My last post was on my musical journey through Connemara and Galway. In this post I want to concentrate on the spectacular physical beauty of this part of Ireland.
Connemara is an ill-defined area in the west of Galway incorporating mountains, seascapes and bogs. It is hard not to talk about it without resorting to clichés – wild, rugged, unspoilt; but this is a part of Ireland that almost defies description, it is so beautiful. So I have tried to capture its beauty with the lens. A tall order.
I have visited it three times – just driving through, but on each occasion I was lucky enough to be blessed with patches of sunshine which displays the hills and lakes at their glorious best. Sometimes achingly so.
My first visit was in June in the height of summer, then again in August and most recently in December. As the mood changes with the arrival of the sun, so it changes with the seasons. In summer shades of green and grey predominate as the lush grass covers the slopes. In winter it turns to stark reds and browns but is no less beautiful. These photos (I know there’s a lot but it was hard to leave any out) I hope capture the things that make Connemara special to me – the rugged landscapes, the birds, the ponies, the placid lakes, mist, snow, rocks, bogs, turf and the built landscape, from stone walls and shepherd’s huts to Abbeys. But they also serve as a warning that we must do what we can to preserve such treasures. I was shocked to see the encroachment of wind farms into this wilderness.
I will return to Connemara.
I just viewed your entire blog, yup, the whole thing….couldn’t stop. Loved every minute (hour?) of it. I hope you are enjoying your winter thus far. Last winter had horrible destructive weather; probably why no one thought you would last it. I was told the same. The short days are tougher on me than the poor weather, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Reblogged this on The Aran Artisan and commented:
An rud a líonas an tsúil líonann sé an croí–
What fills the eye fills the heart.”
I couldn’t count the number of times that I’ve sat with the children in the car at the foot of our drive returning from or heading to wherever and said “Look across.” They know what that means. The sun is hitting the hills of Connemara across Galway Bay just perfectly, or the mountains are snow capped, or perhaps the clouds are sitting on the earth and we can only imagine what we know is there. Maybe there is a rainbow chasing a storm; never before moving here had I seen rain move from here to there and there to here, had I actually seen it miles off as if running on the water. Gazing out my kitchen window, the same feeling hits me–stop and look, count my blessings, grateful that my big move didn’t take me from the ocean, but instead to a breathtaking daily view of it and of Connemara. For years we have talked of this summer, the summer when my youngest is five years old and we can go camp and hike over “there.” But it wasn’t the view from a window that got me thinking about it this morning, rather the view on my computer screen…
While browsing through WordPress Reader I came across a blog that I am about to share with you. It is authored by Bob, an Aussie who came to Ireland “to discover the country, the people and most of all the music… to learn to play the fiddle properly.” His stunning photos and equally engaging anecdotes really capture the romantic notions of what Ireland is about–rich in traditional dance and music, young and old living and playing together, living life in the moment. This reblog is of his most recent post Wild Connemara. While you’re there check out the amazing dolphin jumping shot and the brilliant scenery of Loop Head County Clare and The Burren reminds me so much of here on Inis Mor. Bob’s October 29, 2014 post is worth your time for several reasons–a Guinness Book World Record attempt is made, young and old musicians play together in a couple different venues showing some very typical Irish sessions, and my friend Claire is pictured doing the Irish Broom Dance. Enjoy Xx