Next Monday is the day that we are due to be allowed travel 20km from home which is an increase from the current 5km restriction here in Ireland.
I’m like a child about it – thinking of all my favourite places that have been just out of reach. High on the list is a road along the Copper Coast which is festooned with Sea Pinks in May, early June. I am hoping to catch them while they are still in their glory.
But, there will also be all the beaches that are so close to my heart:
and going out to see the swan family in the Anne Valley…
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.
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: