The drab days of winter are behind us, and in-between indifferent Spring weather, we do catch a few glorious hours during which garlands of fragrant blossoms glow in the sunshine. Today has seen a stretch of magnificent weather which stirs the senses and brings with it a burst of energy. I spotted this tree in blossom as I was heading to a cafe. I pulled over the car, jumped out, and snapped off a couple of shots in the hopes that something would arise from it. The worse thing about sunshine is how hard it is to take photos using a screen. But, I’ve learned the fine art of ‘prescient…
some lights lengthen, as some go dark
It’s the equinox, traditionally the day when Spring really kicks off (although some parts of the world are still iced under). Today we’ve had a proper Spring mixed bag – a tantrum of angry hailstones tossed about on moody winds, followed by sunshiny winsomeness. The gorse is in full bloom now and its coconutty fragrance is being wafted in the woods by the Spring gusts. I snapped this photo the other evening, when the light was a sleepy orange. For me it captures the joys of the lengthening days. Yet, life is fickle, and this morning I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of the author Lucius Shepard.…
I’ve never had much time for Saint Patrick’s day since I became an adult. When I was younger I used to march in my town’s parade, as I was part of the marching band in primary school. Later on I participated as a Girl Guide. My memories of the parades are usually about the weather: numb fingers stiffly trying to play along to the beat, getting drenched by rain whipping in at just the moment we were due to head off, and figuring out inventive ways to wear layers of clothing under the uniforms so to stave off hypothermia. I’m less fond of being in a crowd watching a parade,…
It's good to be alive
Spring has arrived in its full glory in Ireland, which means you have to get out and enjoy it in case it only lasts a few days… Cue appropriate music: this is the video for Imelda May‘s latest song ‘It’s Good To Be Alive’. I’ve been a fan of May’s work since I bought her More Mayhem album a few years back. What makes video even more perfect is the Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein theme (remember, I love monsters), and the fact that it’s directed by my über-talented friend Prano Bailey-Bond. I’m off to boogie in the sunshine…
end of February cocktail
It’s the end of February cocktail: One part sunshine Two parts rain Half a measure of gale force winds Stir in occasional hailstones Add a twist of daffodils Pour out the wrong weather for your clothing Drink a deep draft whenever the wind scours the sky clean blue and polishes the sun blazing white.
signs of spring
I look this photo of snowdrops two weeks ago – a welcome sign of the changeover of the seasons. Now, the daffodils are ready to bloom, and the day has lengthened enough to be helpful. Soon, February will release us from its heavy grip, and Spring can bound forward unfettered. Winter has its beauties, but I am not sorry at its passing.
One of my favourite flowers is the bluebell, and in my opinion April is its month. They’re usually out early in the month, so they are latecomers this year. I was delighted to spot them in their usual location today, just before the month ended. I hunkered among them, snapping photos as soon I saw their pretty violet heads, bobbing in the brisk breeze. Wild garlic has finally erupted to cover the woodland floor, but their beautiful white star flowers aren’t out wholesale yet. A few of them have made to effort, so I caught them too. Finally, the cherry blossom! One of the great beauties of Spring is finally…
freshly minted leaves
I love the colour of freshly minted leaves after they break free from their sticky cocoons. They are soft, vunerable, and vividly green. The potential of a long summer shines in them, especially when golden evening light pours across their trembling veins. I took this shot from below, looking straight up at the leaf, suspended in all its glory. With much to watch in the undergrowth, and at eye level, in woodlands you can sometimes forget to look up, to the snatches of sky in between the looming treetops. Yesterday the wind gusted through the branches, and it sounded like the sea: waves crashed in the distance and washed up…
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.