Friday, January 22, 2010

I've been a bit slow updating the blog, as I've been helping Ian out at Gortbrack building a new polytunnel - this is a monster double span tunnel of 300 square metres! It hasn't been easy as we've had to contend with all the melting ice and snow, with some added rain in between. Pictures to follow....
So all the snow has disappeared, but not before Andy, Gary and I had a big hike towards Mount Brandon for a snowboarding session. Andy drove his trusty Landrover past Clahane and Teer as far in to the mountains as possible, and then we walked up from there. It was amazing being able to see the sea around Brandon Bay and over past Brandon Head whilst boarding! We had one quick run, and then headed towards the highest point - we got to a really steep section, and were having trouble even getting up ( apart from Andy with his snowshoes ) and then looked up to see an old Kerry farmer and his dogs looking over the top of the mountain at us! He was just wearing his old woolly hat and jacket, and said he'd just gone out for a walk...it could only happen around here.....The ride down was well worth the hike, great snow, and fantastic views. What a buzz to be snowboarding around here....

Saturday, January 9, 2010



Hmm, those birds are tricky! Here's one of a Bluetit anyway, and then a Redwing at a distance.

More clear, cold and sunny weather for us - we've hardly had any more snow, it seems to have dried up by the time it's reached the West coast. Some minor roads are still like skating rinks though, so you have to be very careful... I went up to see Ian at Gortbrack yesterday, very icy up there too, and got a great shot of his solar panels covered in ice - it looks like someone has drawn a pattern on them. We also seem to have been invaded by Redwings, part of the Thrush family, and although there are loads around, they seem very elusive when I appear with a camera.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Interesting weather still! The last couple of days have been very cold, but bright and sunny, and on Sunday evening we went down to The Railway in Camp for their traditional Irish music session. We joined Diarmuid and Mary, Mairt and kids and spent an enjoyable couple of hours with a Guinness and some good music. Now, today is a little different - there was a bit of snow and some rain last night, but not too much was laying on the ground this morning: I think we escaped lightly! Rachel was supposed to go to Cork, and I was supposed to go to Cahirciveen, but we both had to give up as the roads are thick with, ice, snow, or black ice. It's just started snowing again, so now we're tucked up by the fire.....

Friday, January 1, 2010






A very Happy New Year to you all! We celebrated with a bit of a party, and it was great to see everyone. The evening got off to an interesting start as there was a partial lunar eclipse and it was a beautiful clear night, so we had a good view. The evening continued clear and bright - with the snow on the mountains it was almost like daylight. A good time was had by all, thanks to chief entertainer Suzanne, and to the rest of the Halls, the Brodies, the McDowells, the Guilfoyle/Claffeys, the Fitzgeralds, the Pryers, and to the McSweeneys! The kids all went out in the dark to make snowmen and go sledging, and we even managed to squeeze fifteen in to stay overnight. New Years Day was bright and sunny, and we had chief scout Andy Jones up on Stradbally mountain checking the snow - it wasn't bad, but as Garry had his snowboard here we ventured up the mountain opposite to see what it was like. There was plenty of snow, a little hard at the top, but still pretty good. The views from the top of the hill were fantastic, you almost felt like just carrying on hiking. What a laugh to be snowboarding in Kerry! The rest of the crew had fun on the other side of the hill, walking and sledging: they also found loads of icicles where water on the peat bog had dripped down from the moss. Garry had an ambition to snowboard and surf all in one day and got to do both as there were nice clean waves at Gowlane. I went back up for another session, so maybe I was right when I said we should be running a ski/snowboard chalet! What a great start to the year.....