The Dolmen at Poulnabrone by Jim
Jim suggested that we should take a trip to the Burren in the evening as it stays light so long now. This was on Saturday and it had been a scorching day. Luckily Buster returned from his wanderings about 5, so we were able to feed the animals and head off about 6pm. I know I have mentioned The Burren before but for anyone who doesn't know about this very special area, here is a link to the Burren centre:
Part of the Burren landscape. The ridges were formed as glaciers moved slowly across the land.
For me, the flora and fauna of The Burren is the main attraction. Flowers not normally put together by nature, live side by side in this unique environment. I have been quite a few times now and never tire of the area.
A few years ago we took Jim's sister to a Cairn at Poulawack on The Burren. There we saw the most amazing array of flowers. It was quite a difficult hike up to the Cairn - but ok if you were careful. We set off to find this again and the signpost which was originally by the track is now just a pole and the access was very difficult. The wall had clearly been built up and a further wall likewise. The cairn is on private land and I can only assume the landowner is trying to discourage visitors. It didn't work with us!
At first we thought there weren't many flowers out, but as we walked further along the track, we noticed many more. What ever time of year you go, the display is always different - and fascinating. I can't name them all, but here is a selection:
There were dozens of wild orchids.
Wild white saxifrage
The Burren is famous for the bloody cranesbill - and this is one.
This tiny white flower shelters down among the rocks.
This dog rose was just coming out. Again, they grow down the cracks in the rocks to take advantage of the shelter offered there.
This is Milkwort, which varies from pale pink to dark purple. I love the colour of this one.
There was lots of Lady's Mantle but it's very small.
The cairn at Poulawack. On our first visit we met some Americans who said 'it's just a heap of stones'! In typical Irish fashion there is no sign or explanation about the cairn. We engaged their 2 teenage children by explaining about the magical flora and fauna. They then spent ages taking photos and getting excited by all the variety of plants. Job done.
Ha ha, we played silly devils with our long shadows. A cuckoo accompanied us for most of this walk!
There are reputedly a lot of wild goats on The Burren, but we had only ever seen half a dozen. This time we passed a huge herd, but when we stopped, they all ran. I did manage to get a couple of reasonable shots:
Some of the males were enormous.
We always pay a visit to the Dolmen at Poulnabrone.
'One of the most iconic Irish images - and the single most photographed monument in the country - is Poulnabrone. This megalithic grave was also probably a site of deep spiritual significance to those who built it. The portal stone of this tomb is aligned towards the rising sun. This is an architectural characteristic of portal tombs.'
It is amazing when you stand near the tomb, to think it is some 5000 years old. The evening was drawing in and the sun setting, so we decided to stay by the monument and wait for the sun to go down. Jim took lots of photos of the dolmen, while I took lots of dandelion clocks. I also sat in some grass and to my horror picked up a load of tics! They were tiny and Jim had to pick them all off me at home.
Here I am waiting for the sun to set
One of Jim's photos of the Dolmen at Poulnabrone. The sun was shining on the underside of the main stone.
The Limestone pavement at sunset by Jim.
The Dolmen at Poulnabrone by me. It's a truly magical place.
A joiner of The Burren hills - please click on it to enlarge to a reasonable size.
One of my dandelion clock pictures.
A 'glory' of orchids.
One last one of a dandelion clock:
We drove back after that, stopping in Gort for burger and chips! What a delightful evening it had been.