Oak and Beech

We step off the track and onto the field, to gather beneath an old oak tree.  Like children, we gaze into its canopy, and watch the flickering light spill down through the leaves.

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I look out across the field

to a beech that stands alone.

I walk towards its prescence,

and dip below its heavy boughs

where the ground is dry

and the air is still.

Within the bounds of this trees’ reach,

I’m grounded by its great endeavours,

my feet rooted in the brittle earth.


Some lovely days

Earlier this year, in June, we were fortunate enough to spend several weeks on our beautiful north coast.  One of my favourite places is the area around Portballintrae.

1 portballintrae

Looking west with Donegal on the horizon

2 runkerry beach looking towards causeway visitor centre (white building)

Looking east towards the Giants Causeway (out of sight, beyond the white building in the centre left of the picture)

the river bush finds the sea (salmon and irish whisky)

The River Bush (Bushmills Irish Whiskey) as it enters the sea

Lovely days by the sea.


A walk in the park

We’ve been blessed with some lovely weather recently and so it was this morning when we decided to walk around Lurgan Park.


The park was originally part of the Brownlow Estate when the “big” house was built in 1833.  During WW1 the house was the headquarters of the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment and during WW2 it was the headquarters for all the American Troops based in Ireland.  There is a small museum in the house as well as a tea room which serves lunches.




It is a wonderful place to walk with many paths around the park and lake and so many beautiful trees!  A quiet and peaceful place today!

However, on Saturday (1st Saturday in June) the Park will stage the Lurgan Show.  It has been organised in the park annually since 1912 and showcases rural life including agricultural and equestrian events.  It’s amazing to learn that it is organised by volunteers supported by the local Council.  If we make it there I will try to remember to take my camera and take some pictures!  Let’s hope this lovely weather remains over the weekend.

Tullaghoge Rath

On the way home from Cookstown having done a short walk there in Cabin Wood, I returned via the “scenic” route, past Tullaghoge Rath.  It is probably prehistoric, but better known for its connection to some of the ancient chieftains of Ulster, including the O’Neills, the last ceremonial inauguration being of Hugh O’Neill in 1593.  I only had my phone with me and a short time to wander about this lovely place, but the pictures it takes are reasonable.



The views of the surrounding countryside are amazing!





Oh happy day!

It was such a lovely morning, we decided to head for the nearest coast, the Irish Sea at Murlough Bay, County Down.


We followed the boardwalk through the dunes.



That’s Slieve Donard in the middle, Northern Ireland’s highest mountain at 850m (2790ft).  We couldn’t believe how good the views were today.

Continuing on the boardwalk the sea eventually came into view.





Then out onto the beach.  Wow!


The pictures say it all: wonderful.






We ended up in Newcastle for our picnic lunch, then a stroll along the front with an ice cream.  What more can I say?


The last picture is looking north from Newcastle, back to our starting point.  What a wonderful day!