One of the field Buster and I have walked round a few times was now gated - a typical Irish mish mash of gate with the inevitable blue baling twine holding some of it together! One for leatherdyke this:
Please excuse Buster's bottom - he just walked into shot.
I thought I'd walk a little of the East Clare Way so turned right at Kevin's farm, over the stile and away we went. It was so wet and boggy, several times I found my boot stuck in the mud and had a job to pull it out. Having ploughed through the worst of this, I thought it would probably be easier to carry on and see where I came out. I have walked this once before, with Jim when we first moved in, but it was a long while ago. I couldn't face trying to work my way back through the cloying mud.
After a while the ground underfoot became slightly less boggy and the walk became more enjoyable. Buster was funny. Because he didn't know where we were going, he didn't rush up and down as he does in the wood, but kept waiting for me to catch him up.
Here is the first style we came across, Buster went under the fence!
The little 'walking figure' on top of the post to the left is the sign they use to mark any of the official walks
I took this dead tree because my older son Jason loves them. One day I shall make him an album of them. Lovely sky behind it.
This section of the walk is right through the centre of the peat bog. We have rights to dig up peat here! Don't know which bit though. You can see where the dark line is. That is the edge of where people have been digging. Not many people bother to dig their own peat now, they buy it from a shop. How times in Ireland have changed.
There were quite a few butterflies about, mostly wall browns. At one point there was a little group of them. What do you call a group of butterflies I wonder? A fritillary of butterflies? A flutter? I only managed to catch one when it landed on a bush, it was a little way away but the photo came out quite well:
The path went over a river/stream and I realised from its direction it's the same river that flows under the road to The Deenery. It looked quite clear.
A little further into the bog area and there were lots of mossy old trees and peaty coloured ponds like this one:
It was still pretty sunny at this point, although cloud was gathering. I took this photo of the road behind us.
There were several huge aspen trees on our journey and the breeze blew through them and made their delicate leaves rustle and whisper. We have aspen trees in the little wood below our orchard. They are beautiful.
A little further on we passed some forestry trees. Mostly blue cedar, they look very pretty. There is a lot of forestry planting around this area.
This massive oak tree provided plenty of shade. Buster came back to see what I was up to.
All along the route were wet, water loving plants like this tall reedy grass. There were flag iris leaves and bull rushes too. Here's a close up of the grass seeds
We passed this old gate, which is probably upside down! This cattle feeder hasn't been used for quite some time:The road turned into tarmac and this sign, plus another, was left in the bushes. I guess it was when they tarmacked the road, some time ago. The Irish are good at putting up signs, but hopeless at collecting them again.
The track brought me out at Anthony MacNamara's pub. Known by everyone as Tony Macs. He seems to have a finger in every pie. The pub has a shop, far left and on the opposite side of the road he has a tractor selling outlet!I now had to brave the main road and walk up to the turning down to our cottage. I put Buster on the lead of course. Sadly I hadn't taken any money with me or I would have stopped at Tony Macs for a coffee. Drat and double drat.
I thought this little gate was particularly attractive. The cottage is very unloved though.
Looking down from the main road, you could see the autumn colours developing. Down there is where I'd walked.A shed? A garage? Derelict cottage? We must have driven past this many times but I hadn't noticed it before. Just a shot distance away is this derelict cottage and barn
This group of rose bay willow herbs gone to seed caught my eye. I wasn't able to get close enough for a better photo.
This rather palatial residence belongs to Mrs Broderick, who runs the Mountain Cafe for charity. She also has 3 delightful holiday units round the back if anyone wants somewhere to stay while visiting county Clare.
On the other side of the road she has another bit of land, tarmacked, and I paused there to look at the view and see whether I could spot our house. I couldn't. A couple pulled in and we started chatting. I was burbling away when I realised they weren't English or Irish, in fact they were from Germany and spending a week's holiday in Ireland! I told them they'd picked the best week so far. I took their photo (with their camera), tried to explain about peat bogs and then they were on their way. Buster charmed them of course.From the main road, looking down on the peat bog and where I'd walked. Lough Graney behind and the hills of Flagmount. The sky had clouded over by then, but it was still quite bright.
As I walked further up the hill, I could see our cottage. It's about a third of the way down in the centre. Below is a close up of the same view.
It's a bit well hidden, isn't it!!
Buster got very excited as we approached a large herd of bullocks. They took one look at him and all but 2 stampeded up the hill! They're pretty young.These huge headed hydrangea have been in bloom for months. The garden has many more inside too. The next turn after this is the road down to our cottage
This is about where we found Buster. As the road drops down, the river mentioned above goes under it
Here it is. Our cottage is about one mile from the main road. My legs were pretty tired by now and Buster was slowing down too! Most of the flowers are over but there were some more scabious, some purple thistle, herb robert and even some buttercups. The warm weather has brought them out again:All along our route were thousands of ripe blackberries. Buster ate too many as usual, and I polished off quite a few. In the UK, if you knew of a good blackberrying spot, you had to go early or they would all have been picked. In Ireland, as a general rule the Irish don't pick 'wild' produce as it's considered 'famine food'. During the great, devastating famine, they would eat the blackberries simply to try and stay alive. Now they like to be able to buy them from a shop, because they can afford to. I don't mind. All the more for me!
When we finally got home, Buster had a huge drink from the trough! Then collapsed and slept for a couple of hours. I continued weeding the Fairy Hill and it's beginning to look much tidier. Unfortunately the grass is really long everywhere and I think it'll need strimming before we can mow in again.This white thrift has decided it's summer again:
I hope you've enjoyed our walk. I rememer the first time we did it and I was totally exhausted. This time I must be fitter as it wasn't hard at all. Next time I'll take some pennies with me for a coffee at Tony Macs. I must admit I was somewhat put off by the first part, which is so wet and muddy it is almost impassable. Hopefully it will dry out a bit. Hmmm, this is Ireland. Probably not then.
My daughter and tribe have gone on a week's holiday to their usual haunt in Devon. I hope it stays fine for them and that they have a great time.
Must ring the vet tomorrow and get Buster 'seen to'. Poor lad.
Watched the results show of the new 'Strictly Come Dancing' tonight. They've upped the contenders to 16, which I think is far too many. I still enjoyed it though. Come on Tom (from Holby City). He had a really sexy hip wiggle too.
Your Mind is Purple
Of all the mind types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.