Clonmel

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!

 

 

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.

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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.

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

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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

comeragh

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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This Wisteria grows in beautiful College park.

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

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Short Irish summer is not worth to mention 🙂

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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.

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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’

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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

Marlfield village, Clonmel

Marlfield village on the outskirts of Clonmel might be just a small dot on the map, but at least three most visited – and loved – places are there, and it is where I am going to take you this time. In the first picture, you see the St Patrick’s Well site as it looks after the major remodeling and landscaping that took place in the 1960s. The works were funded by the generous donations from the Mayor of Los Angeles Sam Yorty whose mother was native of Clonmel, Mr Arman Hammer and the Irish Israeli society from South California.

This is how the place looked 100 years ago. A large ash tree was growing at the side of the well that could be accessed by walking on the stones through the marshy land ( click on the image to see the source). To be honest, I do like the original look…

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Tear-shaped stone wall surrounds the well. The sight of ripples on the surface of the water both in the well and in the pool makes you look up and check if it is raining. The water is bubbling up from hundreds of tiny springs, and it is so clear that you can bring a cup with you and drink it right there.

St Patrick's Well

Spring water flows from the well through the hollowed stones. Similar medieval design is to be seen in St Brigid’s Well, Co Kildare.

St Patrick's Well

A simple sandstone cross is dated to the 5-8th century. The parish church was built in the 17th century, on the site of a much earlier monastic building –  some fragments of it are visible in the masonry of the walls.

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Inside the chapel there is an altar tomb of Nicholas White who died in 1622, and the White family Coat of Arms. The tomb was brought here in 1805, and there is no body inside it.

St Patricks Well

A flight of stone steps connects this mystical place with the rest of the world, and it is also great for taking photographs from different angles and vantage points.

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More images and stories about St Patrick’s Well in my blog from last year. 

This is the road between the holy well and the village. We will walk this road all the way down to the banks of River Suir.

Marlfield road

This picture was taken from another favorite place – Sandybanks. Well, a former favorite place, because a couple of years ago Clonmel City Council announced their decision to withdraw the summer Lifeguard Service from this very popular bathing spot. It was a shock to the locals when they learned that their favorite traditional bathing area ‘was not suitable for swimming’. Somehow they suspected that the decision had more to do with cutting costs than with the quality of the water.

River Suir

No bathing, so we just take a picture and walk back.

Just a minute walk from the Sandybanks there is an old church that is friendly shared between both Roman Catholics and Church of Ireland. Beautiful avenue of Horse Chestnut trees and the red door always attract photographers.

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Sometimes I walk around the graveyard and read gravestones, but the main reason is that I check on the old Yew tree.

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There is that tree, in the back of the graveyard. It takes three people to put their arms around it. I am coming to check on it once a year. It is quite scary to walk there – the reason why I converted the pictures to B&W 😉

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Marlfield church was built in 1818 on the site of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey. St Patrick’s Well and the church also belonged to the Abbey until it was dissolved in the 16th century. This beautiful window on the back wall of the Marlfield church is the only remnant of the original Abbey that was incorporated into the newer building.

Marlfield church

After the Siege of Clonmel in 1650 the lands of Marlfield, successfully farmed by Cistercian monks for centuries, were bought by the Bagwell family. Marlfield House was completed in 1785 by Colonell John Bagwell. The house was rebuilt after the fire in 1923. The central part of the house is used as an apartment complex, and there is also a conference hall that too can be rented.

Marlfield House

The magnificent conservatory was built by Richard Turner who designed the Botanic gardens in Belfast and Dublin.

Marlfield House

Last but not least favorite is Marlfield Lake. The lake covers six hectares in size, and the water is flowing into it from the St Patrick’s Well, where we began our tour.

Marlfield lake

Generations of local residents have been coming here and feeding generations of the waterfowl since the late 1700s when the lake was developed from a swamp by Stephen Moore.

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ducks

Many species are breeding here, some ducks I have never seen before. There are many swans. The cygnets are shy, but the older birds often start a fight.

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swans

When a visitor with some bread shows up, have your cameras ready.

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There is a tiny picnic area, but you have to keep in mind that the road along the lake is just a regular road, and it can be quite busy.

Marlfield

These photographs were taken over the years, in different seasons.

Thank you for visiting Marlfield village! Hope you enjoyed the walk.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Carey’s Castle: a hidden gem at the foot of the Comeraghs

carey castle

Just about a mile off the Clonmel to Dungarvan road, at the border between Tipperary and Waterford counties, stands the most loved and visited castle in the area.

