River Suir

River Suir burst its banks

I apologize for the silence.

To keep the blog looking updated, I add some more November pictures of a spectacular flood of the River Suir.

On the following day the rain ceased and the flooded area slightly shrank and was disconnected from the river. It will eventually dry up in summer.

The river remains swollen and the walking trail flooded.

Heron doesn’t mind.

Thank you for your kind support.

Have a wonderful week!

St. John’s River: Confluence

This and the following four posts are dedicated to the Friends of St. John’s River.


Waterford is situated along the beautiful River Suir – the river one cannot miss. Many visitors, however, might never realise that there is another river sneaking behind the Waterford Crystal House – St. John’s River, which, according to her Friends, represents the heart of the city. About a mile from the Rice bridge River Suir curves to the SE direction. Right before the curve is where two rivers meet.

Until the 18th century, St. John’s River didn’t have banks – there was a marshland and a pool of water that filled up at high tide and almost emptied at low tide. The pool was drained, the city expanded, and St. John’s River was contained within the banks reinforced with stone all the way to the River Suir. Here is some more history.

We know where the mouth of St. John’s River is, but where is the source? I don’t know it, but we will walk as far as we can and try to find it out.

Meanwhile, lets stay at the mouth of the river a little longer and enjoy the wildlife.

This heron at Marina hotel is wise enough to understand that photographers cannot fly over the fencing.

This gull is probably an adult non-breeding Herring gull.

These two look like young Great black-backed gulls. My knowledge of the juvenile gull classification is almost nonexistent.

One ‘teenager’ annoying the other ūüôā

The cutest group of Black-headed gulls in their winter plumage. I have no idea what is that ‘stranger’ they have adopted.

The last look at the River Suir from the Scotch Quay before we are off to follow St. John’s River through the city.

We walk to the Georges Quay. The unnamed metal pedestrian bridge connects to the Adelphi Quay.

Gigantic red buoy in the Georges Quay is a lovely bright detail among the grey surroundings.

Pigeons are heading to the William Street Bridge. So are we.

We cross to the other side of St. John’s River. William Street bridge was built between 1780-1820. It is a single arch humpback bridge.

Pigeons are foraging on the walls.

We pass the car park and enter City Courthouse grounds. Courthouse was built to the design of Terence O’Reilly on the site of the ruins of St Catherine’s Abbey in 1841. Many of the dead from the 1604 outbreak of plague were buried in these grounds. Courthouse was recently refurbished and extended. In 2016, after the epic All-Ireland hurling semi-final, Kilkenny flag was put out at the top of the Courthouse .You might remember my blog post where I mentioned the long lasting rivalry between our two counties divided by River Suir.

I am mostly interested in starlings residing in the grounds.

Charming lattice work iron bridge over St. John’s River connect Courthouse grounds with People’s Park. The bridge was opened in 1857 by then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland William Frederick Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle, and named Carlisle Bridge for him.

In the “waste and weary swamp covered with dank and fetid water“, People’s Park was laid out in 1857, after the marshland was drained and St. John’s River diverted and contained in the banks. The “Orb” in the picture is a sculpture incorporating water continuously flowing over it. The sculpture was created by Tina O’Connell, and installed in 2002 in the place of a beautiful Victorian fountain which was vandalized beyond repair.

Look back at the Courthouse ( I just love this bridge).

Blackheaded gulls on the Carlisle bridge.

One more look back.

This is the end of today’s walk. We leave People’s Park and walk into town again. Hardy’s Bridge below was built in 1841/1842, and commemorates the captain of Admiral Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839).

We resume our walk along the St. John’s River in two weeks. Thank you for joining the tour.

www.inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

White Christmas

Waterford got plenty of snow last winter. Everything looked so neat.

In the beginning, the falling snow melted after touching the ground. After a month, it started to stay longer and longer.

I am pretty sure that this House of Waterford Crystal employee didn’t have ‘shoveling snow’ in his job description.

After a couple of days like that, people started storing bread and milk.

Then the storm came.

The following morning Waterford was all white and desolate.

I walked right in the middle of the former streets.

South Kilkenny on the other side of River Suir also looked quiet.

I walked past the Rice bridge with my bag of bird seed and apples, cleared the snow from the places with the bird tracks, and tossed a good few handfuls on the ground. Two bridges were barely visible through the falling snow.

Back in town, I learned that Centra across the bus station was the only shop that was open. By the size of the queue outside the shop I could tell that people ran out of bread already.

Reginald Tower has seen snow before. At least in 1987.

When I tried to walk through the smaller streets, sometimes I had to turn back – the drifts were higher than my knees. I know it sounds pathetic to the readers from Canada or Norway.

The other half of my apples went to the flock of cute visitors from Iceland – Redwings.

The storm doesn’t calm down, and I am sorry for the little Redwings. On a day like this, it is nice to be inside, cuddled up with an old friend ūüėČ

I didn’t have enough confidence to build a snowman in the street, but after returning home I could not resist anymore and built a tiny snowman on my windowsill. Snow in Ireland is a rare occurrence. You never know if you live to see another snowfall.

My baby cacti plants are obviously excited about the snow and both sprout flowers.

Unfortunately, these are events of the past. White Christmas is still a dream this December.

Today the streets look as normal – no snow, no excitement.

Of course we have decorations, pony rides, carousels and Ferris wheels, like we always have had at this time of the year, but we are so missing those crystals of frozen water!

I guess we have to be happy with what we have.

Merry Christmas, Friends!

Hope you always find peace, and give your heart to everything you do.

 

PS: More music on Thom’s blog¬†The Immortal Jukebox – C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Alphabet throughout December.

SPRAOI – Source to Sea

SPRAOI 2017

As always, the three-days long festival culminates in a spectacular creative parade Sunday night. Every parade has a theme. Source To Sea¬†is the theme for this year’s 25th anniversary Parade. It is all about River Suir.

SPRAOI 2017

I have written about River Suir on many occasions, and I know I will write again :).

River Suir is 185 km ( 115 mi) long with the average flow rate of 76.9 cubic metres per second – ¬†and we love every drop of it! River Suir begins on the slopes of Devil’s Bit Mountain in County Tipperary and flows south to Waterford Harbour where she enters the Atlantic Ocean.

River Suir flows past many castles, and she has witnessed many bloody battles.

Snaking through the countryside, River Suir grows in size and beauty. She is a home to many creatures, real and mystical, and her secrets are well kept, some of them hidden in the thick of her islands.

Here is everything you need to know about River Suir – animals, fowl, fairies and humans living here since the world began.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

It is literally raining on our parade, but the rain is not going to bring our spirit down.

SPRAOI 2017

Heron is one of my Suir favorites. These birds are perfect for slow shutter speed shots since they can stay motionless for hours. This one has caught a rainbow trout and now is trying to swallow it whole.

heron

Some walking exercises after a great lunch.

heron

They have a heron here too. No fish eating demonstrations though.

SPRAOI 2017

They even have an otter! I don’t have any picture of a live otter…

SPRAOI 2017

Many floats represent fishing.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

And of course there is a fish. A gigantic Rainbow trout.

SPRAOI 2017

This mechanical swan looks very real.

SPRAOI 2017

swan

An army of dragonflies and their Queen.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

And of course nothing of this would have happened without 200 artists and volunteers.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

The Parade ended at a quarter to 11 pm concluded with firework finale which I never take pictures of. Fireworks are for watching.

river suir

Thank you for visiting SPRAOI and River Suir!

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful weekend!

Take it seriously

joy res

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 РClonmel 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 ūüôā 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!