The cliff edges on the island of Skellig Michael are impressive layers of rock. But look a little more closely, and you’ll also see rows upon rows of nesting seabirds, stacked in death-defying layers on tiny rock ledges. In this picture you can see some guillemots (darker) and fulmars (lighter, look like gulls).
I really liked this picture this week because I see three of the four “traditional” elements represented here.
Earth: the sea campion and the rocks of Skellig Michael in the foreground and Little Skellig in the distance
Water: the rough waters of the Atlantic, pushing up against the two islands
Air: the puffins (Fratercula arctica) that nest on Skellig Michael. You can also see gannets and kittiwakes as little dots flying about in the distance.
My husband saw the image of Little Skellig as a battle between Earth and Water, with the Earth pushing up through the Water, and the Water fighting back, battering the rocks. There is definitely something primal about these islands, another connotation with the word “elemental.”
They don’t call Ireland the Emerald Isle for nothing! I had so many pictures to choose from this week, I tried to give a varied selection. Every landscape has multiple shades of green from grasses and fields and shadows. Even in the cities, green is everywhere!
Of all the things and places I saw in Ireland, Skellig Michael was my most important quest.
You can read more about it this post I wrote last year, but basically I overcame some massive anxiety about a long, rough boat ride to get out to this remote island, which is a very important place to me because of its religious history, the biodiversity of its birds, and (last but not least) because it was the filming site for the end scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There were a lot of stairs to climb! I failed in my quest to make it to the top, but I was just happy that I made it there.
Are you sick of hearing about Skellig Michael on my blog yet? Yes? Well, too bad!
My mom made another of her amazing cakes for my birthday. It was a “traditional” Funfetti cake that she decorated to look like Skellig Michael, where the ending scene of The Force Awakens was filmed and which I visited last summer in a very memorable experience.
She used some small Bundt molds to make the mounds for Skellig Michael (on the right with the puffins and steps) and Little Skellig (on the left with the seals).
She knew I was going to blog about this, so she made sure to put only ecologically accurate animals on (though the proportions are still a bit off…)