The castle is located in the beautiful mixed woodlands close to the Glenary River, a tributary of the River Suir. Centuries ago the place was known as Glenabbey. It was a small monastic site that belonged to the Cistercian monastery in Innislounaght, Clonmel, but was abandoned in the 16th century as a result of the Dissolution of the Monasteries initiated by Henry VIII. The ruins of the old buildings and walls can still be seen.

After the monks moved out, the site was granted to Edward Gough, an alderman of Clonmel. There is no record that something remarkable had been happening in the site during the next 200 years, but in the beginning of the 19th century the Carey’s castle was built. At that time, the site was the property of the Carey family, the wealthy schoolmasters who loved history. It is believed that they were the ones who built the castle, because it is a mixture of architectural styles and eras. You see an ancient Irish Round Tower, medieval Norman hall, Romanesque arches and Gothic windows. There was also a walled garden facing the river.

The Careys sold the site in the 1840s when they emigrated to Australia. The next owner was Colonel Nuttall Greene, who soon became bankrupt, and his property was sold off in the Estates Court. The site was abandoned and became derelict.

Carey castle

Carey castle

Carey castle

Carey castle

Carey castle

I always thought this building was an ice house, but now I know it is a chapel :). I love to receive feedback and learn new things.

Carey Castle

This is the other side of the chapel and the path that approaches the site from the east.

Carey castle

This is the path you would walk on from the parking lot after you take a right turn down the hill. The main path continues straight through the woods. It is also beautiful and worth to explore.

Carey castle

This is what you see when you walk down that path. In summer, the view is obscured by the tree branches.

Carey castle

Here the path makes a loop and returns to the woods. A different view from this point. On the right, you see the walled garden.

Carey castle

All the parts of the path are mystically beautiful. You see many ancient ruins who knows how old.

Carey castle

Glenary River is a treasure itself. Quite deep in some places, she even hosts fish. Local teenagers come for a swim in the icy-cold pool, just five minutes walk to the east from the castle.

I walk along the Glenary River out of the woods to the main road. It is quite dark here, and suddenly there is an opening between the trees, and the sheep appear like pale ghosts out of nowhere, startling me.

I hurry up, and in a couple of minutes the sun is shining again, and there are no ghosts anymore. Thistles and Foxgloves are stretching tall to get out of the thick wall of nettles guarding an old farmstead.

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I take some pictures of the gate and old roof, and walk to the parking lot.

Carey Castle is a unique place, open to everyone. How sad it is that people leave all their litter there after having picnics and walking their dogs. Once a year, a local Slovakian/Polish family hosts a Gulash Party in the castle grounds. A huge saucepan of stew is cooked, and families with children stay in the site all the day, and some even over night, sleeping in the tents. Everyone can come if they are well-behaved 🙂  Before the party begins, the hosts are combing the area and picking up all the rubbish left there during the rest of the year. After the party, the place is tidied up again.

There is another Carey’s Castle in the world, a cave-like dwelling in the end of a magnificent trail at the South-West corner of Joshua Tree National Park, USA. Both sites are not officially recognized as tourist destinations, and remain ‘hidden gems’.

Thank you for visiting my favorite place!


Just to let you know.  We have a wee addition to our family 🙂

 


inese_mj_photography Have a wonderful weekend!

Meanwhile in the streets

Gottfried Helnwein

Visiting Saltee Island was a pleasure, but it is the time to return and check out what we have missed while we were away. There are some street scenes and the events that took place in Clonmel and Waterford.

Clonmel Junction festival is the most eventful week in July, filled with live music, street performance, theatre and visual art. Installations of the works A Child for sale by a world renowned artist and Kilsheelan resident Gottfried Helnwein could be seen in various places in the streets of Clonmel.

In my blog post Cry for the Last Child, I wrote about Gottfried and his beautiful castle. His granddaughters Croí and Éala are regular models for his paintings.

Gottfried Helnwein

Lords of Strut  – very talented and very positive comedians from Cork gave a brilliant performance in Clonmel.

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‘Over styled and under dressed’, silly but charming  characters Strut brothers Sean and Seamus,  won the hearts of young and old with their hilarious show, acrobatics, satire and dance.

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The streets of Waterford were not always as deserted as you might think after looking at this picture.

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Historical reenactment of 1916 Easter Rising gathered quite a crowd and took us a hundred years back.

