Ireland – The Dingle Peninsula

 [ Photo Blog #57 ] 

Following on from the photographs of my visit to Killarney and the Mulcross Estate, today’s tour is of the Dingle Peninsular, one of the 3 promontories which jut out into the Atlantic Ocean from the south-west coast of Ireland.
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Map of South West Ireland showing the Dingle Peninsula

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Beach along the southern coast of the Peninsula

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Further along the southern coast with a view to the outlying islands

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Looking eastwards back towards Dingle

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One of the Dingle Peninsula’s many small secluded beaches

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The Dingle Peninsula has many dozens of standing stones such as this menhir beside the coast road.

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. . .  and this menhir further along the coast

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The roadside remains of a one-time occupied croft

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Dingle Slea Head Crucifix – one of many such roadside shrines

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Seagull on the seawall with the Blasket Islands behind

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Sea thrift beside the coast road

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Roadside wild foxgloves at the south-western end of the peninsula

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Let Sleeping Ducks Lie

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Morning on the River Lowman, Devon … Photo: WHB – 2017  ©

 

LET SLEEPING DUCKS LIE

Pillowed heads
nestled
self-cushioned
oblivious
to my interference
in their down time

Dead to the busy world
and to my stare
my attempt
to disturb their lives
with my own

Our only mutual assurance
the comfort
of another sunrise
another day
to forage
to survive
to face
new concerns
different uncertainties

 The inbuilt plight
of all creation
fortified only
by a will
to endure
to survive
and thrive

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Inspiration

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Waters of the River Lowman, Devon – Photo:  WHB, 2017   ©

 

INSPIRATION

 

As Lowman meanders
hardly awake
over its pebbled bed
and as clear waters
give back the russet tones
of disturbed sand
of silt-stained rocks
so I muse

Imagination awakes
words flow
with the waters of the stream
transmuting my senses

into visions
of solitude
and silence
of grace in being
delight in life itself

These images
transposed
revisiting me now

with imprinted memories
of awe
of richness

felt in the bones of my youth
replicated now
in the dis-ease of old age

 

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Northumberland – Bamburgh

[ Photo Blog #56 ]

The coast of Northumbria on the North-East of England bordering with Scotland is atmospheric and highly impressive.  It was described by Janet Street Porter on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best View’ as having ‘a coastline ravaged by nature and steeped in history.  There’s a story round every single corner … you’re not just looking at a view, you’re standing in the footsteps of kings, and all on one of the most dramatic coastlines nature has to offer.’ 

Bamburgh Map

I have visited many times, usually on the way to or from my tours of Scotland.  For me, one of the highlights of a visit to this part of the country is the small town of BAMBURGH. The following photographs I took there in 2003 on one of these visits when I stayed in this historic town for several days.

Bamburgh is a stunningly attractive small town within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   In fact it is even perhaps just a village, with a population of only about  450.  It is dominated by its magnificently imposing Castle, once the seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, that can be seen for miles around.  It would be hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of the Castle and there is so much to tell about its long and amazing history.  On the seaward side of the castle and town there are impressive stretches of pure golden sandy beaches with rolling sand dunes and views across the sea to both the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and to the Farne Islands.   The town also houses a museum dedicated to its great heroine, Grace Darling.

To read the story of Grace Darling and of how her heroism caught the attention of the Victorian public, click on this link . . .   The Story Of Grace Darling

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Bamburgh Castle from the North Sea shore

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Looking eastwards towards the castle from the town

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The defensive landward side walls of Bamburgh Castle in the evening sun

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The seaward walls of Bamburgh Castle from the seashore

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Looking north to the castle across the coastline dunes

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The beach of the North Sea at Bamburgh

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Looking eastwards across the North Sea from the sand dunes

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Driftwood marker on Bamburgh beach

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The Bamburgh Sandman (See my earlier blog of October 29th 2016 at: The SANDMAN   )

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This elaborate cenotaph commemorates the life of the early 19th Century lifeboat heroine, Grace Darling, who is buried nearby.

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Bamburgh rooftops and castle battlements outlined against the rising sun

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The Castle at Sunrise 

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Sunrise over the North Sea from Bamburgh

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Bamburgh Castle . . . Pen and Wash – WHB:  2014   ©

 

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The Isle Of Wight

[ Photo Blog #54 ]

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A photographic trip today to England’s delightful off-shore Isle of Wight, set, at its shortest distance, just 3 miles off the southern coast in the English Channel.    In size, the island is approximately 25 by 13 miles, and had a population in 2010 of 140,500.   The photographs below were taken by me some while ago – during the lovely summer of 2003.
The island is known particularly for its beaches and seafront promenades such as those at Ryde, Shanklin, Sandown and south-facing Ventnor.  Dinosaur remains and fossils have been found in several areas.  At the island’s westernmost point, The Needles are 3 huge, white chalk rocks, with a nearby 19th-century lighthouse positioned to warn approaching shipping.

 

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Alum Bay … The cliff chair lift sets off for the beach

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. . . approaching the cliff top

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. . . descending to the beach

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. . . where it ends on a jetty extending into the sea.

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The Needles from the cliffs above Alum Bay

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A closer view of The Needles and the Lighthouse

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The Beach and Battery Inn at Seaview on the island’s East Coast

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Outside the Battery Inn

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Seafront chalets at Puckpool near Ryde 

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The axeman earns his keep at the Waxworks at Brading – now, I believe, closed.

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Queen Victoria’s holiday escape – Osborne House on the island’s east coast.

