|Inis Mor through the sundial stone|
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
|Hand of Oldcroghan Man|
|Torso of Clonycavan Man|
|Gallagh Man found in Co. Galway|
Using modern reconstructive science, this is a model of what Clonycavan Man may have looked like.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
The Bronze Age inhabitants of Ireland loved their gold! Many artifacts such as these have been found in burial sites and in other caches throughout Ireland.
Everything you see in the above two photos was found at the same super treasure trove site in Co. Clare. And this is only part of the hoard! All of these fine pieces were made in the Late Bronze Age.
As these early goldsmiths improved their skills, their pieces became more and more refined like this beautiful necklace of twisted gold.
This lovely brooch, known as the Brooch of Tara, is thought to have belonged to one of the kings of Tara. There are interlaced animal and geometric designs fashioned of gold filigree on the front as well as inlaid pieces of glass and amber. It is made of both silver and gold.
Of all the stunning gold jewelry on display, these simple, hollow gold balls were my favorites. Each ball is a little smaller than a tennis ball and is pierced so as to be worn on a piece of rope or leather as a necklace. You can see there are a few missing, and no, I didn't bring them home with me! I think anyone wearing this dramatic necklace would have commanded a lot of attention and respect.
This gold jewelry is definitely the show-stopper at the museum, but it's not why I was so eager to visit. I'll share that reason with you in my next blog post.
Monday, October 30, 2017
|Mesolithic knives and scrapers found in Ireland|
|Decorated flint mace head, Co Meath|
This beautifully decorated flint mace head found in Co Meath may have served a ritual purpose.
|Bronze Age spear points|
|Bronze Age food vessel found in burial tomb|
|Model of burial tomb|
As fascinating as these artifacts are, the real show-stoppers are to come in a later post. Here's a taste to tempt you back...
Saturday, October 28, 2017
|National Museum of Ireland Archaeology|
The colonnaded entrance leads to a rotunda topped by a large dome...all with neo-classical influences.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
|La Collegiate Saint-Martin|
The newly-restored tapestries are hung around the walls of the chancel. There are five panels each measuring about 6 x 16 feet; in total spanning 78 feet of wall space. They depict the life of St. Martin of Tours, an important French saint. It's unknown exactly who wove the panels or where they were produced, but it's thought they are Flemish.
They are absolutely stunning!
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Yes, that's Kilmurvy House in the distance, my guesthouse during this month's writing retreat on Inis Mor. And this is the path that leads up the hill to
this: Dun Aengus (Dun Aonghasa in Irish), an 1100 B.C. ring fort.
Not a long hike, but all uphill over pretty rocky terrain for the last bit to the top. I'm glad my friend, Anne, loaned me her walking sticks for the downhill 'slide!'
The view from the top is spectacular!
And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. There are NO guardrails!
The tradition is to lie on your belly and hang your head over the edge to look straight down.
Nope, not me, man!
Thursday, October 19, 2017
I'm missing my time in Ireland as well as the new friends I made there during our writing retreat, Writing on the Wild Edges of the World. Our week's stay here at Kilmurvy House on Inis Mor was a delight....
as were walks along the shoreline
and treks past fields dotted with contented cows and wonderful dry stone walls.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
|Looking thru the door into Reefert Church|
I've visited a ton of monastic ruins on my two visits to Ireland. They're all special, but this tiny church tucked away near the Upper Lake at Glendalough is the ruin that has most touched my heart. Reefert Church was probably built in either the 10th or 11th century on the site of an earlier wood or wattle and daub church. It's the oldest church in this area.
The church was known in the region as The Princes's Church as according to tradition, it is the burial site of seven kings of the O'Toole family. The O'Tooles held power in this area from the 12th to the 16th century. There are many grave markers all around the church.
|View from the small window over the altar area.|
This side of the valley never saw the sun during the Irish winter. It must have been a joy to Kevin to be here in the spring and pray looking out the altar window when the sun finally shone and the trees turned leafy green.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
|The River Corrib|
|Galway 'love 'locks'|
Ireland has a lovely tradition of tying ribbons or strips of rags to trees, each offering representing a prayer. While I'm not crazy about stuff tied to bridge railings, these Galway love ribbons beat Paris' love locks anytime. And eventually they will weather away leaving space for more lovers to offer prayers of enduring commitment.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Thursday, August 31, 2017
I wrote a poem this morning inspired by Hurricane Harvey. Here's the question: why does my Muse only seem to whisper inspiration during times of natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey or during man-made disasters like the Trump election? Disasters of either kind make for rather grim poetry~
Friday, August 18, 2017
There were new artists to meet
and new pieces to admire.
And of course, wine, nibbles and conversation to enjoy after the work was done.
There will be more photos to come and stories to tell after the party next weekend!