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reenactment

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There is a video of the Reenactment I found on Youtube – I even caught a glimpse of myself in it 🙂

 

All sorts of transportation in The Quay, side by side. I love this street, and I think that most of my Waterford pictures were taken there.

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Irish United Nations Veteran meeting was held in Cathedral Square, just a minute walk from The Quay. Thank you for your service!

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Waterford Spraoi festival is one of a kind. Theatre, music, art, dance and much more is happening in the streets of Waterford on the first weekend of August. Here is my Spraoi 2015 post. I will share only a few pictures this time.

Spraoi orchestra string quartet.

Spraoi

Morbid&Sons, a brand new undertaker business. Way to go, guys!

Morbid&Sons

Tango for all! Dance until dark!

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The sun is setting down and it looks like we are having a rainy day tomorrow 🙂

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Melting gold of the setting sun flows behind the horizon. Darkness comes instead.

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It is a perfect time to see the famous Spraoi monsters in the streets of Waterford City…

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… and listen to the monster style music 🙂

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Don’t be afraid of Spraoi monsters. They are a little bit crazy, but all they want is to have fun.  The only really scary and ugly thing in this world is hate.

Thank you for stopping by and for your interest in Ireland. In my next blog post, we will return to the Ocean and take a very unusual walk 🙂

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Springish

sheep

Spring is the morning of the year…  The Golden Rod by Frank Dempster Sherman  is written about autumn, but I couldn’t find a better description for the season. All the forces of Nature awaken, the Sun is regaining his strength, a seed begins to sprout and a lamb is born. Life is young.

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Morning in the mountains is quiet, hazy and cool. I get out of the car and all the sheep run away. Then they stop, and slowly come back. You think they look at me and pose for a photograph? Not at all. I left the car door open, and it is the music that fascinates the sheep. It is Camille Saint-Saëns, The Carnival of the Animals. I am not joking. The old sheep didn’t move until the music was over. The lamb were not overcome by art to that extent, and soon went around jumping and just being lamb.

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The sun goes up and soon the rolling hills are lit and warmed. The weather in March is never the same too long.

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The fowl of the earth are celebrating spring too. No chicks yet, but I came across some moorhen chick photographs in Sarah Potter blog . They are so cute, have a look ! 🙂 I love these green legs! This moorhen is marching around the pond in Stephens Green Park in Dublin.

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A young gull with dramatic wings looks like a Fallen Angel. In fact, he is just trying to catch a slice of bread.

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I took this picture in The Burren, right beside the Poulnabrone Dolmen. These cheerful sprouts are Lamiaceae family members, but I am not sure what exactly they are.

This picture was taken in Clonmel, between Lady Blessingtons Bath and Raheen Road on St. Patrick’s day 2007. Sadly, this daffodil field doesn’t exist any more. It was leveled during the City Council reconstruction works.

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You wouldn’t believe, but the next three pictures are taken in March too. It was in 2009, we got a word that the famous Magnolia trees in Lismore Castle park were in bloom.

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Camellia, Lismore Castle garden.

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An when you think that the winter is gone, there comes a hailstorm.

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The weather changes in a matter of minutes.

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On days like this, you want to sit in the beach and listen to the surf and the rustling sound of sand…

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…or build a castle.

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They say that Mark Twain once observed “one hundred and thirty six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours”. That must have been in March. Capricious March! Sometimes it is difficult to be nice and balanced in the morning, even if it is the morning of the year 😉

inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!

Make it light

Photography is all about light, even the word itself means ‘writing with light’.

Morning light colors solemn calligraphy of bare trees.

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Rich, copper-colored evening light fills the air with lush thickness.

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I took this photograph in May 2013. I was on my way home when the Moon started coming out of the peach-colored clouds just minutes after the sunset. Astonishingly big, it was slowly rolling behind the mountain ridge. I quickly took some pictures and drove up to the mountain top in hope for a better view.

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Unfortunately, the Moon sank in the thick clouds and left me in the dark. I had to drive down the road that was barely wider than my car. Still, there were a lot to admire, especially the lace of different silhouettes against the dying sunset, and Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at my feet. Photography never ceases! 🙂

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The light can stream through the gaps in the clouds, or between the tree trunks in the forest, creating  crepuscular rays. The rays in this photograph look like they have circled a sample of ferns to be taken to the alien spaceship.

