Magnolias seem to come and go in a flurry of petals. They always have me wondering where to look – upwards as they reach for the sky with their big blooms or downwards where they leave a gentle carpet of velvety pink and white.
I hope you like this selection from precious Mount Congreve Gardens which are just a few miles out the road in Tramore.
I don’t think I will ever get over the wibble-wobbles that I got yesterday when the big storm was on. I was a silly, silly, stupid puppy to say that I wanted to go when Jean said: Hey are you coming to see the waves?’
I didn’t recognise any of the beaches that we went to cos the waves were big as houses and, anyway, there were big blobs of white salty stuff blowing into my eyes so I couldn’t see properly.
I was all of a dither when I was asked the same question again this morning. I didn’t want a repeat that awful feeling in my tum-tum just looking at the sea turning itself all upside down but I decided to give it a go mainly cos I’d heard the birds chirping out in the garden.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that the sand had come back and the sea was kinda back to normal but I still didn’t trust it.
Here’s how it was when we went to the shore:
That foamy stuff looked like whipped cream to me ~ and I love whipped cream ~ but I strongly suspected that it would be salty and not sugary. I was right, for once!
The skyscraper waves were more like big dog kennel size and the sky was kinda smiling as well. It looked like paintings that Jean is always looking at by someone whose name I can’t remember.
So, I was able to relax and get stuck into chewing some chunks of seaweed. Very tasty they are just in case you ever want to give them a try.
So all’s well again … and I hope it is for you too, if it was in a wobble.
P.S. The lesson from all this is: Stay well away from the mad seas when there’s a big storm and know that calm will come back even if that looks impossible.
Beaches are like people to me in the sense that they all have uniqueness and their own moodiness.
This always hits me when I go to Woodstown Beach which is in East Co. Waterford and at the mouth of the Estuary where there is a big meeting of rivers and open sea.
Woodstown has soft, floury sand that craves to be run through fingers, tiny and not so tiny.
I love the delicate imprints in the photo above and suspect a bird passed through not long before me.
Woodstown doesn’t have the stones of the beaches on The Copper Coast but has a carpet of shells that crackle as you walk on them while wondering if it can ever be right to break such beauty with heavy soles.
Of course, every beach has her own relationship with the sun. Woodstown, being in the east, is the place to catch the sunrise and there have been some magic moments there as the dawn breaks. However, I’d have to say that one of my favourite shots that I’ve taken in Woodstown over the years is this one, taken on Winter’s day, as it speaks of the tranquillity of the place to me and the gentle, gentle waves.
I’d love to hear about the personality of a beach that has special meaning for you.
I wrote about Mahon Falls up in the Comeragh Mountains here in Co. Waterford a little while back and the River Mahon has been on my mind ever since.
Here is the river gushing down at Mahon Falls;
and in this next photograph you can see the river (on the left of the winding path) making its way down towards the sea.
The River Mahon rises up in the mountains and eventually enters the sea at Bonmahon which is on the Copper Coast. I was drawn to Bonmahon today to capture the river as it enters the sea.
Just before it turns its last corner, it serves as a place where a few boats are usually moored ~ boats that always catch my eye with their colours and reflections:
Down by the point where the river meets the sea, a beer bottle in a crevice in the rocks was glinting merrily. I couldn’t imagine that it had been put there by human hand and wanted to think that there might be a message in it:
And, here’s a glimpse of the how the ocean and the River Mahon greet each other in Bonmahon:
There’s a bit of a back story to the waterfall post of yesterday or maybe I should say ‘back-breaking’ story.
It was another of those Mother and Son excursions that always end up being a lot further and more strenuous than I anticipate and I should have learned by now. But, after a day’s rest, I definitely think it was well worth it.
We went to Mahon Falls, which is Co. Waterford’s best known waterfall. It’s up in the Comeragh Mountains and is a very popular spot for walkers. Thing is I’ve never gone to the top of the waterfall before ~ some of the way but never to the top.
Here’s son, Harry, striding off with a great sense of purpose towards the waterfall:
I couldn’t resist the odd little detour to take photos of the mountain sheep so kept getting left behind. (Little did I think, I was going to be up on the high curvy peak a while later when I was concentrating on the sheep!)
Fast forward, or take a look back at the video of the waterfall from yesterday’s post.
