Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Weathered or Worn


AC has set this week’s challenge with her ‘weathered or worn‘ topic.

For the challenge, MB has selected a shot of Boucher’s Castle from his HX homeland, taken on 01 January just past. Read More

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Around the Neighbourhood


Thanks to Tina for this week’s ‘neighbourhood‘ challenge. MB certainly has his work cut out to match Tina’s shots from her spectacular Kiawah Island home!

Below are ten shots MB took when he was home a few months ago for Christmas break. The lake, located in MB’s Irish HX neighbourhood and around which the shots were taken, is called Lough Gur. Followers can check out loughgur.com if they are of a mind to do so. MB readily admits that it’s hard to take a bad shot in his neighbourhood, given nature’s spectacular canvas.

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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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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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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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Weekly Photo Challenge – Story


Story.

If ever a picture could tell a story, then a picture of Reardon’s pub back at the HX crossroads could tell a plethora of them. And that’s an understatement.  Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth


Growth.

MB took his awesome ‘8 Ducks A-Swimming’ photo one early misty morning back in HX-land over the Christmas holiday.

And what has the shot got to do with this week’s challenge MB? ie – Growth.

Well, not a lot lads to tell you all the truth. It features eight ducks a-swimming, and one can see some rushes protruding through the lake surface, growing, as it were. And remember, Spring will soon be here, when the mammy and daddy ducks will produce cuddly little baby ducks who will all grow up and continue the cycle of duck life, ad infinitum, unless Trump presses his ‘my button is bigger than your button’ button. Then the ‘ad infinitum’ thingy will be no more. And anyway lads, we shouldn’t always be bound by rules!

It’s far too early in the year to be turning the Photo Challenge into some sort of political statement MB, don’t you think?

Ok, ok lads. Let’s leave sleeping ducks lie for the moment, and just let’s concentrate our brains on the truly awesome nature of the photo.

Agree MB, it’s truly a wonderous shot. Truly ‘awesome’, to use your own phraseology, which should please you no end!

It does. Thank lads. You are an awesome bunch of followers!

Happy 2018 to one and all.

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The lake this morning


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Weekly Photo Challenge – Serene


Serene.

New Church graveyard at HX on the shore of Lough Gur lake. Live doesn’t much more serene than that!

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Foto Friday – Homeland


One from the homeland. Lough Gur. June 2012.IMG_3852

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Local


Local.

The view from Ash Point, Lough Gur, Co Limerick, SW Ireland.

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View from Ash Point, Lough Gur

Weekly Photo Challenge – Mirror


Mirror.

Followers of the HX Report will have seen this one before. It’s a shot taken on solstice morning, 21 June 2014, of Knockfennel Hill, which overlooks Lough Gur lake in MB’s HX homeland. MB took the shot in perfect early-morning calm, when there wasn’t a whisper of wind in the air.

The perfectly still lake surface was like clear glass, which provided the perfect mirror for the adjacent hill and the sky overhead. At left of pic, one can see a small white cloud in the sky and its mirror reflection on the surface of the water. The dark tree and its reflection provide some additional contrast to the shot and a point of interest. MBs perfect mirror!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Fun


Fun.

The local drama society back in HX puts on 3 or 4 plays per year which are always well attended. The comedies are particularly popular and one normally needs to book tickets in advance to see them.

Can’t remember the name of this one, but like many others in the past, it was great fun!

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At the Honey Fitz Theater, Lough Gur, Limerick, Ireland

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Opposites


Opposites.

Solstice morning. 21 June 2014. The calmest morning MB ever witnessed at Lough Gur lake. The water surface was like a mirror. Every reflection was a perfect opposite. MB took many shots. This is one of his favourites:

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John Carew – HX Poet & Storyteller


MB has oft mentioned Lough Gur lake in posts of his HX homeland. He has told you a little of the mystique of the lake, and the fact that one of the adjoining hills (called Knockadoon) is home to one of the four Irish entrances to the Land of Everlasting Youth, called ‘Tír Na Nóg’ in the Irish Gaelic. The entrance, as MB has also previously informed you, is secret and is known only to certain ‘Guardians’ (such as MB). It is also heavily guarded by the fairies, and it is no easy task to get past them. Beware of HX fairies dear followers. Read More