Archive for May 7th, 2017

Sunday drive

Kells churchyard

It’s Sunday, so perhaps somehow fitting that we should begin today’s excursion at a churchyard. Another high cross…more burials. Flowers.

Bluebells

Bluebells, in this case.

Kells roundtower

This is the highest hill in Kells, and the oldest building remaining in the compound is the round tower, most of which still stands. Everyone seems compelled to point out that while most such towers have four window-openings at the top, this one has five—one for each of the main roads leading into town (and away from it, duh).

Canola road row

And, we’re off again. Colors—canola yellow flowers, red car, green vegetation, grey road. Yeah, a snapshot.

Tara earthworks

This is some of the earthworks at Hill of Tara, commonly called Tara, just as Margaret Mitchell used it in “Gone with the Wind.” Too much complicated archaeology to even broach it. Take it merely as intricate visual candy, and admire the ancient ones who planned and created this.

River bridge

Here’s a little swoopy stone bridge over a river/creek.

Trim castle keep

This is the keep of Trim Castle; it’s the largest Anglo-Norman castle on this big island. It was here by 1175, replacing an earlier wooden fortified structure. Life hustled and bustled in the area surrounding the keep and within the curtain walls (completed ~1200)—craftsmen and servants, knights and merchants—and stables, a lime kiln, and so on. The castle offered sufficient security that the town outside the walls became substantial.

Stonewall fern

Loving these little ferns that have taken hold in the castle wall. And are degrading it.

Road approaching HILLS

We push on. We are looking for hills. Aha! There are some! We’re still in the Boyne Valley, but we’re inland and nearing the edge of the catchment.

Lane grass center

Off on a “leetle” road. I’d call it a lane. With grass overtaking the center.

Gorse blossoms

And, off to the right: gorse! Here’s a cluster of gorse blossoms close up.

Loughcrew cairn

We climbed a little hill this morning at Tara. This one, with some of the Loughcrew cairns atop, requires much more effort. And, on the summit: another Neolithic passage tomb. Signs around it urge “No Climbing.” The accent of every person I heard climbing the mound: Irish. It’s their patrimony…. We stayed on the ground surface. Plenty to see from this hilltop—you can get a hint of how high we are by the distant view in the horizon to the left. Sunny and gorgeous. Beautiful day.

Pink wildflower

I don’t know what this flower is called; I found it in the hedgerow as I stopped to catch my breath.