01 July 2013

Respect your elders

A sacred tree, but not the one I was looking for. Sacked priories, their still-thick walls and towers bearing silent witness to conflicts of centuries ago. Warm grey limestone, cut and shaped and built and re-built; cerulean skies seen above and through the remnants of traceries and arches long open to the winds and the wind-riders: the ever-astonishing swallows and martins.

Wa-a-y more than a mere forty shades in a June countryside brimming over with growth as if in recompense for the dreadful weather that has gone before. Every grass in flower -- shimmering mauves, creams and purples turning the moving air into something almost with mass. And unforgettable elders, tree after tree hidden beneath an array of creamy umbels--broad discs of pale buttery masses of tiny flowers--brighter and larger than I have ever seen them. Surely this summer of 2013 will be remembered by those who care about such things as one of the most abundant and floriferous ever. If the weather keeps its early summer promises, there'll be some harvest this autumn; it might even be as rich a time as the summer/autumn of '84.

A weekend trip to counties Kilkenny and Carlow brought us to Kilfane (of which more another time), Monavaddra, Kells, Gowran and Old Leighlin. We visited new acquaintances and stayed with old friends. We enjoyed the Irish countryside at its very best, we wandered around ruined priories and churches; I was searching for very old yew trees for the Irish Botanical Alphabet project and while I didn't find the kind I was looking for, I met some great people in St Mary's Church in Gowran (thanks OPW!) and St Laserian's Cathedral in Old Leighlin who were so-o-o helpful, interested, and interesting.

Thanks as always to generous hosts and good friends.
No more words this evening, just a few pics.

Kilfane Waterfall and a spot-the-schnauzer

Is there a yew here? (Graveyard outside the walls of Kells Priory, on the banks of the King's River). 

The same place, photo by B: catchlight.ie 
Remnants of Kells Priory (more here)

Wind in the Willows
Wild rose in a Monavaddra hedgerow

Off to explore a summer lane (less scary than a few months ago)
Wild thistles have their own beauty

A sacred hawthorn at a holy well near Old Leighlin, Co Kilkenny.
The well is dedicated to St Laserian, and is close to where  the original sacred Yew (the Tree of Ross), one of the five sacred trees in pre-Christian Ireland, is said to have stood. 
Have a good week all.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous02 July, 2013

    Ah, well now I know when people say, mind yer elders, what they mean. And all these years I thought they meant ME...wonderful photos....Graineweile