Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Another walk

A walk around Ballyvaughan via The Wood loop on day 2. The wood in question was a moss and ivy covered trail through hazel groves.
Deep in the wood we passed by a deserted cottage and took a look inside.

It was rather poignant to see the trappings of someones life abandoned and overgrown.

There were letters there from 1985 .

The address on the envelopes was 'The Wood'
Further on we met another sad sight.
I have not seen a badger at such close quarters before dead or alive so forgive me for the photographs.

In a place like this I understand why the myth and literature of Ireland is so rich.

Its the silence that makes it so special and other worldly.
The Burren is a mysterious and magical place,

the hazel woods were vibrant with catkins and the roads were long and almost deserted,

as were the beaches.

When I was a child I read all the books by Patricia Lynch without really knowing anything about her.
Many of them were full of characters and beings from Irish Mythology.
What does it tell you about me that I cycled a mile each way to the library and came home with two books..always one of them a Patricia Lynch and usually a CS Lewis?
Later my Irish Literature was supplied by WB Yeats. I learnt the whole of 'The Death of Cuchulain' for my English O level.
Poem ahead...(indulge me)...I liked this by Yeats years ago when I was young but I realise now how sad it is. The woods made me think about the 'faeries', not cutesy little winged creatures but beings living secret and sometimes malevolent lives alongside the farmers and country people.

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

The Stolen Child.


Joei Rhode Island said...

Oh, Jackie, your pictures are wonderful....there is not a doubt in my mind that Ireland is full of Little People that do good and ill. I found CS Lewis on my own in the library...and Yeats as a child. Thank you for this lovely reminder.

BrittanButterfly said...

this is a wonderful post, the pictures are amazing and mystical... what a find that house in "the wood" is and I love the Yeats poem!

Menopausal musing said...

What a lovely post Jackie, I can see I am going to be as enthralled by these as I was of those from last year's holiday. I loved the image of the interior of the house. I clicked on it to it is up close and sad though the collection of stuff on the table is, the window with it's quality of light and the ivy is just an exquisite shot.

I was thinking about the Scottish equivalent of your malevolent fairies last week: they are called Kelpies and one of their "tricks" is/was supposedly to entice children into the lochs.......
The lure of the Celtic fairy tale, eh?
The lure of

Menopausal musing said...

How badly written was that comment? My dongle is playing up and it almost feels like I have to "race" against it to get my comment taken........... sorry!

Mary said...

I love seeing all of these photos from your trip. a wonderful post.

Mermaid's Purse said...

A beautiful post and oh so wonderful photographs!

Melissa said...

How incredibly magical!

Julie said...

You're making me think I should explore W B Yeats' poetry, I think I've missed out. Your photos of the moss and ivy and the woodland walk are beautiful. I wonder if the badger was old?

Kerryfelter said...

I hope you are enjoying Ireland, Jackie! West Kerry is also a bit like that, kind of a haunting quality. Take lots of pics and you will have loads of inspiration when you get home!

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

How brave to creep into the little house, there is one near me but it is well into a field and fenced off - very tempting though. Strange to see a badger like that and sad of course, but I would have taken a picture too.

Deb said...

Thanks so much for these tours. I'm not a traveler, wish I could be. We moved from NY to GA a long time ago and the thing I miss most is a sense of "old" about the place. What you are showing me is REALLY old and I can see and feel it, however removed.

Diva Kreszl said...

Thank you for this lovely trip, Jackie. It was wonderful to lose myself in the images. Thank you for your kind words on my post, Renee was an amzing woman and if you care to see her blog her words can be found at The last few posts were writtne by her daughter as renee was too il but you cangeta sense of who she was in her older posts. This is sadly the second loss I've experienced in blogland. A reminder to live life to the fullest!

Fiona said...

How beautiful. I have never been to Ireland. Now I really want to.

Jude said...

Truly ethereal..have I just made up a word or mis-spelt one??
Wonderful, looking forward to more....I'll indulge you...

Lynn said...

wonderful photos of wonderful things...I posted a walk yesterday of more local things in California spring! Loved going with you on your walk. thanks.

Heather said...

I love those unspoilt woods and beaches, but the abandonned little cottage is very sad - it looks beyond repair now. Your photos are beautiful - even the badger. I've only seen roadkill ones.

A Time to Dance said...

Oh Jackie, I cant tell you how much I would loved to have a sneaky peak at that cottage...imagine living in the woods...wish I could...what are you doing at Easter or just after ....

Kim said...

Hello Jackie, you have certainly caputured the word magical in that post. My DNA was dancing. Loreena McKennitt has put the poem to music and its very "magical" and haunting as well.

Hope you like it.

maggi said...

Beautiful post Jackie. What history that cottage must have,

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I have loved your Irish photographs! Such beauty,and such marvelous weather. I'm so happy you went.

Monica said...


Swirlyarts said...

What a lovely old cottage in the woods - I don;t think I would have wanted to leave!

Pam said...

Oh my, that is sad isn't it? But beautiful all the same. What a wonderful time you seem to having on your trip Jackie. I of course am doing it all "a about" and reading about it all starting after you get home!! lol. x

Lyn and Annie said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos! Looking at them gives the viewer a relaxing micro-holiday. Congratulations on being the featured artist with Wingham and your latest pieces (too big for brooches but could they be grouped together to make one wall hanging?) are wonderful colours.

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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