Tuesdays of Texture : Killarney

Brickeen Bridge, Killarney

On Easter Sunday we went walking in Killarney National Park, where the 3 Lakes of Killarney are to be found, and the place is surrounded by mountains, with the most beautiful scenery all around.    The bridge above is where one of the lakes flows in to the other, and everywhere you look there are the most beautiful textures and colours, with the trees, grasses, water and mountains all blending in together.

Check out some more textures over at Narami’s page

Close Up : Weekly Photo Challenge

Today I have two contrasting photos, the first one of the ornate ceiling of a church in The Silent City, Mdina, in Malta.  Malta has many churches, and each one is more beautiful and ornate than the one before, most of them are works of art in the baroque style, (late 16th century) full of carved ceilings and gold leaf, and beautiful paintings.

Ceiling of the Carmelite Church in Mdina

Ceiling of the Carmelite Church in Mdina

And now, for something completely different …..sheep grazing in a meadow.  This is something you can see anywhere in Ireland, in fields and on the mountain sides.   Often the sheep graze on common ground, and so that the farmers can identify their own sheep, they put a mark on their wool with a special, long lasting, marking paint, (each farmer chooses his own colour) so they make a colourful sight on the mountain!

Sheep grazing in a meadow

Sheep grazing in a meadow

Linked to Weekly Photo Challenge

Jo’s Monday Walk : Up in the Hills

Background hills

Background hills

Let’s get the hiking boots on, and the walking poles, and do a bit of climbing to get the muscles moving and the heart pumping faster…and faster.  This walk is starting near Clogheen in County Tipperary, driving through the village of Ballyporeen, (population 952)  a one-street town that became famous when Ronald Regan was President of the U.S. as it was once the home of his great grandfather, and Ronald himself visited here in 1984 when he was President.

After Clogheen you drive through the village of Goatenbridge, and the walk starts not far from here, a narrow steep trail through forests on what is known as part of Saint Declan’s Way, then you eventually come out to a very welcome flat path, for about 500 meters,  before the climb starts again.

2014-10-12 14.56.41


In total the walk is about 12.5 km round trip, including a sit down for lunch, and once at the lunch stop the views are amazing.   On a clear day…..you can see forever!

Looking back

Looking back down on the Golden Vale

Thankfully, after lunch we won’t be climbing up the Knockmealdown, (794 meters)  but will start the downhill trek for about two hours till we reach the cars!

Blue skies on the hills

Knockmealdown  Mountain

Autumn hills

Autumn hills

We might even come across some evidence of where the turf cutters have been, cutting the turf (peat) for the winter.

Turf cutting

Turf cutting

And the best part of a long hike like this (apart from taking off the hiking boots and slipping in to something more comfortable) is stopping off on the way home, at a nice restaurant for a little treat after all the calories that were burnt on the climb.

Yummy roast dinner

Yummy roast dinner

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk


A Photo A Week Challenge : A Splash of Colour

On a dull day on the mountains, these hillwalkers in their bright jackets are the only splash of colour against the dull heather and rocks.   The brightness also helps pick out the people in the dull landscape.

The hillwalkers in their colourful jackets

The hillwalkers in their colourful jackets

And these hollyhocks, which we used to call ‘fairy thimbles, stand out against the bracken on a summer’s evening.

Fairy thimbles

Fairy thimbles

Head on over to Nancy Merrill’s page for some more posts in this theme.

Zig Zag : Weekly Photo Challenge

For hill walkers, the easier and safer option when climbing up or down is usually to zig zag, it may take longer, but sometimes it is either that or hope that a bus comes along sometime soon!

On this hiking trip to Italy, the views were spectacular, when we had the chance to stop and look at them, but sometimes it takes a lot of concentration to watch where your foot should go, and that is definitely when walking poles are a necessity.

Slowly Zig Zagging down the mountain

Slowly Zig Zagging down the mountain

This was our destination…eventually

A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down

Sometimes I like to stand and gaze at the view. and leave the zig zagging to more adventurous hikers.