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This is a photograph from my trip to Rome. I visited Vatican, and had a plan to climb up St. Peter’s Basilica Dome. This plan was a reckless affair since I am quite claustrophobic, and at that time I also needed a walking stick. If you have any questions, no, it wasn’t a pilgrimage, and I didn’t expect to come down jumping stairs two at a time, and leaving my walking stick behind. I might write a separate story about that Rome trip.

Anyway, before the epic climb I peeked inside the Basilica. At certain time of the day, you can see crepuscular rays streaming inside from the different windows. I was lucky to observe these beautiful phenomena.

The most interesting thing about light is that its opposite, darkness, doesn’t exist. Darkness is only the absence of light, and therefore we cannot do anything to change or remove darkness itself.  We can affect darkness only with light. However, darkness is a very important opposite – we know what is light only by darkness.

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This is a photograph of my Dad, it was taken in 1937 when he was seventeen. He is my light.

My Dad left this Earth 31 years ago.  I have only a few photographs of him. After he died, Grandma turned to the worse, and one day she managed to put almost all the family photographs in the fireplace. When my mother asked her why, she said that she was afraid. Some day I will write about whom she was afraid from, and why.

My Dad had an extraordinary life. His integrity, tact, good disposition and genuine empathy towards any human being earned him respect from people of different backgrounds and cultures.

‘Learn’ – I heard this word every day. He knew the value of light.

In Jodi Picoult’s book ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ there is a scene where Sara recalls a fight with her sister Zanne about the light left on.  “You can make it dark, but I can’t make it light”,  says Sara. I want to rephrase this sentence – I can make it light. You can make it light. We all can make it light.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful Sunday!

Take it seriously

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I walked through the Viking Triangle in Waterford City on the New Year’s morning  and came across a Christmas Tree graveyard where I took this photograph. Some thirty decorated Christmas trees were dumped there like no longer worshiped idols. The Holidays are over.

Holiday season in Ireland was darkened  by severe and extensive floods that hit the country in the end of December- beginning of January. Property and farmlands are damaged, people are devastated after losing their possessions and security of their homes.

I haven’t been to the flooded areas this year, but I have some pictures taken during the flood in 2009 and 2013.

At this stage, River Suir looks fierce and beautiful – Clonmel 2013.

flood

Carrick on Suir in February, at high tide the same year.

flood

This flood is already getting out of hand…

flood

flood

In summertime,  River Suir can be so shallow that in some places a heron can cross it without getting his bottom wet.  Now the river looks like a lake – you can watch  Cyril Helnwein‘s video and take a 6 km kayaking trip from Clonmel to Kilsheelan – not only down the river…

Unfortunately, there is no fun at all in getting flooded.

For many flood victims, this is not the first time they have been flooded in recent years and they face the current crisis without insurance coverage. Murky brown floodwater, sometimes more than a meter deep, causes permanent damage to almost everything.

Some  farmers have to evacuate their cattle to the neighboring farms. Feed and pastures are destroyed, and it will take months the land to drain and recover its capacity to grow crops. People blame the EU Conservation Program.

Floods have always been around, they are natural. Much of the flooding is  caused by bad planning, allowing  roads and houses to be built on natural flood plains. It seems that unpopular decisions are required, like relocation of  businesses  and people.

Now that the worst seems to be over, it is time to start thinking about the next flood, and take it seriously.

On a lighter note – we can also dream 🙂 This  sweet girl lives in the place where it is snowing in winter. What is she dreaming of?

snow

This lovely girl lives in Ireland. May be she is dreaming of a dry, white winter?

2016

Have a wonderful weekend!

William Despard Hemphill, Clonmel, County Tipperary

Clonmel

Clonmel is one of my favorite towns in County Tipperary – a place rich of history, and surrounded by beautiful landscapes. If you travel Ireland and are interested in photography, it is a place to visit for many reasons.

In 1840 an instruction manual in the use of the daguerreotype was offered by the Dublin Mechanical Institute and the natural Philosophy Committee of the Royal Dublin Society purchased a camera for taking daguerreotypes in the same year. Photography started its journey in Ireland.

Photography was quickly taken up by Ireland’s professional and landowning classes and the residents of Ireland’s big country houses. One of Ireland’s pioneering photographers, William Despard Hemphill was a native of Clonmel

William Despard Hemphill (1816–1902) was born into a large professional middle class Church of Ireland Tipperary family in 1816. After graduating University of St Andrews, he returned to Clonmel and had a successful medical practice, being doctor to both the Lunatic Asylum and the Prison.

