Archives for posts with tag: wexford

In this sometimes stressful year, I often let my eyes do the talking for me. Here are some of my favourite photos from 2014. I hope you like them. Click on any of them to get a better view.

1. Storm Clouds

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January of 2014 was incredibly stormy, with high winds lashing the coast at least once a week. One compensation was the wonderful cloudscapes such as this one above, taken in Garryvoe, Co. Cork.

2.  Shanghai Surprise

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2014 was the Chinese New Year of the Horse. On my first ever trip to China in February I came across this wonderful display in the city of Shanghai.

3. The Long Walk

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The annual 19km Ballycotton Cliff Walk is one of my favourite hikes, as it marks the approach of spring and the end of winter. This photo was taken on March 16th.

 4. Garnish Island

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The wonderful gardens of Garnish Island in West Cork are full of surprises. This photo, from April, was perhaps early in the year for full bloom, but the flowers of spring always have a special place in my heart.

5. Rhododendron Blooms


John F. Kennedy Park in Co. Wexford holds plenty of surprises too. During our visit in April I came across this wonderful display as a rhododendron bush shed its flowers.

6. Barley Fields

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A quick walk up the hill gives me a wonderful view over south Munster, from the Celtic Sea all the way to the Knockmealdowns, the Comeraghs and even the Galtees in the far distance.

7. Leaping Laddies

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By July, we had finally accepted that this was going to be one of the great summers. That’s worth jumping around for.

8. Summer Bees

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Bumblebees were everywhere this year. They go about their business with no real interest in us – focused on one thing only: nectar. When they have too much, they fall asleep, putting up a leg if you come too close. Mad about them, I am.

9. Coco the Cat

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Well, the Internet is all about cat photos, right? Right?

10. Glounthane Sunrise

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With the nights lengthening in October, I caught this morning sunrise in Glounthane, Co. Cork.

11. Ha’penny Bridge

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I took this during a day trip to Dublin in October. It captures many of its iconic structures quite well, I think.

12. Belvelly Castle

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I won’t forget the 26th of November too quickly. I had taken a few days off work and I rose early to discover a fog-shrouded landscape. What followed were some of my favourite photographs of the year. This one was taken from Belvelly Bridge near Fota Island.

13. Midleton Estuary

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After Cobh, I drove to Midleton, where I came across this scene. My parents had a painting at home that reminds me of this photo.

14. Castlemartyr Resort

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Then on to Castlemartyr Resort, where I took this photo as the sun was rising. Sometimes, you are just in the right place at the right time.

15. Little Spider

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After buying a macro lens for my iPhone in late November, I came across this little fellow climbing around a dandelion clock.

16. Dawn by the Lee

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This photo is from the 16th of December, taken during my morning commute. Though the sun had not yet risen, I just had to stop my car and start snapping.

17. Running Along

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I took this photo on Garryvoe beach just yesterday. It’s like the boys are running from a nuclear explosion.

18. Ballycotton Island

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Taken just this morning, this photo again saw me leaping out of my car. The sun was perfectly positioned over Ballycotton Island. Just glorious.

If any of you are interested, I post regularly to Instagram, and less often to Flickr. Maybe I’ll see you there.

We took a quick trip to John F Kennedy Arboretum yesterday. This botanical park, resting on the slopes of Sliabh Coillte in Co. Wexford, is home to over 4,000 different species of trees.

Greeting us when we arrived was a a path, strewn in all directions by purple rhododendron flowers. I took an photo with Instagram that captures the moment very well.

Rhodo flowers


John F Kennedy park was a regular place for us to go when I was a child. I think I was usually quite bored there, as trees and flowers did nothing for me.  Over the past few years, I have gained an interest in trees, so every time I come back there now, I learn something new.

It’s a delightful, tastefully designed park that is becoming even more graceful with age. It is a wonderful amenity in Ireland’s South East. I’ll be back again soon.

We travelled once again to the Saltee Islands today, where we saw a variety of seabirds all nesting and preparing their chicks for the summer. I took this short video of the trip and I might add some photos from Claudia later. She has taken some beautiful shots today.

As for my video, well, it’s short and it has some close-up footage of a seal at the end if you manage to stay the pace. (Sorry for the wind though – will try better next time).

We’re just back from a journey to the Saltee Islands in Co. Wexford. The islands are home to some of Ireland’s largest sea-bird colonies. Many of the birds on the island are relatively rare on the mainland.

After a mad morning dash through south Wexford, we took the boat from Kilmore Quay at 11.00. A small group of day trippers accompanied us on our journey. We travelled there on a powerful motor boat, transferring to a dingy in order to reach the shore.

There are some very bizarre statues and monuments on the main island, built by “Prince Michael the First”, the first owner of the place. There is even a stone ceremonial throne behind the family home. The Saltee Islands have their own flag and coat of arms, but perhaps rumours of a secession from the Irish Republic are premature.

The Great Saltee is home to large colonies of gannets, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes. Puffins, coromorants, shags, fulmars, choughs, herring gulls and black-backed gulls were also commonplace around the island. The largest colony of gannets is at the far western end of the island and, incredibly, you can walk right up beside these large birds. They appear unperturbed by humans, despite the fact that they are all looking after chicks of various different ages and sizes. Not so the black backed gulls. Come close to a nest and you will be swooped on by an anxious parent until you leave the immediate area.

The seas were dotted with seabirds of all shapes and sizes and every now and again large seals could be seen diving in the numerous inlets. Why the seals appear here in such numbers, I have no idea.

We spent a lot of time walking along the southern coastline, taking in the sights and sounds. July is a great time to go as most birds are still nesting and chicks are in their abundance.

Our trip lasted from 11.00 am until 4.00 pm. The five hours go by very quickly. For birders and non-birders alike it’s a great place to go for a day trip.

Photos by Claudia Wagner

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