• sunset, then the lesbian aliens

    I snapped this image late this evening down by the River Corrib in Galway city. The Film Fleadh kicked off tonight, so I passed a long line of people, some dressed up smartly, waiting to get into the Rowing Club. That’s the official after-movie venue for the Fleadh, and it has a lovely section at the back that overlooks the River. It’s a splendid spot to quaff a few drinks and take cinema if the weather is good. Those were the film buffs who’d been in to see the opening film, Parked (written by Ciaran Creagh and directed by Darragh Byrne). I was on my way to watch a black…

  • shrouded

    Insubstantial

    A cold, dank mist smothered Galway today. There were none of the usual markers of morning, noon and twilight, just a constant grey tone that collapsed suddenly to darkness in the evening. It was the kind of day that offered no incentive to venture outside, but the dog needed her walk, so in the afternoon I braved the woods. It was still, muffled. The thick mist suggested much and illuminated nothing. A rook cawed intermittently throughout my walk, there were occasional bangs – fireworks, or a gun – but otherwise it was utterly silent. The woods were eerie and mysterious, and I thought how easy it would be to conjure…

  • the kindness of strangers

    It’s the last Sunday before December 25th so Galway city was thrumming with people and vendors earlier. The above picture was taken of the Galway market by St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church with an almost-full moon adding illumination. Smoke from a wood-burning stove lends atmosphere to the shot. The mood in the city was upbeat, if a bit manic in some of the shops. I’ve finished my holiday preparations, and now it depends on the whims of the weather if I can make it to my parents’ house for Christmas. When I’m out and about I tend to attract oddball characters who decide to befriend me. Today, as I was slowly…

  • capturing the spirit

    The weather in the West of Ireland could best be described as mercurial today. As I type the wind whips the trees in my back garden and stampedes piebald clouds. A sudden, violent deluge of rain has just ended. Looking out a window at the front of my house I see sunlight streaming through an aquamarine scrap of sky. It’s a day of squalls and sun linked by rainbows. Earlier, I found one of those favourable, magical periods in between the cloudbursts to walk my dog in the woods. As usual I was taking photographs. As much as I love woodlands they are one of the most difficult landscapes to…

  • Autumn

    I spotted this fine fellow on my way into the woods to walk my dog this morning. It’s a good example of Coprinus comatus, also known as the shaggy ink cap or the lawyer’s wig, among others. I usually refer to it as the shaggy ink cap (or, as I misspoke this morning upon my return – the shaggy inkwell). This mushroom erupted and flourished in the mere 48 hours since my last visit to this location, or else I was singularly unobservant during my previous trip. Change can occur in a day or two, if you notice. It was the first thing I spotted on this occasion, and I…

  • Stop

    To quote Ferris from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (written by the late, great John Hughes): “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ” Today I stopped long enough to capture the above picture of the Burren Mountains in Co. Clare, as seen from Kinvara in Co. Galway. The good weather is supposed to hold for at least a week. I hope my friends in Ireland enjoy the forthcoming holiday weekend with bonus summer sunshine (enjoy it while we have it!).