26.11.11

Snake-like roots that help keep it dark
































"...and the grove of trees growing out over their lake......wind down snake-like roots that reach as far as the water and help keep it dark"  Beowolf

A deep green rim of algae has appeared at the edge of the lake. On a grey afternoon this created the most enchanting dark mirror for the lakeside trees. Impossible to focus because of glare and the odd stray branch, I had to wait until these were uploaded to see the full extent of the images.

Darkness, surface, reflection, depth.







21.11.11

Something happens between me, the camera and mother nature








































Something happens in between the photographs being taken and this page being published which has created a magnetic pull on my imagination.

A hawk settles on a rock outside my window, a flock of starlings swoop down over the lake, the sun appears through a grey letter box in the sky. Sometimes I am supposed to be working and so I type on, (such discipline!) Sometimes I run with the camera, wanting another fix of those little hairs which stand up on the back of the neck, at a new view on the world, a simple moment of happiness which I know I can  share later.

As I pull on the wellies yet again, I feel a warm glow. I suppose I have taken thousands of photographs in these little fields, but never too many! I cannot believe that every outing although just 5 minutes from the backdoor will yield a new crop of images. No I can't believe it........ I am challenged every day to believe it. The more I see..... the more I see.......

Nature presents her treasures, and I just go along with the plan. Today it was these little borage flowers. I have seen them all summer and photographed them many times but as they survive through the winter they draw me in again. Strange mild weather, surprising flowerings, so far so good....... we are still here.

As another grey day reveals itself this morning, I am still looking at the same view, the same fields, the same 5 minutes of space between me and the rest of the world. Doubt creeps in..... but then I remember that something will happen again between me the camera and mother nature....... the next images will somehow be revealed.......



P.S. #thankyouday (Irish Hospice Foundation) warmest thank you to all the bloggers, commenters, tweeters and other supporters out there. Every little bit of your encouragement and contribution has been so important, and it continues to be lovely to share with ye, that's all........



19.11.11

For once the little lake gets a starring role




















































This little lake is the first and last thing I see every day from my window. Mist rising, rain disturbing the surface, ice forming or sun gleaming and sparkling on it's surface making it a swimmable day, the lake tells the story. The light catches it from every angle and although people who drive past it are aware of it, I live with it all year around and it changes by the minute.

Herons fly over and back all summer long and on stormy days seagulls wash in it and hang out until the winds drop and they can go back to the coast. Wild birds live around it and others dip in when they are passing. Swans mate there and if you are swimming swallows swoop down and sip water around you barely noticing your prescence.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, left and right from my view. It is a back up reservoir and when I swim in it I remember that people will be drinking that water a little later! As far as I know there isn't a monster in it although it is 90 feet deep in the middle and was formed from an ancient volcanic crater. Last winter it froze over for the first time since 1962. An old man on a stick walked out on it saying he would probably never see the likes again.

In summer it is alive with insects, in winter it is shelter for birds and small animals. Surrounded by a forest on one it is also a picnic spot for the many day trippers and the fishermen who frequent it. It is easy to take for granted what is right under your nose and although I photograph it all the time today I decided to give it a starring role. What is on your street or out your window? What do you see when you look out to check on the new day?






15.11.11

Bird photography may require a bit more patience than I have......






















































Ever tried to photograph birds? Well let me tell you they are serious flitters. They are nervous twitchy creatures always looking over their shoulders, occasionally I have even shouted...."will you bloody keep still" but that doesn't really seem to help! I am resorting to feeding them and as the winter sets in I may even welcome the lack of leaves on the trees, as they are only getting in the way of my shots. These first photographs of Blue Tits and what I think is a Dunnock were taken in the small willows and hedgerows which border the meadow.

Wildlife photographers are the creme de la creme in my book and if there are rewards in photography heaven for patience and perseverance and complete lack of ego, one of them will get the prize. As a lot of bloggers will know, there are many pictures taken which are not posted, but never have I deleted so many pictures after an outing. Fifty to one!

Sometimes when they pause, and you look them in the eye they are so gorgeous. When my son was little he called cute things chuffy, and small birds are very chuffy. Beautiful as they are, I may not have the patience required for bird photography, but I will keep ye posted........

PS Credit where it is due, the Robin, really is a most cooperative model!



10.11.11

The sea o the sea.......
































































Sunny Sunday drive. Around the winding coastal tracks checking out each of the beaches along the route. Garrarus, Kilfarrasey, Annestown, Benvoy, Boatstrand, Kilmurrin Cove........

Swims had here earlier in the year are discussed. Cliff erosion is inspected. Winter storm damage assessed.

Some slight afternoon sunshine warms the rocks. The Atlantic, full of energy and diamond lights, is a dazzling presence. We sit in silence soaking in the salty air. We are giving the old brain cells a strong dose of ozone and crashing waves. Cobwebs are instantly cleared from the brain.

A wet dog, head cocked to one side, stares at a black stone, and whines at his owners, but today this performance all goes unnoticed.


6.11.11

Earliest morning frost, and happy happy days!

































You have all been very kind and I thank you so much for your support.

Some happy days are here again as early morning frost has left the meadows around here pure sparkly diamond strewn! Gone are the prevailing grey south westerly weather systems which tend to engulf Ireland for weeks on end. For two days we haven't had a cloud in the sky and as I look out from my office window I am delighted to witness "the actual" sun and right now "the actual" moon as well.

It won't last.....but....

How's the weather and how is it affecting your mood in your part of the world?


3.11.11

To whom are we beautiful when we go?

































"I wish I knew the beauty of leaves falling. To whom are we beautiful when we go?" David Ingnato


Someone very close to me is on their way. It has been a slow process. I am at the point where it is really very challenging to try to see any beauty in it. I suppose that increasing vulnerability is hard to accept from one so big and so strong. And yet, the unexpected softness, the holding onto the small pleasures, the very rare moments of laughter, these are precious still, although rare enough these days.

Wanting to run away from this parting I find that the deepening autumn is my soulmate on the road . Glimpses of the world around me going to sleep, absolutely lacking in any sense of panic, can be re-assuring. Ever so slowly today I am letting winter happen! The almost bare branches are going to be strewn with bird feeders by the end of this day, and I look forward to filling the larder of the robin family over the next few weeks.......