Category Archives: New Adventures

Clonmacnoise

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I won’t give you a history lesson – my attention span isn’t that good just yet to do the proper research. Situated in County Offaly, the site dates to 545 ad. That boggles my mind!

We were here last Wednesday. It was a lovely day for pictures. These are a mixture of his and mine. 







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It’s a Circus Around Here

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When I got home from work last night, iDJ was waiting at the door. “You’ll never guess what’s over our wall!” he said. 

From the odd look on his face I guessed, “Some kind of funky animal?”

“No…well, there might be…come look out the upstairs window!”

So I duly trudged upstairs and looked out to see a circus setting up behind our house. Seriously.

  
His pic from last night.

Of course when I got up this morning, I wanted to see how far they had gotten. Progress looked about the same at 8 am, but around 9, I was thrilled to hear the clanking of sledgehammers in sync as they drove the spikes for the tent. Out with the phone for a video!

I still don’t know how to embed. But watch it – it’s less than a minute – and funny, too. 

Never expected to get that on ‘film!’

Tonight, the tent is mostly up:

  
Irish, Irish, Irish – American? Okay. Well they do have that big ol’ American Freightliner truck hauling some of their gear. It is rare to see one here: it is hyooge. They parked it up by the main road as advertising – it works.

  
The view from upstairs tonight. Not much room to spare!

  
The view from standing in my back garden! I really think the dog is going to be less than amused to see this looming over her as she has her morning wee. I also really need to power-wash that ugly wall…

Our neighbors are not amused. But, the circus generator is very quiet (I’m sitting outside now), there do not appear to be any animals (good!), and the actual show is over by 9:30 at night so it shouldn’t bother us much. 

A Mini Update

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The car is ok.

The issue was that the new battery wasn’t connecting to the car properly! I never looked – I should have – panic over nothing. Fixed free of charge, and a hook up to the computer to see if anything else is error-messaging. All clear!

Hubby went to work today, he is fine but a bit tired (and got lots of comments on the fact he lost visible weight while in hospital. Worst crash diet ever). He is right now getting the exhaust tied on tighter via a LocalLad Redneck Repair service – otherwise known as a friend with car-ramps and, oh yes, an engineering degree. This could be very good, or very bad!

The car is vital – not just everyday, but this week especially so, for me. On Saturday, I finally get to meet one of my blogging buddies in person! It’s so exciting. There are so many of you that I’d love to laugh in person with. After four years of doing this blog (the anniversary was early last month, whoops), and my not being able to travel the whole time for financial reasons, someone is finally able to come here! She hasn’t posted in ages so I won’t link back, but we’ve had a few Skype and land-line phone conversations and I just think she’s the bee’s knees. I get the feeling we are going to embarrass our respective husbands – sure hope they get along as I think we are going to regress to silly mode right away.

Things are looking up! Wait, what: was that me just being positive? I don’t have a photo for that…

  
…maybe I do? Enjoy some happy Irish heather that I dug out of a bog and moved to my garden, enjoying October sunshine. 

Gerbera Daisies

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They are still just baby buds at the moment, the size of my thumbnail, but I’m so excited to have them coming up!

  

Will it be yellow? Will it be white? 

  
Will it be red or pink or purple? So exciting! Okay I’m easily pleased when it comes to plants.

I’ve always wanted these. So glad I finally found some seed for sale as already-growing plants are quite pricey. I have six – and who knows what colours they will be?! Stay tuned!

I Left Ireland – for the Giant’s Causeway

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My luvvies, I got to have an adventure two weeks ago! iDJ and I took the first week of August off, just because we had unused holiday time. There was also a birthday in that week, but that is of no consequence.

What is of consequence is that he asked me on Sunday if I wanted to go see the Giant’s Causeway. Well, yah! I’ve been in Ireland over 10 years and not seen it yet. He’s been here his whole life and not seen it yet!

After many debates and checking of every weather-app we have, we settled on a day that was ‘meant to be decent up North’, which turned out to be that very next Tuesday. Two whole days to prepare to go to another country. Of course, we can drive there, and it “only” took four hours one way.

So: through counties Mayo, and Sligo, and Letrim. Through Donegal and Derry and into Antrim – where you can actually see Scotland on a clear day (it wasn’t a clear day). A long drive on rough roads, and bad weather for most of it. The usual, then!

We have a Garmin sat-nav. Of course, we rarely trust it. So we followed the road signs and ended up taking the coastal route, which was prettier anyway. We found an odd place that we really wanted to explore, but were too pressed for time: Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demense. Maybe next time.