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View from Osborne House eastwards to the Solent

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On the south-facing beach at Ventnor

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Blackgang Chine – an area subject to frequent coastal erosion.

 

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Killarney

[ Photo Blog #54 ]

One of the highlights of my visit to the South West of Ireland in 2003 was a tour by horse-drawn Jaunting (or jaunty) Car of Killarney’s Muckross House and gardens and of the world famous Killarney National Park and its lakes and mountains.

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A still extant relic of the reign of Queen Victoria

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This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park.

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The jaunty car taxi rank

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By Killarney’s Lakes and Fells

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A pause to take in the view

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The Ruins of Killegy Chapel

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In the graveyard of Killegy Chapel

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Wild flowers in the Graveyard overlooking the lake

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Tree growing inside the roofless nave of the chapel

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The roofless chapel

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Close-up view of a memorial – now open to the sky.

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Return to Mucross House

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North Cape – Nordkapp

[ Photo Blog #52 ]

Nordkapp (English: North Cape) is in Finnmark County of Norway.  It was long claimed as the northernmost point of the continent of Europe. In fact it is the furthest north that one can drive in Europe but, by less than a mile, it is not quite the most northerly point.  The administrative centre of the area is in the town of Honningsvag, where the local population is approximately 3,500.   Nordkapp is a splendid spot, weather permitting, from which to see the midnight sun.  It is normal for about 200,000 tourists to  visit there annually during the two to three months of summer,  the main tourist attraction being the splendid views from the North Cape itself.  The North Cape first became famous when the English explorer Richard Chancellor sailed round it in 1553 while attempting to find a sea route through the North-east Passage. Except for the first photograph, the photographs are from my own visit there in 2002. 

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North Cape itself

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Approaching Honningsvag from the sea

 

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Honningsvag – town and harbour

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Traditional reindeer hide tent – set up for the tourists 

 

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Reindeer and boy in traditional costume

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Reindeer

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View of the summit of Nordkapp

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The summit of the cape has a number of sculptures and statues.

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Pointing towards the North Pole

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Signpost giving the Cape’s coordinates

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View from the Cape to the west

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View north towards Svalbard and the North Pole

AN AFTERLIFE

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The Yin and the Yang …in Eastern thought, the two complementary forces that make up all aspects and phenomena of life.

AN AFTERLIFE

Allow me to be morbid
To think of death
The afterlife
My next life

When life is now so full
It is not seemly
And not to be countenanced
To tempt fate
With supposition
Of a dubious kind

And yet I do
I do because I am
And the I that I am
Needs to contemplate
Beyond the now
Into the shadows of the future
The mysteries
Of my dust
My ashes

Not reincarnation
Because there will be
No me to be reborn
Merely a redistribution of
My dust and an accompanying
Acquisition of a sensate soul
To replicate a birth
An existence
And an organic life
In Nature’s cyclic motion

No out-of-body experience
Has persuaded me of this
No religious faith has
Swayed my thought

On the borderlands of life
I pause to contemplate
My future
Beyond the Pale
In That No-Man’s-Land of the imagination
That Heaven or that Hell awaiting

My next existence
The I who will not be me
Frightens me
The diversity of possibilities
For my re-formed dust to inhabit
Allow me no certainty
For there can be
No sense of continuity
Only, as now,
An unawareness
A not-knowing
 Of what has gone before
And of what will succeed me
The me that is not me
New flesh, new history
New mind, new destiny
But without
Any sense of newness
No connection to the past
The same not-knowing
About the future

I could be so much worse off
And yet I know
it will not be me
Not someone who remembers
The pleasures which have pleasured me
The joys which have made me joyous
Or the loves which enchanted me
For I will be he
Or she
Or it
Just someone who exists
Painfully sentient
Plausibly penitent
Regretting
Perhaps rejoicing
In a life
As I do now
In that life
I am afraid to leave

 

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‘Nature’s Query’ … Photograph – WHB  2016 ©

 

 

Scotland – 4 Lochs in the Southern Highlands

[ Photo Blog #51 ]

Mainland Scotland has 6,160 miles (9,910 km) of coastline.  Including the numerous islands, this increases to some 10,250 miles (16,500 km).  The west coast in particular is heavily indented, with long promontories separated by fjord-like sea lochs.  In addition to these, there are more than 30,000 freshwater lochs in Scotland.  I give below a selection containing a dozen of my photographs, taken in 2001, of just four of these inland lochs – Loch Earn, Loch Fyne, Loch Lawyers and Loch Voil – all in the southern reaches of the Western Highlands . . . 

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Loch Earn – from Achray House

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Sunrise on Lock Earn – 1

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Sunrise on Loch Earn -2

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Sunrise on Loch Earn – 3

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Sunset on Loch Earn

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Loch Fyne – towards Inverary

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Loch Fyne – 2

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Loch Fyne – 3

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Loch Lawyers

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Loch Voil 1

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Loch Voil – 2

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Loch Voil – 3

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Structure – ‘Daily Post’ Photo Challenge

Structure

In response to the recent ‘Daily Post’ PHOTO CHALLENGE,  outlined as follows . . .

“Today, take a moment to notice the structure of everyday things around you. Note the lines, freckles, and tiny hairs on your arm, and imagine the biological blueprint that created them. See the bricks of a building, and realize that they were individually placed there by another person. Then, share with us a photo of the structure of something wonderful. We’re eager to see details through your lens.”

I submit the following two of my photographs of a scanned leaf skeleton, taken some while ago …

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Leaf Skeleton – Photo WHB  ©

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