Posted on December 31, 2018
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.
MB took the following shots today in late afternoon just prior to sunset:
Posted on December 21, 2017
MB was in the Grange Stone Circle at 6am this morning, on account of the fact that it was Winter Solstice Morning. And where else would any self-respecting inhabitant of HX-land want to be at such a time on such a date? Correct – The Grange Stone Circle.
Go only knows how many photos MB took this year in Russia, Lebanon, Qatar and Ireland. So he is not going to tax his brain or work his index finger to the bone by flicking back through them all to pick a ‘2017 favourite’. He will, instead, give just one shot to this week’s photo challenge from his visit to the stone circle this morning.
As followers would expect, MB took many awesome shots at the circle. Any one of a dozen or more of them could easily win a NatGeo photo competition or a Pulitzer, if MB could be bothered winning such piffling awards. But MB is bigger than mere awards and is just humbly happy to share his general awesomeness with faithful followers, free gratis, without compensation, or medals or pats on the back. However, he just might review that ridiculous position in 2018, if he could figure out how to
milk his followers monetize his blog site. But that’s another matter. For another day.
MBs favourite photo from this morning (one of), caught a lucky split second one might think if one did not know MB so well. MB managed, by his sheer general awesomeness, to capture another photographer at the exact moment he fired his flash next to a candle that was burning in a small jar on the ground (thanks to friend MR, for that great candle!).
And there you have it lads. A brief history of one of the most awesome photos that any of you will see in 2017. Or 2018.
Will you send it to Nat Geo MB? No way lads. It would be completely wasted on them.
So happy Christmas to all. Thanks for all the crack in 2017. Have a great 2018.
Posted on June 19, 2017
On the morning of 21 June, two days from now, people will gather at the Grange Stone Circle in MB’s HX homeland to celebrate the arrival of the solstice sunrise. Alas, MB will not be present. But he will be thinking of them and of his previous visits on Solstice morning in recent years.
Good luck to all who will attend. Wishing for a cloudless sky.
Waiting for the sunrise. An MB shot from 21 June 2014:
Posted on February 10, 2017
Ok, Ok! MB knows that he has used this pic previously in the photo challenges, so quit your moaning. The theme is ‘Shadow’, and as MB is in possession (with full copyright) of the greatest shadow photo in the entire history of Shadow Photography, there was just no way he would not use his awesome shadow shot for this week’s photo challenge.
So, Ansel Adams (RIP – alas), Gregory Hysler, Steve McCurry and other MB Wannabees, eat your photo hearts out and gaze in wonderment at MB’s s**t-hot shadow shot (MB is also a poet!):
Evening of June 20th, 2015. Summer Solstice eve. Grange Stone Circle at HX, Limerick, Ireland. The setting sun throws a great tree shadow slap bang in the centre of the circle as a few suck-calves (Irish farming expression) laze in the evening sunshine.
Awesome or what?!
Posted on August 6, 2016
HX. Early morning, 21 June 2015. Solstice morning.
Sunrise & jet trails over the Grange Stone Circle; and a short while later, cyclists from a Limerick city club pass by on their way to the annual lakefront solstice breakfast.
Posted on June 20, 2016
Good luck to all who will travel to the Grange Stone Circle tomorrow morning – before sunrise – back in MB’s Irish HX homeland. And well done to those who attended this morning – the actual true Solstice morning of 2016, today 20 June being the longest (daylight) day of the 2016 year. Read More
Posted on March 17, 2016
Happy St Patricks Day!
MB headed out early one morning in the final days of his trip home. He was at the lake not long after sunrise and was at the Grange Stone Circle approx 8am.
The Grange Stone Circle dates from the bronze age, making it approximately some 4,000 to 5,000 years old. Other local monuments date from an earlier age.
Some might consider that it dates from an older age, but exploratory excavations carried out in recent years down to levels below that of the circle, have discovered evidence that would appear to confirm the above approximate age of the structure. There is further exploratory evidence that there has been continuous human habitation in the HX/Grange/Lough Gur area since that time. That’s a lot of time!
