So the rain continued to bucket down all through July and alongside the accompanying sea mist, a kind of fog settled on my brain. The days melt into one and soon afternoons blend into night. It can all get a bit grey and vague without sky, and sunsets and the changing light I crave......
One evening I found myself sitting for a while with a swathe of damp Woundwort flowers and discovered that the bees were very much alive and kicking. Their buzzing was infectious and soon I was lost in their world of flitting and guzzling.
Woundwort is another of those beautiful wildflowers considered a "weed" and banned from gardens. So today I am showing off it's delicate beauty and welcoming a big invasion of it in Foxglove Lane.
More photos of guzzling bees and Woundwort here in the gallery
Have just spent 5 wonderful days with not one, not two, but all three of my beautiful sisters. During a grey rainy July they brought such a blast of summer light into my life. Not that there was much sun (!) it was more their own warm glow, their laughing eyes, those common intertwining threads all the way back to our shared childhood stories.
My sisters have a "mothering" energy about them. Our mother passed away when we were small children and I think we have retained some of her qualities for each other. We are on the same team, we are cheering each other on, we are each unique and different but at the same time alike as peas in a pod.
We have shared very hard times especially recently, and live apart, but this summer it was light and laughter all the way. Here's to you my precious sisters, each on our individual journey, until we all meet again..........
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
― Mary Oliver
Sets of Monbretia summer light prints available here
He was walking towards me from further on up the hill. We often have conversations about the state of the country, we grumble about the weather or maybe share the latest from the children who live abroad. I usually stop photographing for the duration of the chat and sometimes we walk on a little together. He has never, ever, mentioned the camera........this large camera that I lug around everywhere........he sees it but he never comments. That would be his way.
This evening the valley is dark and the setting sun is beaming colour down on the Comeragh Mountains towards the west of County Waterford. A sliver is caught by the reflective calm water of the lake below. He looks out " Sure you wouldn't get the likes of it in Killarney!"
I laugh, and yet it's true. Killarney may get all the rave reviews but County Waterford where we have put down roots has taken a big chunk of our hearts and has it's own gentler beauty.
We look out west and the chat continues; the great peace we have, the fact that the tourists don't know about our little neck of the woods, that at least the rain makes the whole place nice and green!
Then the moment has passed and my neighbour and I start to go on our way. I turn back towards the sky changing by the moment and he goes back to haul bales and feed calves.
The mist has been down for a few days now. It pours in from the sea when summer conditions dis-improve. It gets into your brain, slows down your thinking and creates a cotton wool world outside the window.
Feeling more lost than usual, it was impossible to get out. Work commitments mounted, weeds grew out of control, everything drooped under the weight of moisture. A big well of sadness seemed to pervade this mist. My first summer without my Dad in the background, wearing his summer shirt and his bright yellow sun glasses that he got from the National Council for the Blind .
And me, keeping busy to avoid at all costs the slow misty days of the wettest June on record. Avoiding the desperation that comes with the shortness of life and the quickening of age.
When out of the dark Irish mist a Blackbird female, a mucky brown bird, taking an unusual length of time to get her bearings, caught my attention and brought me back to earth, just in time to snap her before she flew away.
Out of the mist prints and downloads available here