Here I am in the village of Ennistymon. Or is is Ennistimon? They can’t seem to make up their minds. Most of the shops including the Post Office (who you’d think would know) spell it with a ‘y’. Pretty much all the road signs spell it with an ‘i’. This confusion about spelling of the town names in Clare is everywhere. Is it Lahinch or Lehinch, Corrofin or Corofin, Ballyvaughan or Ballyvaghan. Maybe it’s all over Ireland and not just Clare. I don’t know. I’ll report back on this another time. Anyway I digress.
The Humours of Ennistymon is one of my favourite jigs and as I say I am here in Ennistymon. There seems to be some confusion about the definition of the ‘Humours’ common in numerous tune names referring to places. I like the definition that it relates to the ‘vibe’ of a place and in particular the waters as they refer to the medieval concept of ‘humours’ or fluids, the balance of which make up life. I spent a few hours yesterday experiencing the ‘vibe’ or the ‘Humours’ of Ennistymon.
Sisters and fiddle players, who live locally, Yvonne and Caroline Casey, both independently said I must do this walk. So when there was a sufficient break in the weather I headed for Ennistymon. There had been torrential rain earlier in the day so this meant there was plenty of water flowing in the Inagh River on the banks of which the pretty town is situated.
“Just head past the bridge, through the arch and past the Falls Hotel” so that’s what I did. I was rewarded with a lovely vista as the river cascaded over giant flat steps eroded from the interbedded sandstone and shale. I followed the trail through a dripping rainforest with moss covered banks, occasional giant trees, thick lush scrub (as we would call it), some of which I recognised such as holly and ivy (they do grow together as in the song), ferns, epiphytes and flowering plants such as daisies, buttercups, lilies and foxglove. The swirling waters generated a froth which when it hit the calmer water spread out and formed thin lines which traced the eddies and swirls in the now calm river. I have not seen this before. The river flowed gently past the Falls Hotel, a Resort and Spa Hotel built around a Georgian Mansion from the 1740s and run as an hotel since the 1930s. The forest opened out as the river entered a thick reed bed. I turned to follow a path up a tributary with its water bubbling over rocks from its source deep within the forest.
I spent hours experimenting with my Canon 5D looking for the perfect shot of, first the falls, and then the creek, taking care not to ignore the many photographic opportunities of the surrounding forest. Of course there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ shot but I am happy enough with the results. I have attached some of what I think are my better shots. Hope you like them.