Clonmel

Dr Hemphill composed and played music, was an avid orchid grower, turned ivory ornaments and was interested in archaeology, geology, and Waterford glass. He experimented with the latest photographic techniques, won several prestigious awards, and left a vast historical photography record of the 19the century scenes and people. He won fourteen prizes in Dublin, London and Paris. His photographs were praised for excellence of composition and artistic taste.

William Despard Hemphill is best known for his book ‘Stereoscopic illustrations of Clonmel and surrounding country, including Abbeys, Castles and Scenery. With descriptive Letterpress’, which was printed in Dublin, in 1860.

Stereoscopic photography recreates the illusion of depth by utilizing the binocularity of human vision. Stereoscopic photographs, or stereographs, consist of two nearly identical photographs  – one for the left eye, one for the right. Viewing the side-by-side images through a special lens arrangement called a stereoscope helps our brain combine the two flat images and see the illusion of depth. Stereoscopic photographs became very popular after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert received the gift of a stereoscopic viewer at the Crystal Palace exhibition in 1851.

Dr Hemphill’s  “Stereoscopic Illustrations” book comprises two volumes – one is the stereoscopic photographs themselves, the other – the descriptive text. The work is extremely rare; it was never available to the general public, and possibly only distributed  by Hemphill to his aristocratic friends in South Tipperary. Each known copy is unique and differs from the others. The National Library lacks all the photographs. Clonmel County Museum has two full copies containing the photographs, however, they are not on display for the general public .

Clonmel Library has a copy of the volume containing the descriptions to the photographs (no illustrations). If you ask, they will give you the book and you can read it all – 102 pages. It is printed in red & black, with the decorative red border vignettes. A sonnet written by a well-known, or anonymous author, or by William Despard Hemphill himself, opens each chapter. The volume opens with two quotes written in Greek and Latin – by Lucian and John Dryden respectively.

Hemphill

I went around the town to recreate some of Dr Hemphill’s photographs. The bits of information about the scenes I took from that famous book.

In 1857 Dr Hemphill photographed St Mary’s, Clonmel, his parish church shortly before the reconstruction and alteration works. The Western Wing was not altered and looks the same today.

Hemphill

Clonmel

This image depicts a part of the Eastern Wing that was altered during the reconstruction works and no longer exists.

Hemphill

This image of the Quay is taken from a boat. Commercial barges like this one were used before the railway was built in 1854.  Some buildings along the Quay are still there, but the Manor Mills in the background have been demolished.

Quay, Thro’ The Arch Of The Bridge, Clonmel ( 1857-58)

Hemphill

Clonmel

Scot’s Church, Anglesea St, Clonmel (1857-58) with its pretty little Ionic portico

“Clonmel, the assize town and capital of the County of Tipperary, is situated on the River Suir, which here separates the Counties of Tipperary and Waterford, and is built principally on the north side, and partly on some islands in the river, which are connected with each other and the town by bridges of considerable antiquity.” (Descriptive text by William Hemphill)

Hemphill

In the street, you can see a car. It is a Bianconi long car. Bianconi was an Italian man who settled in Clonmel and became a Father of Public Transportation in Ireland. The headquarters of Bianconi’s Transport was in Parnell St nearby.

Otherwise the street hasn’t changed.

Clonmel

Clonmel

Another beautiful place that still exists is The Patrick’s Well and Church.

Hemphill

An old lady selling some religious souvenirs used to sit at the tree every day.

This is what the Patrick Well site looks these days. No one is selling souvenirs any more, but an old man, David, is there almost every day ready to answer your every question about the site and its history.

Clonmel

Clonmel

Clonmel

There are some changes inside the Church. The altar had to be removed because of the repeated acts of vandalism, and only the base of it remained intact. David showed me some carvings I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise: a figure of Jesus with the fields and buildings of Jerusalem in  background.

Hemphill

Clonmel

And here are a few more pictures of Clonmel taken over the years. Different seasons, different vantage points, different moods. Lovely town that has a tiny Tourist office in the Mary’s church premises, because there are very little tourists.  A gem that is not hidden, just overlooked.

Clonmel

Clonmel

Clonmel

Clonmel

Clonmel

Clonmel

So, back to Dr Hemphill again. His home was demolished and a shopping center was built where a beautiful garden used to be.

