Monday, January 28, 2019

May 12-18 Ireland Vacation Post 2 of 3

I hope you enjoy viewing these 28 photos from May 12-18, 2018 during  our vacation in Ireland. Optionally click on a photo for a larger view and slide show.

This is the second of three posts of this vacation. The title of the first post is May 9-11, 2018 Ireland Vacation.

During these 7 days of our tour in Ireland, we stayed in the Silver Birch House just outside of the town of Glengariff while exploring Counties Cork and Kerry.

The Grange Stone Circle was among the first sites visited by
the tour. This impressive circle of 113 stones has a diameter of 
149 feet. It is the largest stone circle in all of Ireland.

Our group made a circle of people within the circle.

Our lodging for 7 nights was the 5-star, luxury Silver Birch
House just outside of the town of Glengariff.

Ted Cook, our guide for the walk in St.
Gobnait's Wood is one of the best
interpreters / naturalists that I have ever
encountered. This ancient forest is among
the few undisturbed oak tree communities
in Ireland.

Copper Birch tree

Irish Spurge

Statue of St. Gobnait, patron saint for bees.

This is St. Gobnait's holy well, a pilgrimage location

Fred is a man of many talents: Bus driver,
historian, ecologist, story teller, jokester,
and flute player.

Although Dan makes some pretty good
cider, I much prefer beer.

View from a meditation room in the Dzogchen Beara Buddhist
Center on the beautiful Baera Peninsula.

According to legend, this rock (The Hag of Beara) is the 
embodiment of one of  the oldest and most powerful beings 
of Ireland. This goddess had the ability to control the weather 
and the seasons. She is still waiting on this hillside for her 
husband to return from the sea.

The oldest stone cross in Ireland is but
a short walk up the road from the Hag.

We visited the small Ardgroom Stone Circle, located in an
open field (sheep pasture).

Sheep browsing on a steep mountainside in Healy Pass.

Muckross Mansion in the Killarney National Park

Trudy and an aquaintance - Dunloe Lodge Pub in Kenmare 

Shoreline in front of the Silver Birch.

This Uragh Stone Circle has The Most Scenic Location, in
a wide valley with a lake, surrounded by mountains.
Nile Hogan, a retired life guard, was our guide at the
Derrynane Historic Park and Beach.

Sea Pink (aka Sea Thrift) growing on the margins of the beach

Derrynane Abbey Ruins

Barnacles and Limpets


Our next step was a 5-star resort, where many within the group
availed themselves of the spa.

A forest creature that we encountered along
one of the resort's trails.

Posing for a photo at Parknasilla Resort.

Continue to a third post of our Ireland vacation.

May 19-23 Ireland Vacation Post 3 of 3

I hope you enjoy viewing these 30 photos from May 19-23, 2018 from our vacation in Ireland. Optionally click on a photo for a larger view and slide show.

This is the third of three posts of this vacation. The title of the first post is May 9-11, 2018 Ireland Vacation.

During these 5 last days of our tour in Ireland, we stayed in the Three Towers Eco House and Organic Kitchen south of Loughrea while exploring Counties Clare, Galway, and Limerick.

Andrew St. Ledger of the Woodland League
led us on a tour in Raheen Woods, one of the
last few acres of that once thrived in the

Andrew introduced us to the Brian Boru Oak, at 1,000 years old,
one of the oldest trees in Ireland.

The girth of this oak below the first branches is 26 feet.
Thousand of acorns from this revered tree have been planted
throughout the country.

This photos is the first in a series along a trail over the
fractured limestone of the Burren National Park to the 7th
century spiritual hermitage of St. Colman. Near the end of
this easy ramble, we visited a small sustainable hillside farm.

Dense growth of wild garlic in low, wet
area along the trail at the base of Eagles

In 590 A.D., Colman mac Duagh left a
monastery on the coast to
commune alone
with his Creator on a forested hillside .
The photo above shows the entrance to
the small cave, 5 feet wide by 15 feet
long, where he lived for 7 years.

St. Colman's hermitage includes a holy well above and ruins
of a small chapel below.

The Poulnabrone Portal Tomb is located in an open field 10 
miles away from the secluded St. Colman's HermitageThe 
Poulnabrone is a popular tourist attraction, one of the most 
photographed megalithic monuments in Ireland. Portal tombs 
have two vertical portal stones and an end stone supporting a 
sloping capstone. These stones were probably originally 
covered by an earthen mound with the area below the capstone 
forming an 8 foot by 4 foot tomb chamber.

Archaeologists found the remains of 21 people in the main 
tomb chamber. This tomb was used for a period of 600 years 
between 5,200 and 5,800 years ago.

The crevasses in the limestone pavement 
are called GRIKES which form between 
the blocks of limestone called CLINTS.

Early Purple Orchid

Bluebell flowers

The commonly seen Gorse shrubs have
beautiful yellow flowers and enormous

The cool herb is my namesake: Stinky Bob

We visited the very popular Peppers Bar and Restaurant to
swill beer and listen to a live performance of Irish music.

Oonagh O'Dwyer provided information on
edible marine plants and organized a wild
and locally grown scrumptious lunch buffet.

This was my favorite limestone of the
Burren, on the Lough Avalla Eco Farm.

View of a portion of a round stone fort, still on the Farm.

Kudos to Lorna, an excellent herbalist.

On our last day with the tour, we stopped at Glenstal Abbey
for a guided tour of the gardens by Father Anthony.

This is a new-to-me tree, a Monkey Tree.

The exotic plant Gunnera can be found in
many gardens ... it has a multitude of thorns
on its stems and leaves.

LCD on board the plane shows the distance flown between
Shannon, Ireland and New York.

Almost back to the USA!
This is the last of the three post of our Ireland vacation.