My mom actually took this picture, but I don’t think she’ll mind my sharing it. This is in St. Stephen’s Green, a lovely public park in heart of Dublin. Our hotel was right across the street, so we walked through the park a lot. One of my favorite parts was the pond that attracts ducks and other birds. I could watch ducks all day!
Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting
From County Cork, Ireland.
One of the interesting features of the grounds around Blarney Castle is the Poison Garden. As the name implies, the plants here are various poisons, including wolfsbane, mandrake, and ricin. There are signs basically warning you to enter at your own risk, and not touch anything!
Pictured here is common juniper, Juniperus communis, a very common ornamental shrub (especially common in Ireland, too). The berries are edible, but bitter. They have some medicinal uses, even possibly acting as a contraceptive or abortifacient. They are also thought to be toxic to dogs.
Remember, the poison is always in the dose!
Weekly Photo Challenge: Danger!
From Dingle Peninsula.
This trip that I have been documenting in my Weekly Photo Challenges was an eight-day trip around Ireland that I took with my mom in 2015. This particular morning, we had been scheduled to walk on the beach in Dingle, but our tour guide had a better idea: a hike up a little hillside through some farmer’s fields to find some old ruins and a Famine graveyard for unbaptized babies.
We wandered past some ornery goats, some picturesque cows, and through tall, wet fields, all the while getting such lovely views as this one. I’ve often found that just doing some wandering is the best way to see and understand a place. I certainly came away with a great appreciation for Ireland!
Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust
From Dublin, Ireland.
These big, beautiful maple trees stand stately in the courtyard of Trinity College. This is apparently an Oregon maple, Acer macrophyllum–the scientific name means “big leaf maple.” They are not native to Ireland. The story is that they were planted to help support the marshy ground; the big roots would stabilize and drain the earth so the nearby library would stop flooding and crumbling.
I found this fascinating booklet about Trinity’s trees in a Google search. This tree is A5 in the legend.
We’ve definitely done this theme before, so I had to come up with something new this time!
Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth
From County Kerry.
The view from Cahergal Ring Fort included a surprise preview of Ballycarbery Castle out by the water. Amid the modern houses, the 16th century ruins still stand tall. We visited the castle immediately after the ring fort; you can see some closer images of the ruins here, here, and here.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise