Monday, 14 March 2011

Return to Ballyvaughan

A week ago we went back to the West Coast of Clare, Ireland. You may remember my posts about last years trip, where I experienced wonderful weather and an inspirational week on the shores of Galway Bay.
Going back to somewhere in the expectation of a similar experience can often result in disappointment, but Ireland worked its magic and I came back with a head full of beauty and a heart full of peace. Perhaps I could share some of the beauty with you by posting lots of pictures?
The Burren above Fanore beach.
A ruined tower near Kinvarra.

The wild sea on a very windy beach, also near Kinvarra. Can you see the kitesurfer?
I went for two long walks with my friend who came with us for half the time, as my husband was busy at his concertina class...thats why we went. At the end of this road there is a tower.
This the Burren Art School. What a place to study. 
Now, shortly after this we met two students on the road, who were looking for a dead fox they had heard about. They asked if we'd seen it, they wanted to take it back to the studio and draw it.
Well, later, we found it. I don't know how it died, but it was in superb condition, and very beautiful.
So we drove back to the college to tell them about it. They weren't there, but their friend kindly collected it for them and we took her back to the college with it.
We met them in the Whisky bar that night and they thanked us and the girl said 'I dabble in taxidermy too', so the beauty of the fox will be preserved if she's a good dabbler.

We had a bit of a close shave with the very sweet girl in the picture, who got out of the car without looking, on a quiet but nevertheless main road.( doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened if the driver of the car overtaking us at the time had blinked, or looked away.) 
Last year we saw a dead badger on our walk. What next year? Deer, elephant?
In the woods we saw this footprint. I'm sure its a badger, very much alive.
I've seen black ivy berries before but never yellow.
The flora was a little more advanced than last year so the wood had a few new shoots.

The hazel catkins in the many hazel coppices were longer and fuller.
And things have started to shoot in the gaps in the limestone.

While I was there I bought a beautiful book of photographs of natural surfaces of Clare. (There will be a picture tomorrow) and I took quite a few of my own close ups of limestone and lichen.
Yu can see the tiny fossils of the creatures that formed the stone.
They are considerably larger in this Liscannor Stone.

Lovely spotty lichen below.

Tiny underwater beauty here.

As we travelled around the little roads on a small peninsula we came across this

I can really understand that sentiment.
I am inspired again.


Erica said...

I cannot even begin to tell you how much pleasure and delight your blog gives this Kiwi. I have not been to Ireland (yet!)and love the photos. Thank you.

karen said...

so happy you found peace

Heather Woollove said...

Oh, Jackie--Thanks for taking us all along on your trip! What glorious photographs!!

Mermaid's Purse said...

Beautiful photos!!

Carol said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for pictures of places you have been that I will never see.

Joei Rhode Island said...

Glad to see you back and enjoying life and sharing with bloggers. I've been reading the Princes of Ireland... the castle pictures are fab!

Mary Welsh Hubbard said...

That was a fun read. loved all the photos.

Caroline said...

What delightful photos - would love to make that trip someday! That fox was magnificent and I love the rocks, fossils and lichens - no wonder you've come away inspired!

chocolatefrog said...

Your photos give a wonderful sense of the place, timeless and inspiring - thank you. I really must get round to visiting Ireland!

Sheep Rustler said...

I love the Burren, and your photos really do it justice. I love close-ups of textures too!

Menopausal musing said...

The spotty lichen shots are fascinating...... such beautiful understated colours and then that shot of rust in the one....... gorgeous!

Heather said...

Wonderful photos Jackie - so many fantastic textures and so much inspiration from a beautiful, unspoiled part of the world. I love the rocks and that tower, and the poor fox. Could the yellow ivy berries be ones that haven't ripened yet?

Lorenza said...

What a wonderful trip! I have not been back to Ireland for too long! You've inspired me to arrange a trip soon :D Hope you are well! L xxx

KunstStücke said...

Last time I've been to Ireland is about 17 years exchange student lived in Ennis, Co.Clare...I love it so much... always happy to hear from my good old Ireland...Have you been sitting at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher?? Still so impressing....
Thanks for your pictures

Tanja from Germany

Twiglet said...

Great photos Jackie - it sounds like a perfect trip for a little inspiration and relaxation!

Kathleen said...

Jackie - Your blog is the top on my list of blogs as my favorite. I look at it often and am always in awe. It is so lovely that you live so close to such a magical place that can inspire you. I can't wait to see what comes out of this years trip! Thanks for sharing the magic with all of us.

Jackie said...

A reply to all those who have no reply address:Erica-perhaps one day you will visit and in the meantime I'm sure I'll have more to post next year!
Mermaids Purse: I had lots more pictures...I held back!
Caroline:The Fox was wonderful to see close up.
Judy:Some people find the Burren a bit bare so I'm glad you love it too.
Heather: The Ivy was next to some really black berries but they were all yellow on that bush, and all black on the other, no in betweeners.
KunstStücke:I did sit on the edge..well not quite the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. Spectacular.
Twiglet:I recommend it!

Rachel said...

What a fabulous place to study, and what a wonderful range of textures and colours in your photos...

artymess said...

Can't wait to see what creativity these fabulous pictures inspire ....take care xx

maggi said...

Beautiful photos Jackie. No wonder you have come back inspired.

jennyflower said...

I look at these and find I am breathing deeper, they give me a huge sense of relief. Thanks x

hensteeth said...

Blimey girl, you know how to make someone want to down tools and go to Ireland right now.
Makes me happy that you are inspired. x

JP said...

glad you had a good time - you sound loads better

Julie said...

Such beautiful photographs Jackie. I'm glad you have found your inspiration again :-)

lilylovekin said...

Glad you are feeling better and that you found peace, what a lovely place.

Christine said...

I've been waiting 3 weeks for brochures from the Irish Tourist Board (When God made time, he made plenty of it) to plan a visit to Ireland in April. Thank you so much for this hint of interesting places to go!

Chris Daly said...

What lovely photos full of all sorts of textures. It sounds like a wonderful spot to visit. Three cheers for a renewed and rested soul.

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

Such a lovely blog post Jackie. It made me think of this poem which my Mum sings.

Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

— William Butler Yeats

I hitched to Kinvarra once and enjoyed a great pint. I always regretted not going into the pub that I heard a great amount of clattering coming from. There was step dancing going on but the person I was with had a different agenda and I always felt like we missed out on something that night.

Glad to hear you are inspired again : ) Been thinking of you xx

Beabee said...

Glad you've enjoyed your break - beautiful photos. I love the textures and shapes you've caught. Alas the boats don't sail from Fleetwood anymore or I'd be tempted to arrange a trip. x

A time to dance said...

...what beautiful pictures Jackie, they are lovely what a fantastic holiday ...hope you are well...

ArtSparker said...

Interesting, my father, in Northern California, found a dead fox on his back deck. He had to call around to get vector control to remove it, which they did with a long poles with hooks. Then he was told to wipe down the deck every day for two weeks afterwards with bleach. Maybe it's like the American Healthcare system writ small.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely read. It makes me think with great affection of family holidays in Ireland a long long time ago now. I love the Burren - thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous photos! I've been to the Burren and can know its strong pull.

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

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