Flashback Friday: A Guinness, a glen, and gorse

On this first of May, I’ve been looking through my archives for memories I’ve made on this date in bygone times. Fifteen years ago I found myself in Ireland with a colleague. Work was finished for the day and we stopped in at the famous Morrissey’s Pub in Abbeyleix for Morrissey'sa well-earned pint of Guinness.  As we enjoyed our stout and I shared a few of my favorite photos with him, his eyes suddenly lit up, and he said, “There’s a place I simply must show you!” While he had been in large-animal practice in a nearby town, he had come to know the back lanes of this part of Ireland very well, indeed. There was a light drizzle and there wouldn’t be much more daylight, but he knew the way and was pretty confident that we’d have time. The Barrow River is the second longest in Ireland and flows 192 km to the sea at Waterford. Its source is in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the midlands of County Glenbarrow-1Laoise (sounds like “leash”), and this is where he took me. We had a hike of about 20 minutes from the small parking area into the heart of the glen as the drizzle began to Glenbarrow-2change to light rain, but we were dressed for it. We reached our destination—Glenbarrow— with only ten minutes or so of usable light.
Glenbarrow-3By the way, in case you don’t recognize those prickly plants with the yellow flowers, they are gorse bushes, which are what Winnie-the-Pooh landed in when he fell from the honey tree. They are every bit as nasty as they look.

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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10 Responses to Flashback Friday: A Guinness, a glen, and gorse

  1. I’m glad you got to enjoy gorse where it’s native. My only experience with these bushes was in New Zealand, where the species has become an aggressive invader.

    • krikitarts says:

      I have good friends who farm in New Zealand, and your “aggressive invader” term is right on the mark. It’s become quite a serious problem for many who live there.

  2. As Steve says, we do have a huge problem with gorse here. It is very invasive and hard to get rid off. Lovely shots though. It is nice to see some real untouched country side.

    • krikitarts says:

      Yes, the gorse has taken a rather unfortunate special liking to your part of the world, and it is extremely tenacious. It does have its visual appeal, though–as do so many other nasties in this world.

  3. Wonderful looking river and, as you might guess, I am quite partial to the waterfall and despite its bad reputation, love that gorse in the foreground.

    • krikitarts says:

      Its reputation is apparently not as bad in the UK as it has become in other parts of the world in which it has taken hold. I admit that I’ve been drawn to its rugged beauty many times, in the places where I’ve encountered it–except when I’ve had to ease my way through a particularly nasty patch to reach access to an inviting stretch of a trout stream…

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    I like these pictures, Gary, and I love “I found myself in Ireland” – with Guinness you might lose yourself there too! And gorse, yes, something from my childhood in coastal Somerset – the chrome yellows of the flowers really get to me, and if I remember correctly they also have a delicate fragrance. But when I was on the Isle of Skye – it could be 15 or more years back – gorse had just arrived and was viewed as a very unwelcome intruder – they were uprooting it wherever it was found! Beautiful pictures! Adrian

    • krikitarts says:

      Ireland is a great place to find oneself at any time–unless you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry in Dublin during rush-hour traffic. I’ve made two trips there and fell in love with it from the very start. And the gorse adds to its beauty, though only when seen from a distance. Unfortunately, it’s terribly tough and extremely hard to get rid of.

  5. seekraz says:

    What a beautiful place. 😀

    • krikitarts says:

      I felt–and still feel–very privileged to have been able to visit it, and would dearly love to again, with a bit more preparation (and current gear)!

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