Clonmel

I went to the parking lot and asked random  people if they knew who William Despard Hemphill is. Two elderly gentlemen knew to tell me about the Hemphills’ estate. Not that he is completely forgotten – in 2013, Clonmel County Museum presented a stunning exhibition of the photographs of William Despard Hemphill – Silent Exposure. It was my first experience viewing stereoscopic photographs.

I went to his parish church graveyard and found his grave. There is a beautiful Celtic cross with the inscription that says: The memory of the just is blessed.

Clonmel

Thank you for walking the streets of Clonmel with me!

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Light, Water and Firmament

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It is raining all the week: even the birds don’t want to sing any more.  Everything is soaked with water.  “Let’s there be light!”… There is no light, and the days a grey from morning to dusk.  Not that I complain. It is a good enough time for photography.

gorsemonores

sheepres

I stop my car and take some pictures. Suddenly the hail storm begins, and in a blink of an eye the hailstones cover the front seat and dashboard while I am frantically scrolling the car window up.  The hailstones are melting in my hands…  My “models” run away. Oh well..

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a2015-04-28 comeraghshailstorm 115

All the way across the pass, driving down to Clonmel, Tipperary, I had the voice of Lisa Gerrard in my head.  As far as I could see, there was not a single human around. Low, heavy clouds and distant blue mountain tops; ravines filled with fog … This place is right for me.

I chose this video for my post – Gregory Colbert‘s study of interactions between humans and animals, and a beautiful song The Host of Seraphim by Dead Can Dance.

Now we walk down to the sea.

 

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The sand trees are as fascinating as the frost flowers on the window glass.

036 annestown tiffemonores

039 annestown resmono

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062 annestown tifferesmono

Is it a message? I have a sinking and sobering feeling that there are countless messages of a great importance that we either miss or cannot read.

Lisa Gerrard –  Seven Seas From  album ‘Twilight Kingdom’

inesemjphotography Have a peaceful weekend!

 

September 2004-2014

foliage

A Calendar of Sonnets: September

By Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down. 
The gentian’s bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun. 
The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook. 
From dewy lanes at morning 
the grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies. 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer’s best of weather, 
And autumn’s best of cheer. 
But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair. 
‘T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.

I think that this colourful poem and my picture go together quite nicely.

In May I posted a Photography: May 2003-2014 set of images. I am doing it again,  “one day of one September”. Isn’t photography all about memories? 🙂

2004

september2004

This is the house I grew up in. It is the back yard, these windows face the lake; the front yard used to merge with a large ancient forest.  The building is about 200 years old.  In 2004 we traveled around visiting all the places that are dear to us, and I took this photograph. In 2010 the new owner cut the forest down.

2005

september2005

I love trees. This Monkey Puzzle ( Araucaria) alley is almost gone due to the old age.  Last year I visited the place again, and it doesn’t look like in this picture anymore.

2006

september2006

St Canice’s Cathedral grounds, Kilkenny.  I call this image Dwellings: Past, Present, Future.

2007

september2007

Galtee Mountains.  That green patch down there is a forest. We are half way to a beautiful mountain lake, icy cold and transparent like a crystal. I came there again two years ago, solo. Walked through the forest, took some pictures. I didn’t plan to walk to the lake, of course, but it was nice to know that it is there, just a couple of hours away.

2008

september2008

This picture was taken in the park in Limerick.  I think it was my most uneventful, and overall miserable trip ever.  Never been to Limerick again.

2009

september2009

There is a tiny road in Clonmel going up the mountain. People walk or drive it to climb to the Holy Cross and get a bird’s eye view. This old man is walking down  that road with his cows. He and his brother live ( lived?) right around the corner, so his flock doesn’t interrupt traffic too much. I stood in the street watching them and tears came up to my eyes. God bless old people.

2010 

september2010

This isn’t a result of photo editing: all the colors are natural.  Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake. Abundant wildlife, beautiful scenery, solitude and tranquillity.

2011

september2011

A friend invited me to take a trip to Connemara. We had two fun days in spite of the weather.

2012

september2012

These clouds are something to remember.

2013

september2013

A big sister.

2014

september2014

This picture is here because I am  saying good bye to the river.

Thank you for reading about my Septembers.  What about yours?  I would love to hear 🙂

Photography tip of the day: More DIY  🙂 Take pictures through plastic bag, stained glass, plastic bottles, magnifying glass,  etc. Cover your “filters” with colored vaseline.  You will get interesting effects depending on your lenses.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!