Photography

It has been four years

My Fourth Blogoversary is approaching, and it makes me sad that I have to take a break. I will resume posting in June.

Today I am sharing some ideas for my future posts. There will be birds, as always.

There will be animals. This bunny crossed the road in front of my car and just sat there. The picture was taken through the dusty windscreen, but it is the only picture I have as the rabbits don’t usually pose for you like that.

There will be some trips to beautiful places. This white cloud landed on the mountain ridge in Killarney.

Of course we will go to the Comeragh Mountains and explore some more.

I will also share my adventures in the Heritage Park.

I hope to make it to Saltee Islands again, and I also have a family history trip planned for a blogger friend. This year is supposed to be better than the previous one. Sorry for this long break, it didn’t work out like I expected it would, but I will still be around. If you want to read something on this blog, there is an Archives button and a list of blog posts from February 2014 to February 2018.

Thank you for your friendship and understanding.

www.inesemjphotography.com Love and best wishes to all!

Life of a donkey

Donkey Sanctuary

Donkeys are the most misunderstood and abused animals around the world.

  Bonnie Jo Campbell


Last summer I visited The Donkey Sanctuary farm in Liscarroll, Co Cork. The farm is a home for 127 donkeys ( the number might have changed), but the Sanctuary has over 1800 donkeys in their care, about 500 of them re-homed. How did it happen that so many donkeys had to be rescued? Sadly, in order to claim agricultural subsidies many farmers use donkeys as a low-cost means of reaching the minimum stocking density required. The cost of castrating the young males is far higher than their value, and the donkeys that are left to fend for themselves in the fields would breed all the year round. Also, if a donkey gets sick it is often cheaper to buy a new donkey than to take it to the vet. On Done Deal website you can get a donkey for as little as €50, and often “to a Good Home free”. All of this contributes to the high numbers of neglected and abandoned donkeys nationally.

Donkey

I came to the sanctuary on my way to Killarney and had less than an hour to look around and enjoy the company of sweet donkeys. I have always had a soft spot for goats and donkeys.

There is a cute picnic area in the farm, and everything is tidy and homey.

Donkey Sanctuary

In this building you can buy some donkey-related souvenirs and make a donation. You can adopt a donkey for a donation of €25 a year.

Donkey Sanctuary

After I made a donation, Margaret and I had a lively conversation about the Sanctuary. There are three more donkey farms in Ireland, she said, but only this one is open for visitors. They are not a breeding farm, but sometimes they get a pregnant female. No baby donkey this time though.

This cat deserves a picture. His eyes were permanently wide-opened which has probably something to do with his busy schedule as the mouse hunter in the farm.

Over the years, I have taken many donkey pictures. I often make them black and white to express the sadness I feel about the life of a donkey.

Donkey

Donkey

Donkey

Donkey

I have seen them careless and playful too.

Donkey

Daddy, mommy and a little photo-bomber in background.

Donkey

With his mommy a couple of months later.

Donkey

Some facts about donkeys:

There are five main breeds and cross-breeds of donkey in Ireland: Grand Noir du Berry ( black donkey);  hinny, the offspring of female donkey and a male horse; mule; miniature donkey, and a shaggy Poitou donkey.

Donkeys can live up to 50 years. They are social animals and it is not good to keep a donkey as a lone animal. Donkeys are stoical by nature and won’t show that they are in pain. Proverbial stubbornness of the donkey can indicate that the animal is simply afraid. Being safe is important for donkeys.

Donkey

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1972. Many things have changed since, and many donkeys have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but there is a 40 years old donkey still living in the farm. The average age of the other donkeys is 10 years, which is an indication of an economic downturn in Ireland a decade ago.

Katie is a volunteer from The Netherlands. She is a donkey whisperer 🙂 Katie explained me the ‘mystery’ of the yellow and red collars: red means a boy and yellow a girl. And there are the names written on the collars!

Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey

Donkey

Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey

I found a video on YouTube, Castletown Donkey Derby, 1994. It is fun but still I am sorry for the donkeys.

 

When a donkey brays, the other donkeys listen.

Donkey Sanctuary

Jason the donkey brays his heart out, and I am delighted to hear his performance.

Donkey Sanctuary

A humble man’s helper, donkey costs almost nothing to keep. A little bit of care is all he needs – hoof trimming, shelter, access to water. Civilization has used the poor donkey badly, and as if it is not enough, donkey’s meat and hide are the subject of trade in some countries.

I wish we lived in an ideal world where nobody is hungry, cold and lonely, and the ability to hurt others is erased from human genome.

Donkey

Thank you for reading and bearing with me.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a great week!

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

This is drifting and that is the Tannery. All in Portlaw, Co Waterford. Visit their Facebook page and save the date of their next drift day in your calendar.