   
 These two photos are stolen from Himself as my only picture was rubbish. Clearly they were making hay while the sun shone.

We continued on to Dunluce Castle. While it is quite large, we didn’t fancy paying the entrance fee so took pictures from outside the castle.

   
 It was hard to avoid getting other tourists in the shot – and I also truly hated the wire fencing at the base of the castle that was keeping the erosion down. Shame they couldn’t find a more natural way to contain falling rock.

Finally, we made it to the Causeway. About 5 hours after we left home! We were already tired. Getting old sucks. 

This is the first picture I took – you have a good downhill walk to get to this part, and the causeway hasn’t even started yet at that wee hill. Still, we were tempted to climb it, like these people did.

   
Very eroded rocks. But I still feel and see the lava that created them.    
I found a tidal pool! Yay! It helped because there were SO DAMN MANY PEOPLE around. 

 

I went right to the edge. I was feeling a bit claustrophobic with the crowds, so I did my best to escape them. Hubby went another direction, and I did worry I’d lost him – several times.

   
It was very hard to get pictures without strangers in the frame. People had come from all over our planet to see this natural wonder. This is the widest people-free shot that I managed to take – and only because I’d walked way out toward the ocean. Families were much less likely to let their kids near the water, and no one wanted a selfie. It pays to be anti-social sometimes!

 Beautiful and amazing at once.

  

The basalt columns are all on an angle. Had to get the horizon in this shot to prove it! 

 I love rocks.

 
More rock detail. Each one of these is just about the right size for a human adult’s foot. Made climbing up and down quite easy – like a huge but wonky staircase.   
 We didn’t have time to walk to this part. You will have to click and zoom in to see how tiny the humans are compared to these massive inland columns. What you have to imagine is that the entirety of the land you see here is made up of the volcanic columns I was stumbling around on, on shore.

  
I spent a lot of time looking down. Sometimes I looked up.

 I know these aren’t the most symmetrical of Causeway rocks. I love them regardless. I’ve never been to the New Mexico badlands – but somehow I expect to see the same sort of rocks there.

  
Another part we didn’t have time to explore. Damn. Aparently there is a rope-bridge and I was curious to see if I’d finally defeated my fear of heights or not.

All in all – go see it. Next time I will drive up, spend the night close by, and have plenty of time to explore the next day. It is on par with any natural wonder you might be close to. But give yourselves a lot of time to wander and explore, and bring some water with you as there is a lot of walking uphill! 

Forgot to Title… Meh.

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I’m currently fighting for space in front of the fire with the two boys. I can’t get a picture as it is too dark, but Lokii is jammed between my thighs and Spot is making sure that I cannot stretch my legs.

Oh wait, iDJ just came in and I got him to take a pic of us. This is live-blogging, folks!

 

He Himself has recently brought to the house his old electric guitar, and bought a small amplifier. He was just playing, and I tried to get a pic but he stopped too soon. He is going to figure out how to hook up a microphone to the amp so I can sing while he plays. This is something I’ve wanted us to do together for a very long time!

 

An earlier, ‘action shot’ of Lokii when he was doing his stretching exercises. Along with my feet still in winter indoor booties and the dog bed (brown thing with green fluff) that Lokii is entirely responsible for chewing up. Little shithead.

I think our robins have abandoned the hose-reel nest. They weren’t expecting us to be outside so much, or throwing smoke in their faces every weekend when we grill. iDJ just loves to grill.

 

Not taken tonight: this was last weekend. But since I have shared kitty pics, I must include a doggie pic of Neko looking so sad that she can’t have BBQ. Tonight we are having sausages, drumsticks, and my homemade hamburgers. Maybe an ear of corn for me, if I get up away from the lovely fire and open the oh-so-difficult package of Spanish corn for him. *snark*

Back to the birds – we bought them dried mealworms. Because, supposedly, robins love them. I opened the package and they smelled really good. So I ate one. On purpose, and all. It actually wasn’t bad – like popcorn without butter and salt. Nicely crunchy, a slight taste of fat. So maybe they just need warming, and salt.

It didn’t bother me to eat one, as mealworms don’t have legs or a distinctive head. Does that even make sense? Maybe I’ve just been reading too much about alternatives to protein in our diets and wanted to give it a go. Seriously, it wasn’t disgusting at all. 

Aughris Head – the Flora and Fauna

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Not fauns, sorry. But how about lambs?

 

Oh, to be an Irish lamb.

It might be a short life, but it isn’t a bad one. Most of us humans don’t get to live in a place like this.

