The Nire Valley

The Nire Valley
The Heart of the Comeragh Mountains.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Now is the summer of our discontent...

Well it's nearly over and we have winter to look forward to, "if this be summer - role on winter of no false promises".  The 18th Nire Valley walking festival is fast approaching and I hope you will part take. The festival is a mixture of exercise with a large social element, dinner will be available, for anyone wishing to avail of it, in The Community Centre, Ballymacarbry on the Saturday night. Advance bookings are definitely necessary. This was a great success last year and is being done again by very popular demand and you can bring your own bottle of wine.

I attach the walks schedule for this year which can also be viewed on our website, or if you wish to follow us on the Nire Valley Walking festival Facebook site.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Twister in the Comeraghs.

Yes a twister! a real bona fide tornado. On Sunday 8th May sitting having lunch at Coum Locha, it was blustery but we were comfortable surrounded by heather. Then out of nowhere there seemed to be a splash in the lake except instead of being in the one place the "splash" raced across the lake surface as if someone was pulling an invisible stick through the water. It was a tiny tornado. Unusual you may think but the locals have a name for it, a Shee Gaoithe or a ghost wind. A Shee Gaoithe is more commonly seen in summer as it lifts wisps of hay into to the air on an August evening. We we are not in Kansas now Dorthea, but the twisters do happen in the Nire also. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Vandals in sandals.

It looks like not all vandals come wearing hoodies and drinking cans of cheap cider. The stone circle at Tooreen has, again, been vandalised. The vandals have left their paper lanterns and garden torches all around the site erected some sort of floral arch over the portal stones and worse of all they have constructed and lit a fire in the center of the circle. This fire has, possibly, compromised the archaeological integrity of the site. Yes, they cut the ferns around the site and tidied the site but why oh why did they light a fire within the site. They may as well have arrived in their hoodies and spray painted the site at least they would be honest to their trade of vandal.
   The vandalism occurs around Celtic festivals of Bealtaine, mid-winter, mid-summer etc. However these are Celtic rituals, the stone circle is early Bronze age, before the arrival of the Celts, if they ever existed, so get your history right.
   Please leave this site alone and either build your own stone circle or go back to daubing "Kilroy was here" on public toilet walls.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

If the Ash before the Oak.

Folklore tells us "if the Ash before the Oak then a year of splash and crash, if the Oak before the Ash then a year of smoke and choke". I had given up on this piece of lore as been stupid, because I never saw the Ash tree to bud before the mighty Oak. But low and behold I have seen two Ash trees bud out this week and not an oak leaf to be seen. So is this year going to be a year of splash and crash, that is rain, thunder and lightning. 

The British Woodland Trust in an interesting article in the Telegraph tell us that "---The spectacle of the ash leafing before the oak has occurred only four times in the last 44 years,---. The last time the ash came first was 1986." They claim this is because of global warming and milder springs.  So keep your eye open to see if your Ash buds before the Oak and then we shall see how correct the piece of weather lore is.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bogged down

Fog lifts at the Gap.
What a combination. The clocks go forward an hour and the bog trot. Up at 6:30 summertime unsure if I had set the alarm correct or not, isn't amazing when you need a radio DJ to give a time check they never do, we had re set some of he clock in the house but not them all. Turns out I am up at the correct time. 7:00AM Ballymacarbry Community Center, sign in time, the crowds arrived, we had 94 walkers in all. It was a tough walk, most expected the climb up Mahon falls to be hard followed by the decent into the gap and the climb out to Knockanaffrin Peak. But it was the walk from the Nire Church to Ballymacarbry, through Knocklisheen woods, that really caught some people. A dinner or soup and roll at the end of the walk was really appreciated. Well done to all who were involved.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The White Hare.

Out walking on Knockanaffrin ridge today and I saw not one but two white hares, the attached picture shows the hare but it was taken with a phone camera so it is not David Attenborough standard. They were snow white with some small dark patches. It was a glorious day just the correct combination of warm sun and cool breeze to make the walk enjoyable, on the ridge a group of para gliders were flying of Knocksheegowna and they just seemed to hang in the air.

Tomorrow is the bog trot, here's to sore legs.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The loneliness of a long distance Bogtrotter

The Comeragh Bog Trot is on Sunday 27th March, a 25km trot across the Comeraghs from Mahon Falls to Ballymacarbry. At the moment the long range weather forecast looks good, well a few showers and cooler than the weather at present. I am making arrows (Signs, not Bear Grylls) but maybe just maybe I should be looking through some Bear Grylls DVDs.

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Weekend weather.

If you are going walking tomorrow, Saturday 19th, head off early, it will be cold and rain is foretasted after 14:00hrs. So you will need fleece in the morning and rain gear in the evening. March of many weathers.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Patrick was a gentleman.

Patrick your a gentleman. Its a binocular day, with weather like this the most important kit today is a pair of binoculars and a camera.  Blue skies in March are better for sightseeing than a blue skyed July, as in March the air is still cold and clear no heat haze. So here's to distant views today.