I called my husband out onto the porch of our new house one evening this week to see this amazing creation: a spider had built a stunning web in between a post and a bush. And he was posing beautifully right in the middle of his work of art.
It may not be exactly what we would normally think of as a labor of love, but I appreciated his efforts, which seemed to me both practical and beautiful.
Here we have both indoor and outdoor stairs in Ireland, both a bit perilous in their own way. We carried our luggage up these stairs when staying in Ballynahinch Castle, but that was nothing compared to walking the stone steps on Skellig Michael in the wind with no handrail.
The streets of Pompeii are a marvel of Roman engineering. In addition to being laid out methodically, they feature sidewalks, embedded reflector stones, and crosswalks.
I spent a semester in Salamanca during university and a piece of my heart will always remain. A beautiful city, a friendly and fun city, and so full of history. These were my daily sights: the double cathedral, the Plaza Mayor, and my host family’s street in the east part of the old city.
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.
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!
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.