 

Hanging out with friends. We walked through their pasture to get to the car – they were not amused and kept their distance. As a sheep should, even if you are the odd black one.

 

 Or a parti-coloured mamma sheep.

 

 Or maybe you could mimick wooly clouds on the horizon; sleeping warm, and revelling in the glorious day.  

 

Aughris Head, County Sligo

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More photos! I walked all of Dunmoran Strand to meet my friend at the other side. No longer Dunmoran, I was now at Aughris Head (it was a good long rocky walk). We met outside of The Beach Bar, a lovely little thatched-roof pub that I didn’t go into at all. Another day!

My friend TK knows the area well, she lives there. Despite being less irish than I am, she knows all the good places and set me off on a cliff-walk, to meet at the end where she would drive me back to my car.

 

This is how I knew I was going the right way. Sort of. You get used to strange directions in Ireland…

 

 A lichen-covered rock that caught my eye. I think it looks like a yellow monkey, head down, tail curling up over the top. Just me?

 

 The greenest damn green I’ve ever seen in nature. Do you see the giant footprint? Just me again?

 

Looking back the way I came – I did say it was a long walk! No bother to me, I can walk for ages these days. The water is so lovely and blue-green. So wonderful to have a day like this and be in the right place.

 

 There is a little hidden beach. Anyone want to go nudist? I was tempted!

 

 Standing at the top of the little hidden beach. Can you see me?

 

Bet you can find me in this one. I seem to have gotten over any fear of heights I used to have. Well, no. I trust nature – if there was a fence, I’d be worried it would fall and take me with it. A cliff isn’t a problem. I have a very odd height-phobia.

 

 That’s my foot. That’s the edge. No bother.

 

What are we looking at here is the view that the cattle get. Yep. This is one of many cow or sheep pastures I walked through. Can you imagine what this land would be worth in the USA? Here, only the cows enjoy it. Mad altogether. I also had to walk through some relatively fresh slurry that had been spread for fertiliser – slurry being liquid cow-leavings. Smelled just lovely. Gag.

 

I’m going here next! 

Dunmoran Strand, Co Sligo – the Beach

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Today I’m sharing big beach pictures, including some telephoto lens ones. Yep, had to swap the lenses out, what a difference from the iPhone, eh?



This is where I was taking the rock pool photos.



Well, up there, actually. But it isn’t as pretty as the first photo.



I walked close to the waterline, and turned inland to see the tide still draining out. I did get a couple of people in this. Hope they don’t mind.



Only one human in this pic! It’s a big beach, plenty of room to yourself. 



iPhone and Hipstamatic app for a change. A couple and their dog walking the waterline.

Telephoto lens; I found a lighthouse! It is just a speck in the previous picture. I think I like this camera. I should have edited this to make it level. I’ve not had to edit at all until now.



Leaving the rock pools behind me. Do you see how the rocks aren’t flat, but angle upward a bit? That gets more pronounced further south.



I’m going this way next…



But before I go, a telephoto shot of Queen Mabh’s (or Maeve’s) Cairn, on top of Knocknarea.

Dunmoran Strand, County Sligo

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My dears, I had an amazing new adventure yesterday! It was a beautifully sunny and barely windy day, and Ireland was supposed to have record low-tides. So of course I wanted to go find some rock pools to gawk at, and photograph! I had our super-duper, fancy-pants camera (Nikon D3100 – fancy to me anyway) and I managed not to screw up the shots or the camera. So, who wants to come with me to the beach in County Sligo? 

These are close up photos of the tiny rock pools at Dunmoran during low tide. 

So much life in each tiny pool. 

The brown globs are beadlet anemones (Actinia equina) all curled in and hopefully not drying or dying in the sun. There are also common limpets (Patella vulgata – the greeny-pale ones that come to a point at the top, and a variety of snails and other things I can’t easily identify. I like the pink stuff: sea-fans? My Irish wildlife book is no help, nor is the internet. I am beginning to see a need for a proper post for identifying everything.

Three little pools in a row, each one different.



An open anenome! Yay! On a previous occasion I have gently stuck my finger into one. I didn’t get stung but it did feel a bit tingly. 



So much variety! Not the sort of thing I’d ever see growing up in Florida. We didn’t have rocks.



This is the whole reason I wanted to go to the coast. This picture, this experience. Seeing this creature enjoying a sunny day just like I was thrilled me to bits. So beautiful; I could have sat there for hours watching it and taking pictures.

But more beach, and more adventures awaited me, so I had to move on.

To be continued!