I find myself persuaded to climb up and have a look at the waterfall from the top rather than just admiring it as it splashes down. It was tough going, I can tell you, but here’s how it looked from the top. I’m still a little dizzy as I look at this one:
There’s a sense of being on top of the world ~ at least the world of Co. Waterford when you’re way up at the waterfall. Here’s a sense of the vista and it’s hard to believe that a path can become so narrow and the course of a river so defined:
As always with Harry, we came down a different way to how we went up and it involved more climbing before the descent. The views were great as we looked down the valley towards the sea:
Back on terra firma, the setting sun was drenching the side of the mountain with burnished red beams:
No matter where Harry and I are climbing, we always find ourselves thinking of the song, The Climb, that we have both loved since 2009:
It would be hard for most people to understand but I’ve been nearly afraid to take the main road from Tramore to Waterford in recent months because a whole army of diggers, dumpers and bright yellow demolition machines have been at work very close to a ramshackled old cottage that’s precious to me, even if no one else loves it. It’s one of six abandoned cottages on that road and the ‘works’ were happening just beside one and were heading towards the next one which is a few hundred yards away. (Here’s a post I wrote about the six cottages back in 2014).
A lot of the time, I’ve been taking the back road so that I wouldn’t have to see a ‘gap’ where the cottage has lived for a lot longer than I have. And, I haven’t had the courage to ask any of the workmen what the plans are for the cottage.
Anyway, it looks like I can breathe again as the most endangered cottage is still standing in the clearing and looks like it is secure. I thought that St. Stephen’s Day would be a nice quiet day to take some photos. It was quieter than usual but there was still lots of traffic. One car even pulled over and the man driving it asked if my car was broken down. (That’s one of the things I love about Ireland ~ there are plenty of Good Samaritans around the place.)
Anyway, here’s a few shots of ‘my cottage’ as it looked this morning:
It’s when I get up very close to the cottage that I feel its history. Today I was thinking about all the Christmases this little house must have seen and I wondered about the openings and closings of the front door ~ family and visitors coming and going. Were there floral curtains on the window or net ones or shutters or blinds …. who looked out the window and what did they see?
I’ve been hoping that the little cottage will be spared but today when I was right up beside it, I suddenly remembered that ‘spéir’in the Irish language (and pronounced the same as ‘spare’) means ‘sky.’ To be ‘amuigh faoin spéir’ means to be ‘out under the sky’ and this is exactly what my cottage is now. The thing is that I’ve always thought of ‘amuigh faoin spéir’ in a really positive way ~ like being released from captivity.
And just in case you were wondering, here’s how the cottage just up the road was looking:
It was dank, dark and misty for most of today here in Tramore but I got to see a magical smile as night was closing in.
I’d brought Puppy Stan to Kilfarrasy Beach for a run and we’d got caught in a downpour. It stopped raining just as we got back to the car and I decided to have one last look – with Dad very much in mind.
First a seal appeared all black against the rough seas and then it was as if nature smiled with all her heart.
And how not to love this shining stone that the high tide left as a present for us:
There’s talk of a storm looming on the horizon so I thought I would dive into today’s calm and seize my chance to have a lovely dip at one of our beaches or coves along the Copper Coast.
So everything was abandoned and I took off into the blue. Just crossing the little bridge at Annestown, I was enraptured by the deep hue of the River Anne and the gleam of the white-washed cottage that I love so much:
There was a softness about the day that had me melting into the very heart of my Co. Waterford.
One of the key parts of that Waterford is the sweep of the road in the village of Bonmahon and the way the shadows fall on the wall near the now closed Kennedy’s shop:
Ballydwane Cove was where I thought I would swim with its tall cliffs and cosy shelter. But, a local man walking his dog greeted me with: ‘It’s rough; it’s rough today.’ The tide was high and the waves were big and fluffy. The thing about Ballydwane, though, is that the high cliffs always make the waves look a lot smaller than they are so if it hadn’t been for the mind-reading ‘old salt,’ I would have thrown caution to the gentle breeze and run in:
It was time for a snack as lunch time had come and gone so I made for stunning Stradbally village with its beautiful brightly painted houses:
The bar that epitomises Co. Waterford for me is the Cove Bar in Stradbally. The fact that it has a painting of one of Waterford’s greatest hurlers, Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, who is a Stradbally man, painted on its front wall makes it all the more precious:
Kilfarrasy was where I eventually decided to swim. It has been like a magnet of late, probably because it was the place where Dad and I used to go and sit in the car, watching the waves on that last December we shared in 2009:
Puppy Stan was waiting impatiently for me when I got home all energised from the sea. We decided to go and watch the sunset together ~ a little journey that has become one of our bonds in life:
At day’s end, the horizon was pencilled out and the dying sun placed her own little punctuation mark to identify this special in-between day.