We were a week later this year but the countryside seemed to be two or three weeks ahead.
The hazel groves, festooned in previous years, were almost devoid of catkins.
There were new flowers about that we had not seen before
The ivy berries were huge, plump and black
and here and there were primroses,
the gorse was in bloom, then gorse always is, but the blossoms were vibrant and succulent making a beautiful bright yellow contrast against the Burren limestone.
The grass was greener than we've seen it before
but the in the little overgrown abandoned cottage time stands still,
poignantly frozen in the year the last occupant died.
White blossoms sprang from thorny bushes
and guess who reappeared? Both of them.
Until we'd finished and they vanished again.
It made us laugh to think they must do this with tourists and walkers over and over again.
On Thursday my friend and I visited Lisdoonvarna and The Burren Smokehouse where we bought some incredibly pricey handsmoked salmon, then on to Ennis and lunch in the Rowan Tree cafe.
In the evening Noel Hill, the teacher of the concertina school my husband was attending, gave a concert with his daughter.
This was really why were in Ballyvaughan, County Clare.
His music is sensitive and beautiful and his teaching by all accounts is excellent. A group of perhaps 20 from USA, Spain, UK, Sweden and other parts of Ireland attended to learn what he had to teach. I enjoyed their company in the evenings.
We drove back to Dublin via The Hill of Tara, but we couldn't see much.
It was just quite good to be there at sunset
watching the moon rise.
Enjoy the rest of the photographs.
I've come back with my head full of ideas.