advertisement though. The other side of the river Suir in Waterford – Ferrybank – mostly belongs to County Kilkenny, and traditionally, some Kilkenny people risking their lives leave teasing graffiti on The Flour Mills or on the high vertical cliff behind the railway station to annoy  Waterford folks.
The Flour Mills, as they look in my photograph from 2015, don’t exist anymore. This summer the grain silos were taken down first, and the derelict buildings followed.

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There are a few more photographs of the Mills taken in November 2015.

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

waterford mills

Tall Ship Festival 2005. Russian four-masted barque Kruzenshtern with the Flour Mills in background. Happy days.

kruzenshtern

The Mills were always there, ruining pictures 🙂

tall ships 2005

waterford

The nine storey building constructed in 1905 and listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage as ‘an imposing building of national importance’, has been preserved.

demolition

The rest of the mill will have to go.

demolition

There is another ghost on the other side of the river in Waterford City –  the Ferrybank Shopping Centre on Kilkenny/Waterford border, that was completed in 2008 and has never opened. Its cost is € 100M.

ferrybank

And one more ghost is hidden behind the Joe Caslin’s mental health artwork – abandoned Ard Rí hotel.

waterford walls

Ta-da! This picture was taken in 2005 with Ard Rí already abandoned five years prior.

tall ships 2005

But the ghosts are not easy to rid off. Especially in the internet. There still is a booking page for Ard Rí! 🙂

Hope this beautiful Sumac that grows in Ferrybank brightens the story of this less fortunate suburb of Waterford city.

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And here is my latest picture of Ferrybank on the other side of the river Suir – with the Supermoon shining through the clouds 🙂 I didn’t have enough enthusiasm to camp by the river and wait for the clouds to clear away.

supermoon

Thank you for walking around Ferrybank with me! I link this post to Milford Street , Equinoxio  and Geezer 94 – the blogs that are often showcasing history and old buildings. Please visit and follow.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!