July News 2014

Bards In The Woods at Dooney Rock

On Sunday, 20th July, 2014, at 3 pm
South East of Sligo Town, south side of Lough Gill

click here for our Google Map for this

Last time we were there it was early Spring, before the leaves were out.

I write a lot about Forest Bathing and this year I'm focused on what forests existing fit that role. I was not expecting to find the seemingly 'perfect' forest bathing forest at Dooney Rock Woods.

The trail here is a figure of 8 walk that climaxes with a climb up to the top of the Dooney Rock.

Before you feint, I have quite awful arthritis these days and I found this whole walk was very easy, very relaxing.

There are lots of wonderful viewpoint and mindfulness seats all around this walk.

Views from the top of Dooney Rock are stunning. Apparently, this is where W.B. Yeats often came with his family when he was a child. His 'Fiddler Of Dooney' is perhaps one of his most famous poems. 

During our last visit it was a misty day and through this mist there is Beezie's Island.

This is a wee map of where we will go ....

On this map you can see the figure of 8 route and the spur up the rock, a wonderful picnic spot

Of course, we will share poems, stories and harp music there. Do bring your own favourite words, especially those written by yourselves, and share with us.

The we have a great craic with our shared Picnic.

Yes, please join with us there at Dooney Rock,
and bring a fiddle to play, if you wish :-)

click here to read more ...

Bards In The Woods at Rinn Dúin

This was on Sunday, 13th July, 2014, at 3 pm
This is near Lecarrow village, between Roscommon Town and Athlone
and beside Lough Ree on the River Shannon.

For almost a year, Bridget Foy, Andrew Beach and myself had been looking forward to visiting the Warren Peninsula together, that includes the remains of the Rinn Dúin castle and village and a delightful native woodland.

Despite inviting and encouraging others to join us it was just us
and my neighbour Jan who turned up for this special visit
... and a special and adventurous visit it was.

So here we are, lots of noticeboards at the start including this ...

and the start of the trail markers, immediately warning us off a Bull ...

but he was not there today :-)

To start on the Looped Walk, which as recently been changed from anti-clockwise to clockwise recently, the first signs were confusing as the blackboard pointed differently to the marked walk arrows.

We saw the next marked walk arrow ahead of us beyond the cows and calves
so we walked straight ahead.

I started looking at and playing the audio on the Every Trail app. I was listening to an audio by Richard Collins and through this and he suggested going a bit right here and visiting the medieval hospital and graveyard ... so that's what we did.

As I was pondering over 'Fratres Cruciferi' as being possibly a great name for a Biker's Club, I started to listen to more of Richard's commentary about this  ... and then the audio seemed to echo.

I switched off his commentary, and still heard his voice.
There he was, talking to the others over his garden gate :-)

Richard shared lots of info about the trail with us, though I was a bit lost through his stories of some bodies where legs had been separated from the rest of torsos and buried in different places. As he shared this, to make sense of it, my mind was racing with a combination of the Grainne vs Dreacon battle legends, and my idea of 'Fratres Cruciferi' being a good Biker's Club name or metal music band name.

After our wonderful chat with Richard, we were eager to explore ...

click here to read more ...

Bards In The Woods Harp Fringe?

On Saturday, this time, 2nd August, 2014, at 3 pm
by Keadue, on the shore car park of Lough Meelagh

click here for our Google Map for this

At this time the O'Carolan Harp Festival is happening.
Unfortunately, and very strange, there are NO Public Harp Concerts at this festival.
Its mainly this kind of thing ...

So I was wondering if any harpists and singer harpists out there
could turn up and let us create a Fringe Event for the public?

At this end of Lough Meelagh there is a Crannog,
a man made community island.

Legend tells of Turlough O'Carolan trying out new tunes here
to get the reaction from a Linnet living on this Crannog.

I will send a special newsletter nearer the time of this event
but please save the date and join in with us.

We will also spend time within Knockranny Forest
and at the Megalithic Court Cairn there.

click here to read more ...

Wells, Woods & Wonders Of Glendalough

We started to gather ...

This was on Saturday, 28th June 2014, a beautiful warm, sunny summery afternoon, despite a restless weather forecast.

Rosaleen serves us an introduction to our afternoon, standing by Kevin's Well,
the wells we are about to see, some interesting stuff about them ...

Then Bethan performed some delightful tunes on her harp. Each year we hear how much further she grows and develops with her wonderful instrument.

Before we leave this well, some folks leave blessings and prayers on the Birch Tree here and I share Beith The Birch. (Thanks to Erika for the photo).

The we head off down the Green Road west,
and Marty the Cairn Terrier catches up from behind.

click here to read more ...

Solstice At FaceFest, Yes It Was!

Yes, that's what this was all about?  :-)

Here's a video of what happened, before I commence the blog and photos ...

"Hey everybody, don't miss a great show this afternoon!"

and here is Claire solo, with her folk harp accompanying, through our afternoon performance

but what on earth is this lad doing off of the stage?

click here to read more ...

What Is Happening to Lassair's (Lasir's) Well?

This is how the well is today ...

and how it once was, not a very long time ago ...

This was one of my favourite Holy Wells in Ireland as it included many features that a traditional to wells but rarely found in one place. Sadly, this well, due to its recent changes, no longer makes this possible.

I will go through the components and where they are now.

Most important, perhaps, is the Ballaun Stone, which used to be positioned like this ...

The well water used to overflow out of the well, around the bottom of the bowl, and out under a bridge, that you see part of top left of this pic.

That bridge is cut in a way that is distinctly stone cut with stone tools, and seemingly a broken capstone from one of the nearby 4000 to 5000 year old cairns, and put to new use. Here is a better pic of that ...

This is all covered in now as you can see from this pic ...

Doing this has also shut off is the stream from Lough Meelagh that the Priest would have taken to the Mass Rock, that I will show you shortly. Priests always approached these mass rocks by water during Penal Times so that their footprints could not be followed.

Last time I was there it was sitting on the new stone wall of the well ready to be positioned elsewhere.

It looks like a space is being made for it, that looks ridiculous already, away from the water stream. I just hope they do not make it worse by putting it on a pedestal like a similar ballaun stone has been perched at Roundwood, Co. Wicklow.

click here to read more ...

Ogma's Tale Of The Trees

This is Ireland. We have wet days, and these are the ones I use to continue editing the music and book. Progress continues.

So, until August News, enjoy your Summer or Winter time, depending on which part of the globe you live on :-)


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