Tannery Drifting

I will write more about the Tannery some other day.  This post is all about drifting.

A fan of Fast And FuriousI am happy that just a half an hour drive from Waterford there is a place where I feel so wonderful. I am truly grateful to those who run the local ‘drifting rink’ in the old parking lot of the derelict tannery. So many young lads stay out of trouble because they are busy doing something good. Something they enjoy doing.  This short amateur YouTube video gives you an idea about the atmosphere on the site. The drivers come to the Tannery from as far as Donegal.

To take these pictures I pan my camera along with the moving cars. I use a low shutter speed – not faster than 1/30 sec- and usually focus either on the driver or on the surface of the car that is close to the driver. You can guess that using this technique only a tiny fraction of the shots can be called a keeper, 10% may be, but I love giving the shot a feeling of motion rather than freezing the action. If the environment doesn’t add to the shot, it is better to leave it blurred. It would be a different story if I took pictures of a swimmer or surfer: the waves look gorgeous around a surfer 🙂

You can tell that car is moving if the wheels are spinning. The cars are not necessarily moving straight in these pictures even if they look so.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Some drivers like to impress the spectators with a cloud of smoke.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

I make myself comfortable on the concrete barrier. From here I can see everything quite close, and if I turn around I can see the cars on their way to the ‘drifting rink’ and back.

The last advice before the start?

Tannery Drifting

Age doesn’t matter, we all love drifting.

Tannery Drifting

I think I have picture of these people in the same place but in their winter clothes 🙂 The tires are gone though. Somebody put them on fire.

Tannery Drifting

Auto Chem, one of my favorite teams. I move my rug so that the weeds wouldn’t get into my next picture.

Tannery Drifting

All kinds of minor accidents happen during the drifting. Tire blowouts are the most common. I have seen a deflated tire hula-hoop, roll away, make a circle and return back to the car.

This car was doing just great, and then there was a loud boom.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

This car is loosing its rear bumper but the driver never bothers to stop. After a few seconds the bumper frees itself from the car and flies away.

Tannery Drifting

This car hit the tires during the drift and got its bumper damaged.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Old tires can be quite agile when pushed.

Tannery Drifting

“Sorry, give us a second!”

Tannery Drifting

Sometimes a car has to be pushed using manpower.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

After the drift.

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Tannery Drifting

Some lads make alterations to their cars. I am not an expert to understand the purpose of this one. Improved aerodynamics or an emergency exit? Looks cute anyway.

Tannery Drifting

I take a peek inside the car.

Tannery Drifting

The cars are so clean that it makes me ashamed of mine…

Tannery Drifting

They use a motorcycle engine in this car. Doesn’t it look like a heart?

Tannery Drifting

I hope you love cars as I do. Enjoy your January, and if you are drifting stay focused like the driver in the picture.

Tannery Drifting

www.inesemjphotography.com  Have a wonderful week!

Year of The Dog

Not exactly now, but soon in February the world will enter the Year of the Dog. Earlier this year I visited the Deise Animal Sanctuary in Ballymacarbry, Co Waterford to take some pictures for this blog post. Here is a link to their Facebook page.  The page is active, and a phone number is also available on the page for those who want to come over or donate.

This is Patricia Edwards. Pat. She and her partner Rob came to Ireland from the UK 20 years ago. Pat and Rob have a small holding in the Comeragh mountains where they established The Deise Animal Sanctuary about decade ago. Pat used to work as an Animal Health Trading Standards inspector in Wales, and she is familiar with the matters related to animal welfare. It is certainly very useful, but the greatest thing about Pat is her big heart and unconditional love towards all creatures.

Many kinds of abused, neglected and abandoned animals and birds found their way to this happy place. I am a cat person, so I asked about cats and learned that there were fifty cats at the moment, most of them sleeping in the barn till the evening meal. Some day I will come back and write a proper blog about all the residents, but this is just a short Dog Post from a Cat person who wishes some happiness in the Yang Earth Dog Year as anyone else does.

The dogs have plenty of space to run and play in the afternoon. When I came to the Sanctuary, most of the dogs were locked in their enclosure, and started barking as I approached. There were probably twenty or more dogs inside, and some more dogs followed me from the gate. Pat told me to open the enclosure and get in to take photographs. As I went in, all the dogs, big and small, came closer and instead of taking pictures I was patting their backs and rubbing their heads for another half and hour. I was in tears. I could see the signs of abuse and mistreat, and Pat also told me some horror stories about how some dogs were rescued and what they had been through, and it just broke my heart to see the trust and love to a stranger these dogs expressed. I felt so ashamed for my species.

After all the interested got their share of cuddling and ear and head rubbing, I walked around and took some pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of dogs were locked – quarantine?

And this young pup was also locked. I don’t know what he went through, but I didn’t see any trust in his eyes. He probably needs some time to forgive.

