Oct 232014
 

Autumn in West Cork

The Beara Peninsula in the distance is the backdrop for Whiddy Island nestling in the mouth of Bantry Bay as splashes of sunshine illuminate portions of the headland on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.

Patches of sunshine on Sheep's Head,  Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay and the Beara Peninsula in the distance

Patches of sunshine on Sheep’s Head, Whiddy Island in Bantry Bay and the Beara Peninsula in the distance

 

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I met this magnificent gentleman on the Sheep’s Head peninsula, m friend Karen nicknamed him ‘Gerald’

Ram on Sheep's Head Peninsula

Ram on Sheep’s Head Peninsula

 

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This lovely stone cottage is in the upland valley of Coomkeen on the Sheep’s Head.  Beautifully restored, complete with chimney and curtained front door, this little house is a mystery.  Although there are no overhead cables visible it has outdoor lighting and even a light sensor.

Why does it not have any windows?

Windowless Cottage

Windowless Cottage

 

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Tough and hardy but appearing delicate and fragile lichen, grows abundantly along the roadside and on the ditches.  Once used as a natural dye for wool, lichen is an indicator of fresh, clean, unpolluted air

Lichen

Lichen

 

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The Stone Circle is just outside Kealkill village and up a steep hill. It was raining during this shot and the far hills are partially cloud covered giving the location an atmospheric feel

Kealkill Stone Circle

Kealkill Standing Stones

 

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Our Bronze Age people favoured hilltops to erect their Stone Circles

This one is looking across the hills of West Cork towards Gougane Barra. Just down to the left from this view point is Bantry Bay with the Sheep’s Head Peninsula to the south and the Beara Peninsula on the northern shore

Kealkill Stone Circle

Kealkill Stone Circle

 

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A view from the Healy Pass across the rugged, stark landscape of West Cork with the road winding it’s way down to the little village of Adrigole. In the background are the hills of the Sheep’s Head peninsula and nestled in the pocket between, it is possible to glimpse Bantry Bay

The Healy Pass connects Adrigole Bridge in Co Cork to Lauragh Bridge in Co Kerry, a distance of eight miles.

So named because it was built during the period of the Great Hunger (1847) with the support of local man, politician and first  Governor General, Timothy Michael Healy.  Healy was aware of the need to open the passage in an effort to alleviate the suffering of the people of West Cork (one of the worst affected areas of Ireland) during the Great Hunger.

This ancient track through the mountains between Cork and Kerry  on the Beara Peninsula was previously known as Bealach Scairt (the way of the sheltered caves) It was the only route in this area that connected both counties which were otherwise isolated from each other by the Caha mountains.

At the top of the Healy pass, where Cork meets Kerry, funeral processions stopped and at this point pushed the corpse in the coffin over the border.  The awaiting people then took the coffin from the opposite county from across  the famous ‘Flat Rock’

Healy Pass

Healy Pass

 

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‘Spirit of Love’ by Paddy Campbell

Situated at the foot of the graveyard, overlooking the scenic inner harbour, ‘Spirit of Love’ by Paddy Campbell, installed in 2006, depicts two large bronze figures encircling a bronze mast and stands 5m high.

Commissioned to remember all those who have lost their lives at sea. It signifies both letting go and remembering

Bantry is a lovely town and the surrounding area is a landscape photographers playground. It was raining of course on my visit but I loved how the ominous sky lent atmosphere to the scene by the harbour. Although it’s a most beautiful area nowadays, Bantry and it’s hinterland saw great hardship and devastation during the Great Hunger.

 

Spirit of Love

Spirit of Love

 

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Just beyond Durrus in West Cork is the little townland of Ahagouna (Ath Gamhna, meaning ‘Ford of the calves’) – a cross roads with a church – (St James’), a cemetery and a bridge across Four Mile Water.

It sits at the mouth of Dunmanus Bay

Ahagouna, West Cork

Ahagouna, West Cork

 

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Sep 242014
 
Andalucia

I love Andalucia, particularly in wintertime. The weather is warm, sunny & bright. The tourists have returned to their homes in other places and there is a touch of moisture in the morning and evening air that softens the dry hilly landscape. A Time to Rest This is a typical country road looking across a […]

Sep 112014
 
Cahir Castle

Cahir, a fine example of a late Medieval Castle.  Originally built in 1142, and extended 200 years later,  it is one of Ireland’s largest and best preserved castles. Situated on a rocky island on the River Suir, it is impressive by day or by night. Once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family, Cahir Castle […]