Thursday, December 30, 2010

045. The Guilcagh Field circa 2005.

A picture from the past, possibly circa 2005, showing fertiliser spreading (?) in progress at the Guilcagh Field.
Guilcagh is both the Gaelic and Manx for the Broom plant.  There is a Guilcagh mountain in Northern Ireland.

044. Curraghmore Morning. Dec. 21st 2010.

Early morning on shortest day of year at Clonagam (Curraghmore estate), showing the distant Comeragh mountains.  

043. Tower Hill Cottages. Dec. 21st 2010.


Early morning on shortest day of the year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

042. Sunrise at Clonagam. 21st December 2010.


A quick dash up the hilly road to Clonagam from the Square paid off when I managed to capture this beautiful image of the same emerging sun behind this grove of beech trees minutes later, on the shortest day of the year.   

041. The Shortest Day. Dec. 21st 2010.


Dawn at the Square on the shortest day of the year; traces of snow and ice still around, and no water in the fountain pool, as the fountain itself is still awaiting the restoration of it's long-missing lamp on top! The meterological people had forecast a 'blood-red' sky all over the country on this unique morning when a total eclipse of the moon would co-incide with the dawn of this day for the first time in hundreds of years, but it did not materialise

040. Councillor Brendan Coffey.


Local County Councillor Brendan Coffey, seen here speaking at the Portlaw Library Anniversary Celebrations on December 15th, 2008.

039. The Robinson Children. Dec. 2nd 2010.


The Kilsheelan Robinson children, Cyril and Rebecca, enjoying the snow at Queen Street, Portlaw, under the watchful eye of their grand-aunt, Mary.

031. Daybreak at The Square - Dec. 2nd 2010.

Further light showers of snow on top of frozen snow and ice caused problems for car drivers and walkers alike.

037. Curraghmore Ash. December 6th 2010.


December the 6th was an excellent day for photographers who braved the elements.  This picturesque ash tree, a short few yards inside Curraghmore main entrance gate, looked spectacular in the freezing fog, and is the best 'tree picture' I have ever taken.  A monopod was used to steady my freezing glove-less hands.
(Best viewed at A3 size 300dpi).

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


The above by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) noted American Poet and Journalist, killed during the 2nd Battle of the Marne in World War I, while serving  as a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Division.  

036. Young Oak. Dec. 6th 2010.


This young oak inside Curraghmore main entrance gate still retained it's withered leaves despite the record-breaking cold.

035. Walking Enthusiast. December 6th 2010.


With the 6th of December came the most severe freezing fog and ice-covered roads and footpaths.  The countryside became a winter wonderland, for those hardy enough to venture out, like Patricia Rockett here . . .  just inside the main entrance to Curraghmore estate.

For information on Curraghmore estate, click on:

034. The last leaf! December 6th 2010.


Not exactly the last leaf, but the last one on this particular briar (Blackberry bush) at Coolroe, Portlaw. 

033. Wild Shub - December 2nd 2010.


This attractive wild shrub, occasionally found in people's gardens, seems to be surviving the severe cold very well. I have seen this in various parts of the country, and it looks as if it was another alien species. I do not have it's name just now. Must consult one of my wild-flower books.  In the meantime, if you know the name, do let me know.  This specimen grows adjacent to the Japanese Knotweed at Coolroe shown in the previous photograph. The may have well come from the nearby now-overgrown gardens of the former Milfort House, a Malcomson/Morley residence from the 1800s, which has 'disappeared' in recent years, leaving only it's fine Triumphal Arch, which is sadly deteriorating due to young trees growing on it!  

032.The Big Freeze! Dec. 2nd 2010.

Frozen Knotweed branch at Coolroe, Portlaw, where there is a considerable amount of the plant growing by the roadside immediately apast Springfield House and  a short distance before main entrance to Curraghmore. The plant - Fallopia Japonica -  occasionally to be seen by the roadsides, is one of the most invasive alien plants in the country. Bearing attractive white flowers in summer and beautiful leaves turning yellow in autumn, it can grow up to 3 metres tall. Cutting it down can cause it to spread, as happened in this case when it was bulldozed about two years ago. There is a further roadside area containing this plant before you come to the last house on the hill to Clonagam.  Check out GOOGLE for further information.

030. Fun galore on the new riverside amenity area - Dec. 2nd 2010.

029. Seamus Crotty braves the icy conditions - December 2nd 2010.

028. Portlaw Heritage Centre - December 2nd 2010.

027. George's Street - east side. December 2nd 2010.

026 Malcomson Square on December 2nd 2010. .

In the background can be seen the Library with half-open door, also the spire of Holy Trinity church.                                           

025 House beside the Clódagh bridge on 2nd December 2010.

024 Brown Street, Portlaw - 021210.

Monday, December 27, 2010

(023) Presbyterian Church - Dec. 3rd 2010.

The now-defunct Presbyterian church, built in 1845, beside the bridge over both the Clódagh river and the former Cotton-Mill canal.

(022) Floral Cottage - Dec. 1st 2010.

A certain lady told me this local house was called 'Floral Cottage'.  I've also been told it was a Church of Ireland/Protestant school in the past.

Addendum 02 Feb. 2011: There is now a reference to this building in post No. 088.

(021) The Clódagh River Dec. 1st 2010.

With little rain for some weeks, followed by a number of light snowfalls, the Clódagh river was at it's lowest for ages. (Clódagh - from the Gaelic - Clóideach - 'mountain torrent', which it sometimes is!).  Today, Dec. 27th, it was announced that the local water supply would be cut off for 12 hours per night.  A similar situation has been developing countrywide.

(020) Martin Verling Headstone.

The headstone of the late Martin Verling - Gaelgóir and author, taken December 1st 2010, following recent snowfalls. Read all about Martin at:


Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé!

(019) St. Patrick's Church from new cemetery - Dec 1st 2010.

(018) St. Patrick's Church, Dec. 1st 2010.

The church from downhill.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

(017) Field by the Clódagh, Dec. 1st 2010.

(016) Sinéad at Bridge,

Sinéad Power, all togged out for the cold, at the bridge over the Clódagh, December 1st 2010.

(014) Arrival of Christmas Tree

Foróige's annual Christmas Tree for the roundabout has just arrived.

(013) Grotto, Nov. 27th 2010.

The Grotto with new 'Oaklands' houses at rear, on the first of December 2010.

(012) New supermarket and houses on former 'Factory Road', Nov. 27th 2010.

(011) Malcomson Square, Nov. 27th 2010.

(010) Fun at Riverside Walk, Portlaw, Nov. 27th 2010.








Skating with a discarded fish-box.
The best things in life are free!



Accidents will happen, but it didn't worry these boys!

(009) Young trees near Mayfield Lodge. Nov. 27th 2010.

(008) Clonea Road House (Kellys'), Nov. 27th 2010.

(007) Bridge Street, Portlaw, Nov. 27th 2010.

(006) Holy Trinity Church, Nov. 27th 2010. .


Holy Trinity Church (Church of Ireland) was built in 1851.

(005) Riverside Walk Nov. 27th 2010

(004) Shoppers in Malcomson Square.

(003) St. Patrick's Church, November 27th 2010

(002) Mayfield Lodge

Mayfield Lodge, former entrance to the Malcomson Cotton-Mill and Malcomson family home, Mayfield House, on first day of the winter's snow, Nov. 27th 2010. This was later, circa 1934, the entrance to Portlaw Tannery.

(001) November 27th 2010 at Malcomson Square

Nov. 27th - First snow of Winter 2010/2011 at Malcomson Square, Portlaw, with local off-duty Postman, Teddy O'Brien.