Archive for July, 2012

July 28, 2012

Rosses Point

The two headlands of Sligo bay are Strandhill to the south and Rosses Point to the north.  Strandhill is arguably the more ‘happening’ place, with a strong surfing community, more noise, bigger waves, and lots more seaweed!  Rosses Point is more genteel, more Jazz or Folk to Strandhill’s Rock ‘n Roll.  Both are great places and depending upon one’s mood one will be preferable to the other…

For the few days that we stayed at Rosses Point campsite, the weather followed a regular pattern; during the day it would be cloudy with a bit of rain here and there and then in the evening the clouds would scatter and the sun would apologise for its lack of visibility during the day by putting on a spectacular sunset.  On the occasion of the above photo, I was very grateful to the local yacht club for sending out a few boats to make the photo more interesting!  I can’t think of a more beautiful evening to learn how to sail.  The Sun cast a golden glow over everything so that it was hard at times to distinguish where the sea ended and the sky began… (See photo on Flickr here).

This statue, entitled “Waiting on Shore”, is one of the more famous landmarks of the area.  (See photo on Flickr here).  A plaque at the base reads:

This sculpture reflects the age-old anguish of a seafaring people who watched and waited for the safe return of loved ones.  The men and women of Rosses Point Parish have a proud history of courage and survival of loss and grief that should not be forgotten by future generations.

It is to honour the memory of these brave people who once lived, sailed, or were lost at sea, that this woman, cast in bronze, stands today on our headland.

Lost at sea, lost at sea or in the evening tide, we loved you, we miss you may God with you abide.

A front row seat for this evening’s performance… (See photo on Flickr here).

July 26, 2012

Ben Bulben

One of the first things that a visitor to Sligo will notice is the impressive shape of “Ben Bulben” dominating the skyline to the north of the town.  The name is an anglicisation of the Irish Binn Ghulbain, meaning “Gulbans’s Peak” or “Jaw-shaped Peak”.  W.B. Yeats in one of his last and most well-known poems ‘Under Ben Bulben’, penned the  line: Where Ben Bulben sets the scene, which I think describes the mountain perfectly.  (If you are interested, I wrote about Yeats and Ben Bulben before here).

Ben Bulben impressively sets the scene for what ever the performance might be, whether in mythology, such as with the legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne or the poetry of Yeats, or the more recent pantomime of Andy ‘the Bull’ McSharry, a farmer who fashioned himself after John B. Keane’s famously unaccommodating character Bull McCabe in The Field.  Ben Bulben had its role to play in more troubled parts of Irish history too, such as a refuge (albeit a futile one) for IRA soldiers during the Civil War or as the backdrop for a huge “Brits Out” (180 ft wide and 25 ft high) sign during the 1970’s.  A good starting place to find out more about this fascinating mountain is this Wikipedia article.

Below are a few photos of the mountain all taken a couple of weeks ago.

From the West (just of the N15).

From the Forestry road to the North.

From the South.

From the top (photo taken by Sonja).

These photos were taken while we were up in Sligo for the New Wine Summer Conference.  One of the great things about Sligo is its beautiful landscapes and seascapes which more than in any other place I have ever been make me want to fall on my knees and worship the One who brought it all into being…

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast in the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Psalm 36:5-9

July 19, 2012

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall, perhaps best described by W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Stolen Child”:

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star…

I remember years ago some of the instructors from the Activity Centre where Sonja and I worked abseiling down this waterfall – to me it looked like sheer madness but to them merely an afternoons entertainment!

Last week, we were up in Sligo for the New Wine Summer Conference – a truly remarkable, wonderful (and at times overwhelming experience).  As well as the conference it was good to catch up with old friends and to take a few photos…

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Photo Notes:
The picture above was a thirteen second exposure.  I wanted as long an exposure as possible to get the water to look like a veil, unfortunately though I had left my tripod behind in the boot of the car.  Thankfully there was a fence on which to rest the camera but the disadvantage of this was that I could not take the photo from the angle I wanted (hence some of the ‘plunge pool’ is missing) and it simply was not possible to hold the camera steady enough to get a high level of sharpness – all lessons learned for another time – oh and I needed a polarizing filter also, to cut down on the glare.

Larger version on Flickr here.