Tuesday, 30 June 2015


The Elder Rose
I don't suppose that there are many people who have a rose in their Elder tree, but we do!

  Pink Lady

I very much like roses, though I would not call myself a rose expert, nor am I a gardener
in the accepted sense. I like to allow these plants to flourish and grow to their natural height and since I have been doing so we have noticed that a quite a few people in the locality are doing the same. Roses are now showing themselves mingled with all sorts of trees and shrubs and adding colour in surprising places.

Old Rosie

Old Rosie was grown from a cutting. She has a single layer of petals with a wonderful 
scent. The only way I care for her is to remove the hips during her flowering season and 
to cut out the dead wood. Then she has the freedom to grow how ever she chooses.

Old Rosie's gift to us is her scent, which wafts through the open window on warm summer evenings such as these.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Beyond the Hedges

My walk today took me in a different direction, to locations that my eyes have seen often
not always from the angle that I now show here.

This old uninhabited and neglected farmhouse with
it's grassed over yard and rusted gate promotes questions
to which I have no answers.

In this small lush field graze cattle with lovely straight backs.

There is a proliferation of Dog Roses this year.

Another old farmhouse again uninhabited, it's buildings though are still used.

A junction where three roads meet, each with equal right of way.
Look at the sky and you will see clouds seemingly rising above the trees.

This old home hidden behind the foliage looks well cared for surrounded as it is by trees.
I am told that the occupiers are rather eccentric and it is rumoured that the woman of 
the house Bean an tí talks to the faeries.

Monday, 15 June 2015

My Journey


I don't know what this is except that it grows
in clumps along the road below .

The old long road.

My Journey

I took a walk along the road to see what I could see
wildflowers peeped out and wild bees sung too me
All the while the sun shone gently down over my head 
above it crows and small brown birds flew in warm air.

A hen cackled, a cock crowed in some small stone yard
in the distance a dog barked, I listened to natural sound
Delighted to be me and to stroll in harmony, stopping
here and there to rest or peer through hedgerows.

I saw through bright leaves two heavy horses grazing
one as black as turf, the other dune coloured sand.
I dreamed of a four wheeled bow-top on open road
the clop of hooves, the waft of a tail swinging gently.

A camp site by a slow stream with friends at a wood fire
black tea in my hand, the chatter and companionship.
Perfumed as we were by wild bright colourful woodbine
Lives now only in cherished memory, all gone now, gone.

Awake once more to reality, I turn find a place to sit
fill my old briar pipe to offer smoke as a tribute.
On rising the legs are renewed, the feet soothed
as I take the long road for my cottage home.

© MRL June 2015

Mrs & Mr Chicken - variety unknown



Dog Roses

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Rainbow Cottage

For umpteen years this old cottage has been white all over. The place has been crying out for redecoration for awhile now;so this time we put our thinking heads on and have decided to added a bit of colour to the old walls: using Sheffield Green on the window cills and wall tops, Harvest Gold on the walls and White in the window recesses.

So here am I at the end of the first day taking my ease with my pipe in the evening sunshine feeling at peace with the world knowing that the paint scheme is working well.

We were delighted to find that Mrs H had unknowingly captured a band of rainbow beams
falling over the roof (top right of photo) for our place is known as Rainbow Cottage.
I just hope that the present dry sunny weather lasts out enabling us to complete our task.

Sunday, 7 June 2015


St Finbarr's Church,  Gougane Barra 
(Guágán Barra)

A shameful theft has taken place of a stone altar from within the grounds of St. Finbarr's Church, Gougane Barra, which many believe may have been part of  ritual focus in pre-christian times.

St. Finbarr, an early sixth century Irish saint, is said to have had an oratory on this site and Gardaí in Co. Cork are investigating the disappearance of the pilgrim altar at the famous island church.

Divers have been searching the surrounding lake in the hope of finding the  stone, which was first noticed missing last weekend.

The slab, about four feet in length which was situated in the ground at the rear of the chapel, is known to be at least 350 years old and might have belonged to St. Finbarr.

Local historian Seán Ó Súilleabháin said the altar stone forms an integral part of the Gougane Barra pilgrimage ritual:
 "The altar stone was one of a number of stops on the 'rounds' here in Gougane Barra. Pilgrims stop at the stone and use a small stone to score the sign of the cross on the surface of the stone.

He added: "We don't know who stole it or what the motivation behind this is.
"It was a very foolish act as people around here strongly believe that bad luck will follow the person that took the stone from such a sacred site."

The altar stone was first noticed missing last weekend but it is believed it may have been taken up to three to four weeks ago.

Neil Ó Luasa, owner of the nearby Gougane Barra Hotel, said the local community is deeply upset by the removal of the sacred altar.
"The altar is a big heavy flagstone and it would take at least three men to lift it.

"We have two theories: that the stone was lifted and thrown in to the lake, or that it was carried in the opposite direction and put into the boot of a car."

Members of the Cork-based Atlantic Divers Club responded to a request from the parish priest, Fr Martin O'Driscoll, and carried out an extensive search of 
the surrounding lake yesterday evening.

"I think it's safe to say at this stage that the altar is not in the lake," 
said Mr Chambers.

Local Gardaí are investigating the theft and are asking anyone who might have witnessed suspicious or unusual behaviour at the popular tourist spot in recent weeks to contact Macroom Garda Station.

The missing stone altar

The Guágán Barra area, and indeed the whole of south Cork, south Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, is composed of old red sandstone. 
The characteristic layering or bedding of the sedimentary rocks can be clearly seen in the high cliffs around Com Rua at the head of the Guágán Barra valley. The Lake lies in a rock basin carved out in the ice age and nowhere does it reach depths greater than 12 meters it is also the source of Cork's famous River Lee.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Moving finger

I have been sitting at my desk looking at the above photo above for several days now.

The scene is peaceful and tranquil, depicting the slow moving waters of the River Barrow which flows through Glenbarrow in the Slieve Blooms, whose low mountains are shared by two counties: Laois and Offaly.

That young boy in blue, I was told, is left handed and yet here he is pointing with the index finger of his right hand. I cannot help but wonder whether he might have inherited a trait of one of his great-grandfathers in being ambidextrous. 
Time will tell I suppose.

So is this another version of the 'moving finger writes and having written moves on' or is he pointing at some small creature hidden from us? I don't know.

But you my learned viewers might like to share with me what you consider he may be doing as he looks into the peaceful waters ?