Primrose Spotting

When the stretch comes in the evenings in January, primroses are always on my mind and my  eyes speed read every possible ditch, in search of that joyous yellow with the velvety scent.

You don’t expect to find primroses on working harbours like Dunmore East, here in Co, Waterford, but lo and behold I found one there yesterday ~ albeit navy and white!

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Floating ‘Primrose’ at Dunmore East

My heart missed a beat when I saw her and then went on to miss another when I found that she was from Drogheda, the town of my youth and schooling in the North-East of the country that is built on the Boyne Estuary.

So, so many times, we went looking primroses back then, especially Mother and me. She would clamber up onto all sorts of ditches, beating back briars, in the kinds of places that primroses flourish. She used to laugh at me and say that I was a pessimist who lived in fear of  seeing a dead rat in the ditches rather than glowing primroses. I have to admit there was quite a bit of truth in her opinion of me back then.

But, we can change, especially if led by example!

Spurred on by Primrose from Drogheda, I was fired up to find even the first signs of wild primroses today and my journey wasn’t in vain. Co. Waterford served up her first primrose of my year out on the ‘road to the sea.’

Spring has definitely sprung!

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Precious Primroses

And I must tell you that while I was driving along, I got to thinking about the relationship between shadows and reflections. I still haven’t worked it out fully but clearly the sun has a lot to do with it.

Here’s how Dunmore East was reflecting yesterday with the Lighthouse, built in 1824, looking magnificent both above and below water:

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The Harbour, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.

Boat Watching

I’ve had a thing about boats that goes back to boats in the bath when I was tiny; sailing homemade boats down stream under bridges as a child; watching the big ships sail passed our school on the River Boyne up the estuary towards the Irish sea when I was a teenager; sailing to places like Wales, England and France when I got a bit older; cruising on the River Shannon; yachting in Brittany; reading Treasure Island over and over to son, Harry, when he was a youngster; and perhaps, more than anything, walking around harbours and cliff tops just watching boats and listening to all the sounds associated with them, especially the clinking.

The other day when I was out in Dunmore East, the main fishing centre in Co. Waterford, it was so relaxing to watch the comings and goings of colourful boats and wonder where they were going.

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Leaving Dunmore East Harbour

When I was high up on the cliffs with no one around, I suddenly saw that I had company as a fishing boat came into view below me:

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Colourful Companion

Sometime later, the Lifeboat came into view, pressing hard against the waves. While it was a lovely sight, it made me think of the dedication and courage of those who volunteer to work to help save lives at sea. Can we ever thank such people enough?

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Dunmore East Lifeboat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stolen Moments in Co. Waterford

There are times when you find yourself somewhere that you didn’t expect to be and it feels surreal.

Well, that’s how it was for me the other evening when I found myself with a gang of lads who were bursting to go swimming at Badger’s Cove in Dunmore East here in Co. Waterford.

While they took to the water, I felt drawn up the Coastal Path by the last dance of the setting sun.

Dunmore East Cliffs towards Hook Head Lighthouse, Co. Wexford
Dunmore East Cliffs towards Hook Head Lighthouse, Co. Wexford

Gulls were gliding silently overhead, making their last forays of a long day:

Gliding into the Night
Gliding into the Night

As the sun faded, a soothing haze draped over the Coastal Path and far beneath, the full sea swayed ever so gently.

The Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
The Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

I knew I wouldn’t have time to walk to the end before night drifted in. The most magical moment of all was in the turning round and seeing the blades of grass silhouetted against the painted sky.

The Turning
The Turning

Have you found yourself embraced by any magical stolen moments recently?

Alignment ~ Five Photos/Five Stories 2

Man and Nature
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

the lone fisherman

aligns himself with nature

perfect solitude

Once again, I would like to thank Willow for nominating me for this Five Photos/Five Stories Challenge.

Here are the rules for the Challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

My second nomination is Sandy at Hoarder Comes Clean

 

 

 

Sea Pinks or Timelines?

Economics has never been my favourite subject and I can’t say that I have brought much of what I studied of it in College into my everyday life. However, the simple, yet profound, concept of Opportunity Cost has never left me.

Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

Yesterday, as I walked along the Coastal Path in Dunmore East here in Co. Waterford, I found myself thinking about it yet again:

Opportunity Costs: The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

In particular, I got to thinking about the extent to which social media has become such an integral part of life and of the endless hours one can spend on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so many more.

I wondered about the percentage of people who will look back on their lives knowing that their end is near and delight in memories of time spent reading their timelines.

No doubt some people may be Facebooking or Tweeting with their last grain of energy but I suspect that Social Media won’t even enter the minds of the vast majority.

Yes, I would much prefer to be out walking along the cliffs in Dunmore East, soaking up the sun, taking time to touch the Sea Pinks, watch the seagulls gliding, gaze across at Hook Head Lighthouse, be enraptured by the layers and layers of colour, scent, texture … than living a life or a half life through social media.

