Lens-Artists Challenge – Shadows


Thanks to Tina for the ‘Shadows’ challenge.

Don’t you just freak when you appear, ghost-like, in your own shot?!!!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Landscape


Thanks to Amy for this week’s challenge. Last week’s actually – MB comes to it a little late!

The below shot isn’t anything to write home about MB guesses. It would never win any photo prizes. It isn’t nearly as spectacular as the many landscape shots that others have submitted for the challenge, if one cares to click and look. Read More

Lens-artists Challenge – Unexpected


Unexpected.

Thanks to AC for this week’s challenge.

As MB came around a bend in the road back in HX at Christmas, he met an unexpected sight:

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It’s the weekend


There are worse ways to spend a weekend than relaxing in a field in HX.

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The Grange Stone Circle


Stone circles are often considered to be some kind of prehistoric seasonal calendar or places of ancient ceremony. The Grange Stone Circle in MB’s HX locality is the largest circle in Ireland, is some 45M in diameter and comprises 113 contiguous stones. It is supported by an earthen embankment, unlike circles of individual standing stones like the famous Stonehenge in England and others.  It is estimated to be some 4,500 to 5,000 years old.

The earthen embankment is some 1m higher than the inside of the circle, suggesting that the Grange circle was used for some type of public ritual. MB is aware of the visit of an American psychic lady to the circle a number of years back. During a guided tour of the circle, she informed the local guide that she had seen visions of human sacrifice in the circle. This may have happened of course, but no evidence of such activity has even been encountered during any archaeological excavations. Coins belonging to the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell were discovered during one excavation which evidenced the overnight encampment of the soldiers before attacking the city of Limerick, some 12 miles north. Much Beaker pottery has been discovered at the lowest level of the embankment.

The Grange circle sees large numbers of pre-sunrise visitors on summer and winter solstice mornings. However, in the opinion of MB, the circle is not aligned in any way to the point of sunrise on these dates. Despite many theories of locals and others, nobody truly knows why the circle was constructed, or what purpose it served. It is known that the large stones were sourced from two or three nearby locations. The headstone (largest stone) weighs some 40 metric tonnes and is the largest individual stone in any circle in Ireland.

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MB took the following shots today in late afternoon just prior to sunset:

 

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The Cliffs of Moher


In 2011 the world voted for the new seven wonders of the natural world from amongst a list of 28 finalists. The Cliffs of Moher was the single Irish entry but it was not amongst the winners. Read More

Random shots from the homeland


Some random shots from MB’s Chrismas trip to his homeland. More to follow:

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Leprechauns & Rainbows


On the London Metal Exchange today, as MB types this post, gold is trading at approximately USD 1,264 per Fine Troy Ounce (FTO). For those few HX followers who are not regular gold traders, one FTO is approximately equal to 31 grammes. That conversion rate is very germane to the amazing story that MB is about to tell, so please keep it foremost in your brains. In the frontal lobe perhaps, MB would most respectfully suggest.

Two days back, a mere one day after MB had dismounted his camel on arrival in the Irish HX region, having travelled overland (a-lá the Three Wise Men) from the dusty Arabian Gulf, MB came within a hairsbreadth of possessing a very large pot of the yellow stuff. Think Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. And were it not for a skullduggerous Leprechaun and the illest of ill winds, MB might well have landed a king’s ransom worth of glittering, shiny, USD 1,264/FTO solid gold.

Those who have previously succeeded where MB just now failed have informed MB that a pot of gold weighs in at some 50KG. Or 1,613 FTO. Or USD 2M.

But allow MB to explain a little more……………… Read More

Doors & Doorways


But what about gates?!

The below shot is MB’s entry for the Lens-Artists Challenge #20 from Tina at Travels & Trifles Blog site. Tina’s site is well worth a visit, her pics are always stunning and awesome, and place MB’s meager paltry offerings in the deep dark shade!

Anyway, for this week’s Doors & Doorways challenge, MB returns to his HX farming roots. To a gate actually. That is penning in some wayward cattle. With some help from a short blue rope. Don’t get above your raisin!

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It’s The Weekend


The Pigeon House

Many people in the HX locality go for weekend walks around Lough Gur lake. And if one takes the walk from the car park to Ash Point on the Knockadoon Hill side of the lake, one will happen across the old stone remains of a Pigeon House on one’s left-hand side.

A Pigeon House was used in medieval times to house pigeons (really MB?!) which were a source of meat, eggs, and fertiliser. The one at Lough Gur is some 400 years old, maybe much older, and the specifications are included in the information plaque next to the structure.

Happy weekend!

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It’s the weekend


Sport.

Seems like every weekend in Ireland has some sporting activity of one sort or another. If your kids happen to be sporty, then as a parent you will be on the road a lot. In winter, the field sports of rugby and soccer (as the Irish refer to football) are played, while the uniquely Irish sports of Hurling and Gaelic Football are played in Summer. That’s not to mention the numerous other indoor our outdoor sports available to Irish kids all year round.

When MB was home at September, he witnessed his daughter MB2 win a big Gaelic Football regional final with her local club.

MB caught these two at that game having their own sport while the big game was going on!

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Blending In/Standing Out


MB’s efforts for this week’s Photo Challenge from Blogger Ann Christine – Blending In/Standing Out.

MB is not sure if the four dhow boats on Doha Cornice last week were blending in or standing out. Maybe a bit of both.

But Mr. Crow, standing on top of a Celtic Cross outside a church in Adare, County Limerick in late September as MB passed by, was definitely standing out!

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Scenes from the homeland


MB arrived in his HX homeland a few days back. The following shots are taken mostly around his HX village locality. A few are taken in the Lough Derg area of south-east Galway, where youngest-sister-of-MB lives.

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It’s the weekend


Lough Derg, Ireland.

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It’s the weekend


Lough Derg, Ireland

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