Hunger games

Sheela na gig

three castles

Shortly before my holidays I had some business to attend in Kilkenny, and used this as an opportunity for a detour through the countryside. I took the Freshford Road and turned right to Three Castles. This is a beautiful road with some very nice spots for photography. Because my friend used to live there, it is a ‘memory lane’ to me as well. The first picture was taken from Martin Campion pub doors.

According to the Lonely Planet, there is 0 things to do in Three Castles, Ireland. I object to that. There is a castle, church and graveyard, and some day I will put up a post about them. This time I only took one picture of the castle, from the road – I think it looks nice in b&w.

three castles

Also, there is a beautiful limestone bridge, dated 1790. I walked a little bit further and found a roadkill – a huge pine martin. I was very sad for the unfortunate animal. Wildlife in Ireland is scarce. I took a picture but didn’t feel like posting, because the carcass was badly damaged.

threecastles bridge

After driving through Three Castles, I turned to Ballyragget. The village of Ballyragget was named after le Raggeds who had lands here in the 13th century. This castle was built in 1495 and belonged to the Mountgarret Butlers who lived here until 1788. Richard Henry Piers Butler, 17th Viscount Mountgarret, died in 2004. He served in Irish Guards – well, some of the Mountgarrets were in opposition to the crown in the 17th century and distinguished themselves by defense of Ballyregget castle.

There is no access to the castle grounds, so I just took two pictures from the road.

ballyregget

ballyregget

Oh, how could I forget! I bought a .99 in Ballyragget! A .99 is the name for and Irish cone ice cream, the best in the world 😉 If you happen to drive through Ballyragget, buy one in the local store.

After enjoying my .99, I left Ballyragget and turned to Lisdowney, a tiny village on the border with Co Laois [ lee-sh]. I have fond memories about the place and the church where I once helped with the Christmas music rehearsal. Some day I will share more pictures and stories.

These pictures of the countryside don’t need much comments.

lisdowney

horses

lisdowney

Irish graveyards are special. If you are interested, you might check the link – a friend of mine takes part in the project Historic Graves. This is St Bridget’s, Aharney,  graveyard.

lisdowney

You probably wonder, why this title, and where is Sheela? Now we are getting there! 🙂 My plan was to drive to Cullahill and take a hike through the forest. When I approached the village, I took this picture of the Cullahill castle ruin. I zoomed it to see what kind of bird was sitting on the electrical wire, and then I noticed something interesting on the castle wall!

cullahill

A Sheela! There was a Sheela na gig on the castle wall! I didn’t have a longer lens – you can have a closer look if you open the link.

There are a few theories why people placed the sheelas on the churches and castles – I guess they had some benefits from doing that. It is amazing how this one survived the centuries and the destruction. They say there are 101 sheelas found in Ireland, but most of them in museums.

cullahill

I was so delighted about the sheela, and so proud that I got the picture.

This is the Northern wall of the castle, badly damaged by cannons of Cromwellian forces in the 17th century. The hill of Callahill – where I was heading – is hidden right behind the castle.

cullahill

Across the road from the castle there is a ruin of a chapel.

cullahill

My hike was over before it even started. I was driving that extremely narrow road to the hilltop, mortified with the thought that someone might drive downhill and knock me off the road to my death. When I reached a parking spot, I quickly turned around and drove back even more horrified, because this time the abyss was on my side of the road. There was one car parked, and fortunately no one else felt like hiking that afternoon. I even didn’t take any pictures of the hill.

On my way back  I took a picture of this property near Freshford. It is for sale. Thatched roof looks so cute.

freshford

The sky finally cleared and  I drove home.

lisdowney

Thank you for taking the trip with me!

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Red, orange, yellow..

autumn

A good sunny day is not something we enjoy often in the end of November.  I went down to People’s Park to take pictures of my favorites, the Beech trees, generously tossing their gold at the sparse sun rays.

autumn

I don’t know how my mind wanders, but I ended up thinking about “Hunger Games”.  Must be that golden fire, and upcoming movie release this week.

Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat (From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1).  “Red, orange, yellow” – a good song.

I like Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins did a great, spotless job, regardless of what some critics say. The language is rich and intelligent, the plot never gets boring. I am always curious about what the future may be like, and what others think of the future. I wonder, does it matter how we picture our future.  I guess it does.

autumn

People’s Park is not flooded yet, but Kilsheelan Bridge was closed due to the flood.  Here is my summer post, and this is how the place  looks these days: all the land is flooded up to the foot of the hill. I was there early in the morning to catch the rising sun. It was so bizarre to see all those huge trees standing in the high pink water.

flood

flood

This bridge is 200 years old, and can survive many more centuries.

I so hope tomorrow will be kinder.

The Secret Sisters  – Tomorrow Will Be Kinder (From the Hunger Games)

Barrow Railway Bridge, Co. Wexford, was built  by Architect Sir Benjamin Baker in 1906 and closed to passenger traffic in 2010.

It is the longest railway bridge in Ireland  –  2,131 feet long. There was an opening section to allow ship access up the river. At the western end the  railway enters a 217 yards long tunnel almost immediately.  Magnificent construction, especially for this rural area, it is not designed for walking over – a huge gaps between the ties will make your heart sink. We went there to do the test shoots. I did feel like I was in the District 13 somewhere:)

bridge

There is another relict in the area – a sunken boat.

river

All these abandoned constructions and machinery  look like a part of a dystopian world.  Things seldom happen suddenly.  We are creating our future step by step, item by item, decision by decision.

I so hope our grandchildren will be safe.

autumn

sunset

Taylor Swift – Safe and Sound ( Hunger games)

Do you ever think about the distant future?  Is there anything you still can change?

Photography tip of the day: For the editing software users. Make yourself collections of interesting backgrounds, sky and clouds, textures, and also a color-picker resources, like different human faces, etc.

inesemjphotographyHave a great day!