• after the sun, the rain

    After a blast of sunshine this morning the rain rolled in as I was out walking the dog in Coole Park – luckily I was wearing the right clothing for the inclement change. The light was so grey at this point in the afternoon that several of the photos I took looked just as well in black and white. This image looks better larger – just click on it. It’s a good example that rain can have its advantages, if you ignore the damp and chilling aspect of it! The turlough in Coole Park is huge and has swallowed up many of the trees. I’m used to this sight, as…

  • leaf on fire

    I spotted this little beauty in the woods during a walk that started with me walking determinedly through a haze of rain, and ended with me almost skipping in sunshine. January is a difficult month because there are very few signs of renewal – apart from the very early flowers – and there’s not much evidence of the incremental gain in the length of the day. Plus, the weather… well, it’s challenging. Yet, a dead leaf on the ground can become a chiaroscuro bonfire when hit by unexpected sunshine. I treasure these sudden glories in winter, especially the ones fashioned from everyday material.

  • winged beauties

    Summer is in full bloom, and on my daily walks – irrespective of the weather – the leaves and shrubs are bursting with life. One afternoon I was escorted through the woods by a constant display of Cabbage White butterflies engaged in aerial manoeuvres. They’re very hard to catch on camera, as they have a jagged, jerky movement that’s a little unpredictable. The difficulty with catching them at rest is their wings are folded up so their patterns are hidden. But at least you get to see their grey ruff. It was quite delightful to have this procession of butterflies guard my path. The very next day the butterfly escort…

  • the return of the rain

    The one thing you can be guaranteed of in Ireland is that rain will always return. After a streak of stunning weather precipitation has swaggered across the land to reclaim its sovereignty. But rain has its beauties. I took that shot yesterday evening of water beads on a clover that was just beginning to flower. I love how the water forms tiny, perfect spheres that balance on the clover’s stubble. And how about that syrupy blob that’s ready to detach, which reflects the scene around it. Water is beautiful – when it isn’t a deluge or a flood, which is just terrifying. For the moment in Ireland it’s at manageable…

  • the world will open if you wait

    There are times when I go into the woods and it seems to open up and show me vistas of ethereal beauty. Those heart-stopping moments don’t always translate well to photographs. Photographing inside of woods is difficult. It tends to come out as one undifferentiated blob. Plus, there is the constant problem of the shade from the canopy (as a rule I never use a flash). Every now and again the mystery combines with good light and gives me a decent image. Of course, like all images this is just an approximate, but it is close enough to make me smile. Today I found entire sections of Coole Park carpeted in bluebells.…

  • great and small

    I recently had a few encounters with creatures, both in my house and about. I try to get to a camera to capture these instances if I can. For instance there was the spider in my sink. It spent a lot of time trying to escape, and I checked on its progress on a couple of occasions. Clearly it was not going to make the vertical climb. It stopped, probably exhausted by its failures. Eventually I encouraged it onto the silicon spoon holder that I keep beside my cooking hob – hence the science fiction landscape. That’s a scary looking creature up close. Yet, I appreciate the fact that spiders…

  • at home

    I visited my parents for a couple of days recently. They have a lovely home and a beautiful garden, thanks to the hard work of both my parents. My mother had a small arrangement in a little vase by the kitchen window, which looked amazing in the sunlight. The weather is completely bipolar at the moment – one minute happy, glorious sunshine, and the next moment despairing grey skies and hailstones! All aided by gusting wind. But, whenever we had sun I tired to take advantage and snap some images. The close up of that flower display was magical when the light hit it right. When I had a small…

  • details in passing

    I’ve had a busy day so there’s not been much time for blogging. And yet, there exists an itch to put something down. These days when I get like this I start looking at photos and see what pops up. I look this photo a couple of days ago. I’m not sure what it was about the subject that beckoned to me. It got flagged in my peripheral vision, and caused me to take a step back, pause, and take the shot quickly. There was a pleasing quality about the composition. The double ivy sitting like two lonely hearts upon a severed trunk. Love (growth) despite death? What is it…

  • green life

    Flowers are pretty, but there is plenty of fresh green life that is beautiful at the moment. Like this trio: I love their fuzzy little siblings pushing up after them. I’m sure the older ones will complain they had it much harder… I have a particular fondness for light shining through the early leaves of spring. There is a vitality and optimism that you can almost inhale underneath their green haze. I love this image because it communicates some of that to me in an almost abstract way. The new leaves were jouncing about in a breeze. They were limp and hairy with youth, and flopped along with the rough…

  • bealtaine blossoms

    May 1st – the traditional date for the beginning of summer in Ireland – had a diffident start here, rather like the year. But it unfurled into beauty, so I got out this evening to take some snaps. The blossoms were sublime. A perfect tribute for Bealtaine. These are blackthorn blossoms. They are more individual than cherry blossoms which congregate together in grand clusters. This is from the tree in my front garden, which has just gone into bloom. These petals look like a divine fabric I would love to be clothed in. I liked the lighting and colour in this shot. What a glorious start to the summer!