The 113 stones were transported, probably on circular shaped logs rolling along the ground, from a nearby rocky hill called Knockderk. In years past, not too many, this hill was used as a quarry to produce stone for civil engineering purposes.
When you point a camera into the sun, the camera will automatically darken the photo. So the below photo seems as if it was shot a little earlier – just for those interested in the mechanics of cameras & photography. One friend commented that he thought the below shot was taken much earlier in the morning.
From the loughgur.com website. For the record – MB does not agree with some of the content:
Composed of 113 standing stones, the Grange Stone Circle is the largest and finest in Ireland. It was built c. 2,200 B.C. after the arrival of the Bronze Age People in Lough Gur. It is a ritual site akin to our churches of the present day and also served as an astronomical calendar. We can only speculate on the rituals which took place here but know that they were of great importance also to people from surrounding settlements. The circle is aligned on the sunrise of the summer solstice. Included in the archaeological finds were thousands of sherds of Beaker pottery. The breaking of Beaker pots against the standing stones seems to have been part of a ceremony. The largest stone is called Rannach Crom Dubh and is over 40 tonnes in weight and was transported over a distance of 3 miles.
Posted on November 6, 2015
Made in an intricate shape or decorated with complex patterns. elaborate, decorated, embellished, adorned, ornamented, fancy, fussy, ostentatious.
MB is back in his favourite Grange Stone Circle in HX again. It’s Summer solstice morning, 21st June 2015, circa 5am, and the sun is not yet risen. MB is wandering around the circle taking shots of anything interesting that catches his eye in the pre-dawn light. Some visitors have left fruit on some of the stones during the night, as offering to the rising sun. One person has left an ornate (slightly) mini-sun.
MB gives you the mini-sun:
Posted on June 28, 2015
Muse – A subject that keeps you coming back? – Brie Anne’s photo challenge this week.
MB has taken many photos of the Stone Circle at Grange in MB’s HX homeland in Limerick, south west Ireland in recent years. He found himself back there again last week for the summer solstice, and happened to drop in on solstice eve as the sun was getting low in the sky. A few of farmer Tim Casey’s young calves were relaxing on the grass in the centre of the circle in the very impressive (photographically speaking) shadow of the tree.
The entire scene gave MB yet another interesting shot, unlike any of those he had taken in the past. The muse continues to surprise & provide.
Posted on June 12, 2015
The Summer Solstice festival in MB’s HX homeland is nigh and MB is homeward bound.
Mid next week MB will be on a plane heading to the furthermost point in western Europe and will be in the thick of the HX festival action. Lots of events to whet the appetite including: a night time lake shore planet & star gazing event organised by a local astronomy group, sunrise at the stone circle on solstice morning (circa 5am), charity solstice sunrise cycle from Limerick city to the HX lake front, the ‘long walk for a long day’ event which will involve a 3 hour walk around the hills and farm land surrounding the lake area on solstice evening, and much much more. MB is like a kid waiting for Santa!
For festival events check out the the following: http://loughgur.com/summersolstice2015/
Maybe catch up with one or two HX followers over there. All most welcome.
To give non-HX residents and new-comers to MB’s HX blog a flavour on MB’s homeland, herewith to drool over.
Posted on June 29, 2014
Posted on June 22, 2014
Posted on June 21, 2014
21 June 2014. Sunrise. Circa 5am. Grange Stone Circle. Limerick. South West Ireland.
The Gods gifted a clear sky and the the sun rose. A heavenly experience.
See also previous post.
A picture paints a thousand words. So MB gives you thirty six thousand words. So to speak.
Posted on June 19, 2014
MB is returning to the Irish homeland for a short break. Landing in Dublin tomorrow midday and then heading south-west to Limerick & HX. The following day, 21 June, is the day of the Summer solstice and MB will be up before dawn to take in the rising sun at the local Grange Stone Circle. Read More