I’d certainly much prefer to depart this earth to a memory of swaying Sea Pinks than of  timelines scrolling on and on and …..

Sea Pinks
Sea Pinks

 

 

Running East

I was awake very early yesterday morning and had one of those pre-dawn walks with puppy Stan before the birds were even chirping.

Just as we were coming home I could see that there was the prospect of a glorious sunrise out at Dunmore East. I haven’t said much before about how Co. Waterford is very much divided into the East and West for all sorts of things, including sport. But I suspect the division may have started with the sun, like so many other traditions.

I knew I just had to get to the Coastal Walk in Dunmore ~ a place that is fast becoming very special to me because of the magnificent vistas it presents and, of course, its view across the Waterford Estuary to the Hook Head Lighthouse in Co. Wexford, the oldest operational lighthouse in the world.

I didn’t meet a soul on my travels; just as well really as I felt like a character in Wuthering Heights and only realised when I got home that I was wearing odd shoes and the raggediest jacket in the place ~ one that served as Stan’s emergency bedding for a while.

Here’s the drama that unfolded before my very eyes out on that glorious Coastal Walk high up on the cliffs.

Back at Dunmore East Harbour, the boats were swaying as the gulls screeched. And there among the fishing boats was this one:

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Sunrise 11 at Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.

 

I caught this glimpse of Tramore on my way home, taking a few of the lovely by-roads on the eight mile trip. The tide was almost fully in so the sand dunes were surrounded by water with the Back Strand sky blue and I suspected the gentle waves lapping up on to my beloved beach.  I always feel gleeful when I can see the Comeragh Mountains standing tall behind Tramore and think  Waterford is a county that has everything I could ever want. 

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View of Tramore and Comeragh Mountains, Co. Waterford.

 

 

Let Nature Do the Blogging

Yesterday was one of those ‘pet days’ and instinct brought me out to the Coastal Path in Dunmore East, which is about eight miles from Tramore, here in Co. Waterford.

As usual I had a notebook in my pocket, just in case some great thought flashed into my mind.

I had walked along the cliffs to Portally Cove with my swimming gear in hand, just in case all was well for the last swim of November.

Dunmore East Coastal Path, Co. Waterford
Dunmore East Coastal Path, Co. Waterford

Portally was bathed in sunlight and the water was divine.

Portally Cove, Co. Waterford.
Portally Cove, Co. Waterford.

I was sitting on a rock drying off and soaking up the sun when the thought of playing with shadows took my fancy. What bliss to lean into nature and let her do the writing:

Mother of the Quill
Mother of the Quill

And what about the stone walls of Ireland that bring one especially to places like Connemara, Co. Galway, Co. Clare  and even parts of Co. Waterford.

Stone Wall
Stone Wall

Sea creatures emerged from the sea on the page, just as a seal came about as near to the shore as you could imagine.

Sea Creatures
Sea Creatures

J stands for lots of things in my mind ~ but yesterday it stood for pure ‘joy’ and thoughts of Summery days of June and July.

J

Tall Ships in Waterford

I was in Waterford City very early yesterday morning and couldn’t take my eyes off the sculpture of a tall ship which now stands in the middle of the famous Quay.

Tall Ship Sculpture on The Quay, Waterford City.
Tall Ship Sculpture on The Quay, Waterford City.

It brought me back to The Tall Ships Festival which took place here in Waterford in 2011.

It was a glorious few days, full of colour and joie de vivre. The ships were moored along the Quays in Waterford for a couple of days and then sailed up the estuary early on a very sunny Sunday morning. We bade them a hearty farewell from every vantage point in Dunmore East as they sailed off towards the horizon, leaving lasting memories for so many.

I hope you enjoy watching this Slideshow which I put together back then to capture those happy memories forever.

Sight that Stunned Me

St. Andrew's Church, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
St. Andrew’s Church, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

I’ve long loved Dunmore East in Co. Waterford and have been going there since I was a tot.

However, I’d never been there at dawn until recently and was really captivated by way in which St. Andrew’s Church was lit up as the sun was rising.

Here’s a summery black and white shot, taken by my father, back in the 1970s, which shows the spire of St. Andrew’s in the background:

Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. Photo: Frank Tubridy
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.
Photo: Frank Tubridy

 

 

 

Midsummer Dawning in Co. Waterford

It was one of those mystical mornings here in Co. Waterford as a long, long day stretched ahead.

This is how I saw Midsummer Day 2014 opening her eyes over my precious patch:

Sunrise over Waterford Estuary from Dunmore East
Sunrise over Waterford Estuary from Dunmore East

From Dunmore East, I travelled back towards Tramore along the coast road. I couldn’t resist taking a little detour to check out the view of Tramore Beach  with the Comeragh Mountains beyond from a delightful hayfield above Saleens.

Tramore and the Comeragh Mountains from Saleens
Tramore and the Comeragh Mountains from Saleens

What bliss!