• From Light to Dark

    It’s the shortest day, and these long, wet winter nights can be trying. So I treasure the moments (especially if they are brief) when the murk lifts and light wins through. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Earlier today the weak midwinter sun lit up a flower in a bouquet enough to offer solace after another stormy night. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js There’s also been rolling torrential rain. In true Irish fashion there can be a splendid burst of sun quite soon afterwards. I like how the low solstice sun tops the telephone pole so it’s a giant ‘i’, and how the clouds look like a diving beast trying to devour the blue… //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js And as the long…

  • a new road to an old house

    The modern curve of asphalt brings new traffic to the castle – but will it be thankful for the company, or ponder methods to return to its solitary ways?

  • the moon is not full tonight

    Actually, the Moon is full tonight, but this was the title of a small cartoon I drew on Sunday as part of #HourlyComicDay. When I drew the not-full-moon it inspired me to write a bit of nonsense verse. The moon is not full tonight. Straying a bit. Drew the cartoon, composed a nonsense poem in response. #HourlyComicDay pic.twitter.com/PlA8zscckO — Maura McHugh (@splinister) February 2, 2015 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Here’s the nonsense poem in full: A Warning to the Hungry Moon Poor hungry moon How do you yearn, For babies’ milk teeth, Or the bones under wreaths. Soon you’ll be starving, Your girth needing widening, While below you we ramble, Our bones all…

  • MCM Ireland reviewed

    My review of MCM Ireland Comic Con went up on the Forbidden Planet International blog today, along with some pictures I took at the event. You can see all my photos from the con on my Flickr stream, including photos of many of the Irish comic book creators who were at the event. By the way, have I mentioned that I have a Tumblr? I started it three years ago, but after a time I didn’t have the ability to maintain it along with my other various social media. Recently, I’ve gone back to updating it. It’s strictly focused on comics and art, so if that’s to your tastes you…

  • alien earth

    There are lots of lifeforms on the planet which have that touch of the weird and alien about them. The ocean and the insect world are teeming with them. But among the plant world there are plenty of odd specimen, and as regular readers of my blog know I love to photograph fungi. We’re past the mushroom season, alas so I’ll have to wait until August/September before I can capture their odd glory again, but in the meantime there are always lichens! Here’s a lovely duo I photographed recently. Due to all the storms we’ve experienced lately there are tons of branches and trees knocked down in the woods I…

  • 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.

  • Goodbye 2012

    I took this photo a short while ago so I’d have a beautiful image to celebrate the passing of 2012 and the arrival of 2013. I’ve a bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne in the fridge, ready to wet the baby year’s head. I’ve had a good year overall, and early in 2013 Twisted Fairy Tales will be published. If someone had told me this time last year that by the end of 2012 I’d have a collection written and nearly published, I’d be short-listed for an Eagle award, and have written part of a play that would be performed in London I would have been rather sceptical. It makes me wonder…

  • november woods, filtered

    I took this photograph in the woods this evening, of the lowering sun filtered through trees. Then I filtered the photo and added a frame that lent it an older look. As the image changed on my computer screen I analysed the feelings it evoked, and eventually it synched with an emotional response I wanted to express. It reminds me how we change events after we experience them: we add in more hue and contrast or bump up the warmth. Our memories are refined in the re-telling. Details are zoomed upon and unsightly ugliness cropped out. Finally, we create the perfect capsule moment. This is what we show to others.…

  • first shrooms

    One of the events I look forward to in August is the return of the mushroom. I love taking photographs of fungi, so I was delighted to discover this large colony of shrooms on a fallen tree in the forest today. Alas the light was not the best, but this is a decent shot of one of the clusters. Hopefully it will be the start of a fruitful season of autumn photos.