Mountains in the Cape, South Africa

Mountains in the Cape, South Africa

Sheep's Head, West Cork

Sheep’s Head, West Cork

Linked to Weekly Photo Challenge

Viewpoint in the Vee

The Vee, starting near Clogheen in County Tipperary is a spectacularly scenic drive, and the road climbs and twists and dips, until you eventually end up in the beautiful town of Lismore in County Waterford.   When you look back on your climb towards the apex, you are looking at the Golden Vale, very rich farmland, with more mountains visible on the horizon.

The ‘Vee’ refers to the V shaped turn in the road, leading to the Knockmaeldown mountains, and offers panoramic views to sightseers going through the pass.

At the top of the pass, there is a car park, and a monument to Samuel Grubb, who asked to be buried upright, so that he could gaze on the view, even in death.

The Vee is very popular with cyclists, because of the steep climbs, and a great meeting place for hikers, as a variety of climbs, with different degrees of difficulty, are available from this spot.

At one end of the drive is the very pretty town of Lismore, with its very picturesue castle on the river – you can even rent out the castle, and make it your base on your holidays.   We had the pleasure last year of doing a tour of the gardens of the castle, and it is defintely a place worth a visit.

Lismore Castle through the trees of Ballyrafter House

Lismore Castle through the trees of Ballyrafter House

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge : Contrast


In the above photo, I particularly like the white fluffy cloud descending on the mountain, even though the sun is still shining a little.   Being out on high mountains, the clouds can gather very quickly, and then get blown away, just as quickly.

In my second photo, taken on the same day, the blue and white sheep is quite content, and doesn’t see anything wrong with having two-tone contrasting wool.    Sheep farmers mark their sheep with different colours when they send them up the mountains to graze, as a mark of identification.


Linked to this week’s Photograph Challenge ; Contrast

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Frame


Killarney, Ireland

My photos for this challenge were taken in Killarney, and the trees in the National Park do a good job of framing Torc Mountain and the Lakes of Killarney.

The Lakes of Killarney

The Lakes of Killarney

Another view of the Lakes

Another view of the Lakes


Look up Look Down Challenge : Week 22

I enjoy hillwalking, and it fits in nicely with this challenge.   My friends and I head out on a sunny -or wet – day, all excited to be out in the fresh air, and to be getting exercise at the same time.     We park the cars, get our boots and jackets on, get the walking poles ready and walk to the base of the mountain.    Then we look at the mountain and think ‘how will we ever get to the top of that’!   We plod on, step by step, stopping for a breather to admire the view every 10 or 15 minutes, then after another while we look back to the start and think ‘wow, we have come a long way’, and we don’t even realise how much ground we have covered!


Walking through the mists

After about two hours, we reach the top….bliss…..find a dry stone to sit on, off with the rucksacks, and out with the lunch.    We usually spend about 20 minutes at the top, then its off again, this time the trek back downhill.   This can sometimes be more strenuous than the climb, if the descent is steep, and then we are very grateful for the poles to keep us upright on the steep slopes.

Here are some of my ‘Look Up, Look Down’ pictures, most taken in Cork and Kerry.

CBBH Photo Challenge : Curves in Nature

When hillwalking is your hobby, you come across many curves in nature, usually hills and mountains that you have to climb up and down, and that is where walking poles come into their own, helping to pull you up the steep curves, or slow you down and act as a brake on the way down.

The long road to the top

The long road to the top, Ballyhoura mountains, north Cork

Are we there yet, are we there yet?

Are we there yet, are we there yet?

Sheeps Head, West Cork

Sheeps Head, West Cork

Lake  at the top of the mountain

Curvy Lake at the top of the mountain

Some curves of nature are ‘curvier’ than others, as you can see from the granite rocks in the picture below, taken in Zimbabwe.

Matopos Hills, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Matopos Hills, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Check out these 2 posts that I enjoy, and I hope you will enjoy them also – Meticulous Mick who shares some great photos of everyday things that he comes across, and

Bel’ Occhio’s Blog, a very talented lady who bakes, cooks, gardens, makes crafts, and writing great posts.

To find out more about the CBBH Photo Challenge, and maybe join in the fun, check out and enjoy the great blog East of Malaga

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