• personal,  photographs,  Thoughts

    dogs and shoes

    When I was in Dublin this week I was fortunate to stay with Lynda Rucker, and her housemates Liz and Charlotte. Liz has a fabulous dog called Coco who is a sweetheart. As I’ve mentioned before my dog Minnie is not one for PDAs, but Coco is a total extrovert with her affection. I couldn’t resist taking a snap of her with my mobile phone. Minnie gave me a glad welcome when I arrived home, and a proper sniffing. I wonder if she was thinking ‘The cheek of her! Spending time with another mutt.’ I snuck into a few shops in Dublin, and spotted this incredible Lady Gaga-esque pair of…

  • nature,  photographs

    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…

  • Galway,  photographs,  Thoughts

    forest moods

    I walk in the woods and forests in my area regularly. I’m always struck by the different atmosphere in them depending on the weather, the season, and the varieties of trees. They also contain pockets of strangeness. All is friendly and light at first, and suddenly you walk into a watchful area, where footfalls are muffled, and you hold your breath a little. Then there are the parts which radiate a magical luminescence and anything could happen – anything could step from behind that tree. This is why so many fantasy stories and fairy tales are set in woodlands. People can disappear in them. Time stretches under their canopy of…

  • photographs

    bayou Coole

    One positive side-effect of all the rain this winter is I get to snap an image like this. I took this today at Coole Park while walking the dog. When we have exceptionaly rainy weather the Turlough in the park floods sections of the forest, rendering some of the paths impassable (unless you have wellies – or waders!). The dog was delighted to have the opportunity splash about in the water, and desperately wanted me to throw a stick into it so she had a reason to dive in. She even dragged a huge branch out of the shallows in an attempt to entice me into a game of stick…

  • nature,  photographs

    king of the new year

    I took this picture today in the woods during a brief spell of sunshine – we’ve had hailstones, gales and rain as well. It’s actually a rusted pipe and wood, sporting a moss ruff. As I walked by on the muddy track with my dog Minnie by I saw it out of the corner of my eye and the title ‘King of the New Year’ arced across my mind. The skinny King leaned against a huge boulder, carpeted in moss, and I had to scramble a bit off the road to get a decent shot. I only had my mobile phone with me, so it’s not as nice a shot…

  • nature,  photographs

    hazelnut wings

    There are red squirrels in my local woods. Sometimes I spot one of them running for a tree, and I’m always captivated by its fluid, rolling motion. Usually my dog skids through the damp leaves, whining with desperate hope, after the squirrel. It always ends with the squirrel far up the tree, watching my earthbound (leaping) dog with its bright, black eyes. Sometimes we only see signs of the squirrel’s existence, such as the outspread wings of the frilly hazelnut casing. The nut is now part of a stash, or maybe it was eaten on the spot: part of a picnic upon the moss, when the forest was free from…

  • photographs

    seed pearls

    This picture of water beads on a dandelion seed head was taken today on my walk in the woods with Minnie the dog. It was only misting rain, but because the undergrowth is summer-dense and sopping wet, I returned with my jeans soaked almost to my hip-bone. Minnie looked like a seal just out of ocean. So this was a nice shot to come out of a overcast, drizzly day.

  • nature

    summer colony

    I took this image the other day while walking my dog through a patch of woods I hadn’t been through before. I noticed this colony of fungus attached of the bottom of a branch, which was just above eye level. There are so many new things you can notice every day, if you just pay attention.