Home Again

-tired, a bit spaced out and with a flu bug!

muckross park

muckross park

-But as always it was all so worth it.  A few days and I’ll be put to sorts again and time to catch up with all!! Here are a few pics of County Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry and I will post others from time to time. I can’t decide whether to buy a house in Kerry or Perthshire and Kinross!!  both are so gorgeous.  ( Dream on!)

The Skelligs are off the coast of the Ring of Kerry. Sceilig Mhichil or Michael was the site of a 6th century monastic community started by St. Finian. The island is a formidable jutting rock and there is a steep climb to get to the beehive cells of the monks situated at the peak. (Two tourists fell to their deaths here). Weather permitting as the seas are very rough, a ferry will take people there and even if you don’t make the climb, you will see plenty of  wild life including colonies of puffins who make their home on the cliffs of these islands.  We didn’t have time as you must book well in advance.

monochrome madness 2-25 at Muckross Abbey

A bit late again and this will be my last post until I get home and can sort through all my images of these magical places!!- and have a better internet connection.

In a monastery garden

monastery courtyard

I could imagine what the Franciscan monks must have sounded like as they sang their chants and vespers in the halls and gardens of this ancient and sacred place. Walking along the vaulted upper floor and having once been in the church choir, I actually burst into a Kyrie eleison  that the monks may have sung back in the 1400’s. The resonant echo was like having an angel counterpart in accompaniment if I don’t say so myself!- :D At least I hope so!


monastery light

Please visit leanne Cole’s monochrome madness for some wonderful images

Gregoian chant – mass of the angels Kyrie

Two Amazing Places

Along with the weather, so is the internet- Iffy!!! I am often disconnected when trying to post or comment in the evenings so will keep this short. I have so many more I will post including Dublin and Kerry.

the first was for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2-24

Eilean Donan

the castle of Eilean Donan

bridge donan

bridge on Loch Alsh

dingle peninsula

On the Dingle – County Kerry

Up in the glorious Skye

Oh boy!  Internet is very hit and miss here- mostly miss.  I apologize for not keeping up at all with anyone at this time but will when I return. Thank you, everyone, for your comments and I will try to reply. While I have the access I will try to post some of the pics I have and hope I am not cut off half way.

As well as a Pictish, Celtic and Gaelic heritage ( of the Dalriada kingdoms), Skye has a strong Viking history as many of the names here indicate- such as the lochs of Snizort and Pooltiel, communities like carbost and skeabost, (bost means farm in Norse) and Duirinish (Deer Parish).  The firths of Scotland take their name from the Norse word fjord. The clan MacLeod which includes my grandmother’s family are thought to be the descendants of a Norse chieftain named Leod, and the MacLeod’s of Skye built Dunvegan Castle.

the viking settlement of

the viking settlement of Duirinish and site of an old church Cille Mhuire or St. Mary

There is a much older Pictish stone visible on the distant hill.

Cille means cell in Gaelic so Mary’s cell is the meaning of Cille Mhuire. The early missionaries built small, cell like monastic dwellings and churches.

Scotland is the land of the standing stones and – sheep!

The Land of the Standing Stones by Paul Anderson

sheeps!!as one Italian tourist exclaimed- “Sheeps everywhere!” and indeed-  walking down the roads, crossing the roads, lying in the roads!!

pictish stone

Pictish stone

Cliffs, beaches and craggy mountains. pictish and standing stones, St. Columba’s island and a 6th century graveyard, castles, even hadrosaur footprints in the sand at Staffin- Skye is rich in ancient history and of course not least- the fairies.

standing stones

standing stones on Loch Snizort



St. Columba was one of the first missionaries to preach the gospel in Ireland and Scotland. He converted many of the Picts to Christianity. This island still bears the stones of an ancient church and grave yard from the 6th century.

St. Columba's island

St. Columba’s island and an ancient grave site

Please view these in display for the full effect

The Fairy Pools

And of course we must never forget the fairy pools in Glen Brittle. I must have displeased the Sidhe because I took a tumble and injured my knee-(fine now) so didn’t take as many pics as I would have liked. The longer exposures were hand held and a tad shaky I think.

The Light in the Highlands

Connectivity problems in the Highlands have been ongoing and I hope to catch up with you all in time. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and I have been checking posts when I can!

I finally got online at my B&B  on the Isle of Skye so am posting these of our road trip through mountain and glen. I have more but I don’t know if I can get online tomorrow!

Never have I seen weather change so dramatically from sunny and warm to a freezing rain in the matter of moments- but oh! the landscape is glorious. Amidst the mists and shadows, light seems to suddenly turn on and shine up from inside the earth, as well as pouring from cracks in the clouds, to illuminate water surface, field and hill.

Kinnoul Hill

The view from Kinnoul Hill in Perth overlooking the River Tay

From the Black Isle and the Moray Firth to Loch Alsh and the castle of Eilean Donan. The castle was built in the 1200s by the Mackenzie family, destroyed during the Jacobite rebellions of the 1700’s, and restored in the 20th century.

and a few monochrome – one of which I submitted to Leanne Cole’s MM 2-23.  Dundee to the Black Isle – from Scott’s ill fated antarctic expedition, to the Pictish stones of Rosemarkie and the ruins of a 13th century abbey in Fortrose on the Black Isle

A few impressions of Edinburgh and the Lothians

I will try to post some images as the slow internet connection and/or laptop permits.

My Scotland is fields and hillsides of heather and wild Lupins, castles and towers, amber rivers full of peat (an ingredient of their famous whiskey), jovial Scots and the Scottish Thistle where a bee did a Braveheart showing me only his bobbing hindquarters.

I am so pleased with the detail and resolution in both zoom and panorama of my new Tamron 16-300mm. The stability also is very good. I so wanted to buy a full frame camera but at the cost, it was that or give up either Scotland or Ireland. I could not make that choice so we will be back in Ireland the middle of August.

I love the tiny castle- and what a wonderful play house it would make! It belonged to the ill fated Mary, queen of Scots  They call it her bathhouse though it’s actual use is unclear today.

So my friends, it’s off to the Highland games in Perth and then Glamis of Shakespeare’s MacBeth fame; “this castle hath a pleasant air” -and murder most foul.

tamron lens (except for infrared)

Monochrome Madness 2-22 Bridges

Greetings from Beautiful Edinburgh!! A jewel in the heather, she herself  is home to the ancient  “Honours” of Scotland,  The Military tattoo, Robbie burns, the Fringe Fest and Greyfriar’s Bobby to name just a few

This was a  scheduled post for Leanne Coles’ Monochrome Madnesses – It was one of BC’s  wooden bridges!!.. but I found and continue to find wonderful “crossings” here – I love the poetry and symbolism they inspire!

I don’t have my proper signature but I have an editing program I was able to download before leaving.  Bridges is the theme for this week so I made “Leith” the feature.  Will pop in from time to time though notebook is very slow.  Hope you all enjoy August and keep taking lots of pictures!! It’s something you can’t avoid here!! Namaste and Slainte!!

bridge on the Leith.jpg small

Over the Leith- Infrared

wooden bridge in the Okanagan

wooden bridge in the Okanagan

Blackwater Foot - Arran

Blackwater Foot – Arran-last year