October 31, 2007

Not Quite Nevada

Near the village of Pontoon in Mayo is an even smaller village called Ross. But despite the size, at least one of the locals is dreaming of something bigger. [The sign at the other side of the village reads Ross Angeles].

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Posted by Monasette at 12:13 AM | Comments (1)

October 21, 2007

Any day now

Detail from Turlough round tower, Co. Mayo

It was on October 22nd, 400BC that the whole universe was created.

Well, that was the day, as calculated by Bishop James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, who arrived at the figure by working backwards through the old Testament. Ussher lived something of a blessed life himself. Despite being a committed Royalist, and witnessing the execution of Charles I, he was given a state funeral by Cromwell when died, aged 75, in 1655. Ussher was appointed Anglican Archbishop (and Primate) of all Ireland in 1625, succeeding his uncle in the role .

Ussher might have been missing a few pages from his Old Testament - excluding any recorded history before 400BC would have been a bit harsh on the Egyptians, Persians, Chinese and Greeks . It would also ignore the account in the Book of Jeremiah of the exile of the Jews to Babylon around two hundred years earlier - a key event in Jewish (and therefore Christian) history.

Ussher's hokey calculations had another effect. In the United States in , a Baptist preacher called William Miller had great expectations. He had calculated the date of the second coming of Jesus. The Book of Daniel gave a vague indication of the number of days that would elapse before Jesus would return. He used that figure, as well as Ussher's start date, to calcualte the return date. The date was sometime before March 21st, 1843. When that date passed uneventfully, it was revised to October 22nd, 1844.

October 23rd , 1844 is now known as The Great Disappointment.

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Posted by Monasette at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2007

Dawn Walk

Since the beginning of October, we've had more than our fair share of crisp, clear mornings down in Galway. Which is good news for the early morning power walkers. The lady in the picture above used the top of the Blackrock diving board at the end of Salthill Promenade as the halfway point of her routine, under the fading light of a new moon, and the glow of the coming dawn (it was shot at 7.39am on October 6). Oh, and it's not bad news for photographers either.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = Canon 24-105mm@24, ISO 160, aperture = f11, speed = 1/5 sec, tripod.

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Posted by Monasette at 12:10 AM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2007

Along came a spider

It's all happening in Portumna Woods these days. Normally, the deer are shy and keep quiet, but it is the rutting season right now, and, last Sunday, the stags were making plenty of noise in an attempt to attract as many females as possible. On the forest floor, at the Beech Grove, two red squirrels were scurrying about.

The fog and morning dew meant it was easy to spot the spiders webs. Between two strands of grass, the web of a Garden Spider billowed in a light breeze.

Camera = Canon 5D, lens = Sigma 180 mm Macro, ISO 250, aperture = f18, speed = 1/50 sec, tripod, off-camera flash at 90 degrees right of image (radio triggered).

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Posted by Monasette at 10:26 PM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2007

Salthill Dawn

Dawn at the Blackrock Diving Board, Salthill in Galway.

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Posted by Monasette at 09:36 PM | Comments (2)

October 08, 2007

The world can show nothing wilder

...[it] was the most "remote unfriended solitary" district in all of Ireland - the Baronies Erris and Tyrawley - indeed, the world can show nothing wilder.

The district was distinctly unfriendly for a Mr. Carter who owned 40,000 acres in the afore-mentioned area - he died in a hail of shot in March 1882, a day after his brother's burial - he had enjoyed his inheritence for no more than 24 hours.

The Mullet Peninsula in north Mayo is a bit more welcoming to visitors these days. The picture above was taken at Cross Point, looking across at Inishglora Island. Where today, men fish for lobster and crabs in small boats, once upon a time, Ireland's greatest sailor, St. Brendan, set up a monastery.

I've been doing a bit of casting myself recently, having just discovered the New York Times archive. Which is where I dug out the information on poor Mr. Carter.

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Posted by Monasette at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2007

Grey Mullet

According to the National Aquarium people out in Salthill, the Grey Mullet (Lannach Glas as Gaeilge)there are tame enough to eat bits of bread from your hand, should you dip a morsel into their tank. In the wild, their diet has, well, a little more fibre (you might want to finish your breakfast first before clicking on the link above).

A shoal of mullet circled slowly in the shallow, and decidely mucky, waters between the Lough Atalia railbridge and the bridge linking the Docks to the rest of the Harbour land, rippling the water as they breached the surface, and causing a pleasing abstract pattern in the reflection of one of the nearby oil tanks.

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Posted by Monasette at 10:10 PM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2007

Time and tide...

One of the experimental tidal/wave power generators sits on the Galway Docks this evening, beside the Celtic Explorer which will bring it out to sea.

Camera=Canon G3, lens=7.2-28.8@9.1, ISO=100, Aperture=f5.6, speed=2 sec,tripod.

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Posted by Monasette at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2007

Deep Water

We could hardly believe how good yesterday's weather was. The early fog and mist cleared as we began the ascent of Mweelrea, Connacht's highest mountain (at 814 metres). I brought both a fleece and a rainjacket (Mweelrea's weather can be fierce, even in summer) but didn't need either of them - it was teeshirt weather all the way up and down. From near the highest point, clumps of cloud clung to the summit like wisps of wool on blackthorn, but it blew away as quickly as it materialised. Through the gaps, we could gaze down on the mouth of Killary Fjord and Little Killary (pictured above).

As the cloud rolled in and obscured our view, we could hear the constant revving of what sounded like marine engines down in the fjord. A couple of hours later, when we got back to our cars near Doo Lough, we saw the Coastguard helicoptor slowly wheeling around the mouth of the fjord. That wasn't a good sign - it was too late for them to be on an exercise, and they were far from their base. They were searching for a diver who had gone missing at the mouth of the fjord - his body was recovered this evening.

Camera=Canon5D, lens=Canon 24-105mm@24, ISO=250, Aperture=f10, speed=1/640, Lee neutral density graduated filter 0.9 (3 stops).

Buy pictures of Mweelrea. Co. Mayo here

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Posted by Monasette at 09:42 PM | Comments (3)