On my way home I was thinking about all these lucky survivors who ended up in the Dog Paradise here in Comeraghs, and about those unlucky ones who died of neglect and abuse, or were euthanized because they had injuries not compatible with life. The legislation related to the animal welfare in Ireland has to be revised as cruelty to animals is on the rise.

They say that a Year of The Dog is generally an eventful year of good changes in mentality and lifestyle. A step up for humanity. Let’s hope that 2018 won’t be any different and all the changes we face are positive and beneficial to us. Please, 2018, be a good dog! 😉

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers! ❤

PS For the next six months I am planning to blog every second week.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great New Year party! 🙂

December

Waterford

Something exceptional happened, worth to mention. We have got a snowfall in Waterford.

It didn’t last long though. When I finally got downstairs and limped out in the street, there was almost nothing to see. I had to use a slow shutter speed to make the falling snow visible in the pictures.

Waterford

Aoife and Strongbow endured the snowfall well, despite their old age. Their marriage took place in August 1170, the day after the capture of Waterford by the Norman forces sent by Henry II and led by Strongbow who at that time was called Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare.

Waterford

But the Vikings came here first. They arrived in the 9th century and created a town in 914. The history of their reign is very complicated and violent, but so where the times.


As we are speaking about the Vikings – here is a link to the blog run by hamsters   of amazing author who wrote one of my favorite books  – The Viking and the Courtesan. Shehanne Moore, thank you for your fantastic books! Please visit Shehanne’s blog!


A local artist John Hayes envisaged a giant Viking sword carved out of a whole tree.  John Hayes is a well known carver, and I have already posted photographs of some of his other work: Greenway train  and   The Angel of Fenor.    You can read about the  Viking Sword     and here is a video I found on YouTube. You can come to Waterford to marvel at the carvings as the work is completed and the sword has been placed on Bailey’s New Street, in so-called Viking Triangle. The street starts from the Reginald Tower where you can find the source of inspiration – a Viking sword made in the 9th century in Norway.

 

 

And this is the sword itself. It is 20 m long and carved out of a single Douglas fir. A viking house in background is the place of the virtual reality show King of the Vikings. Don’t miss it on your visit to Waterford. You will find yourself  barely escaping arrows and axes, fire and deep waters, right in the middle of the Viking Invasion. Very fun 🙂

Waterford

Hopefully, John’s sword will be recognised as a world record.

Waterford

By the way, John Hayes also built this giant post box for the letters to be delivered to Santa. The box stands under the mirror roof of the Apple Market.

Waterford

I am not sure what I think about this roof, but I do love the reflections in the mirrors.

Waterford

The days are very short in December. In early hours of the morning when the lucky people were supposed to watch the Geminids, I was driving through the slashing rain to pick up my prescription. As much of an optimist as I am, I took my camera with me. To my surprise, outside the city the sky was clear and the thin waning crescent  Moon was so pretty with Jupiter below and Mars on the right. I had to crop Mars out because it was quite far and didn’t add to the picture, but I included the Waterford bridge. It was at about 6.30 in the morning. I saw two shooting stars while driving, but nothing major, no balls of fire or anything like that. I wish I had more time so that I could stand there until the dawn.

Waterford

This picture was taken 12 hours later.

Waterford

Last night I ventured out again to see if I can get some more pictures for this blog. There was a charity event in the Holy Trinity church and the gates were open. I used the opportunity and took pictures of churchyard and tombs.

The horse ride must be fun. Except, I think the carriage full of people is too heavy for two horses. I remember there were four horses in the previous years.

I set up my camera to take pictures of the Waterford Eye. I am not sure if I should take a ride. I might, but may be another day 😉 I am playing with the shutter speed – don’t want to get just a monochrome blurred disc. This picture was taken at 10 seconds, as the wheel is quite slow. The light show gives me the opportunity to get very different patterns which is really fun. The passing cars leave a red line in the picture.

Last December I took pictures of the smaller Vintage Ferris wheel. I might try out a ride on that one 😉

I walk to the other side of the wheel and take more pictures. Then I start experimenting with zooming the lens with a slow shutter speed after every three seconds ( shutter speed minimum 5 seconds; I didn’t want a completely blurred disc). I like the results 🙂

But what about Christmas? I didn’t see a single item that could be attributed to Christmas… until I looked down… wait, what is it there, under the porch, way lower than the pavement? A Nativity set! Tiny figures hidden from the people’s eyes, with the background made of garbage bags. Merry and bright it was. Sort of.

Political correctness is frowning at the use of the C-word, but I have never cared of anything political. It is the holiday I celebrate. What do you celebrate? Awesome! I already love your holiday, and your recipes 😉 Let’s celebrate together, and let’s hope your holiday will never get into the Political Correctness Naughty List 😉

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a wonderful week!