• persistence and endurance

    It’s the summer solstice, and the weather has proved diffident. But where is it written that on the longest day in Ireland we shall be gifted with sunshine? An island buffering the Atlantic’s whims is never granted predictability. Yet, towards the evening the continuous clouds thinned in places so I ventured into the woods, in search of beauty. I was not rewarded with a triumphant, sunny breakthrough, but there were dramatic skyscapes. Conventionally pretty? Perhaps not, but arresting nonetheless. The woods were dotted with one of my favourite summer flowers, which returns each year to a glad welcome by me: dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid. We tend to associate…

  • longest day

    It’s the solstice, so hopefully it’ll be a long, warm day. I took this photo recently of a field covered in buttercups – it was a radiant sight. They are another one of the common flowers that I think are sheer beauty. Or the violet – common, abundant, and sublime. Simple pleasures are often the most sweet. I love the patterns cast by light shining through moving water. I snapped this image a few weeks ago. I hope this long day is a good one for all of you (and the short day down below passes peacefully).

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • a floral interlude

    Events in the world over the last couple of days have rendered me a little mute. I received a bunch of flowers yesterday from my mother, and here are a trio of images I took this morning during the windswept sunshine. Sometimes I need to remember beauty remains in the world.

  • a new camera

    I got a little extra money recently so I decided to splash out on a new compact camera on Saturday. I purchased a Canon Ixus 510 HS. It’s small, glossy black, and has a touchscreen, so it’s been fun to try it out. This was my first photo. A close up of the action figure Trinity from The Matrix movie. I liked the shadows cast on the wall from her guns. Holding the figure in one hand and taking the phone one-handed wasn’t ideal, but she looks pretty badass. I caught this pair of swans from behind cover in Galway city yesterday. They were meandering around the canal, enjoying the…

  • winter's grip lessens

    It’s been a long, dark, winter, so the last couple of sunny days have been uplifting. It’s amazing how quickly the land responds when it gets a blast of sunshine. Suddenly dandelions are prowling among the grasses, and the gorse bushes in the woods have burst into glorious flower. I love the gorse flowers’ coconut scent, so strangely exotic for the blooms of a local wiry shrub. Most of the other plants and trees have not started to grow, so winter’s severity still rules. Soon, all will be stretching up and out of the darkness. Until then we have the beauty of gorse.

  • gorse beads

    We’ve had a mild, wet winter in Ireland. As a result the gorse bushes have continued to flower. This was taken at dusk a few days ago and it was tricky getting my camera to focus on the flower in the low-light conditions. I love capturing water beads balancing in this wondrous fashion on flowers or foliage. Nature’s marvellous balancing act.

  • where did the summer go?

    This is one of my favourite flower photographs of the summer, taken on a rare hot day in Galway. There must be a miniature sun secreted in the folds of that rose to account for its Hollywood glow (no spray tan required). The image cheers me up as the days take on a duller, less L.A. sheen.