Sunday, December 17, 2017

Eight Days To Go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Portlaw is looking great with Santa Claus, Reindeer and great Christmas lights all over the place, including the approach roads, but biggest surprise was when a whole mobile fun-fair arrived this afternoon, Sunday, 17th December. They will
only be here this evening for the arrival of the real Santa after 6.00 pm, so hurry along to Malcomson Square area to see the lot.  It's being said there will be a monster Tractor Run also, all vehicles decorated with Christmas lights.

The fun-fair has been provided by David and Rachel of DMAXEVENTS,

Friday, December 8, 2017


Snow has already fallen in parts of the north-east, but heavier falls are forecast for this weekend over a wider area.

The above photo shows
Malcomson Square, Portlaw, on December 1st, 2010!

-    oooOooo    -

The above snow scene was well-timed, as snow fell for about half of yesterday (Dec. 10th).
Forecast by the Met Office as a 'snow bomb', it wasn't that bad here in the S.E.,
but bad enough to cause problems for traffic.  Rural roads were the worst hit, as is usual!

One of a short series of pictures taken today, Dec. 11th.
Problems with ice going downhill towards Clonagam church
and had to return via Whitestown Lodge avenue and part of Clonea road.

A snowman opposite top gate to Tower Hill.
A GIGANTIC snowball was to be seen a short distance away.
These were obviously constructed yesterday, Dec. 10th.

Looking downhill towards church.

Beeches in field opposite Clonagam church.
A number of such trees here lost to storms in recent years.

Polo ponies.Curraghmore.

Same ponies.  The hill, called Croughaun, in background.

Not too far away, this very old house was looking well in the snow.

(A single left-click on any image will show an enlarged copy)


Simply type out the website address provided
and paste into your browser!
The above statistics are from those supplied today, December 8th, 2017.

(One left click will show an enlarged image)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Séipéal Chluain na gCam

Clonagam Church, from a photo yesterday, Nov. 29th, 2017 . . . 

. . . in the bitter cold, with leafless trees.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Autumn - Winter . . .

Autumnal scenes abound all around but are to be seen mainly in sheltered areas.
The colourful Chestnut leaves and conkers, also Spanish Chestnuts, disappeared rapidly during recent stormy weather,
but Beech leaves have lasted just a little longer.
Powerscourt estate and Waterfall area in Wicklow looked wonderful just a week ago. 
Autumnal colours on some local garden shrubs are looking great at the moment and I have managed to capture a few such scenes.

This Acer was the best I have come across, yesterday November 20th,
but was shedding it's leaves rapidly.
Three days later, not a leaf was left on this tree!!!

Nearby, a different member of the Acer family was equally at it's best on November 16th. 

The leaves on some garden shrubs were struggling to survive.

However, this shrub (Nov. 16th) was coming into bloom for the second time!

Cotoneasters are always an addition to any garden.
This ground-hugging speciemen was a sight to behold.

In Curraghmore estate, yesterday's lack of sunshine (Nov. 20th), done little for these young Beeches,
but the woodland floor was covered in this magic carpet.

Beech leaves have almost disappeared here,
but the above low-lying branch still looked great.

The leaves and berries on this attractive plant at Tower Hill
were recovering from the morning's heavy frost (Nov. 16th),
but will endure much longer . . . right into heavier frosts and any snow that may arrive.
The plant can be found at quite a number of places in the area,
the seed probably carried by birds from Curraghmore over the years.
The plant's botanical name is: Leycesteria formosa, but is popularly known as Pheasant berry,
as these birds like to eat the fruit.
I have seen it in a number of gardens, where it looks great when confined to a large pot.
It is a native of China and Tibet.
It can be planted as seed or purchased in some nurseries.
(Not a very good photo of it in this case. Image No. 033 looks much better . . . and is differently described).

Berried Holly (Nov. 16th) can be found in numerous areas around,
and produces wonderful imagery, especially in sunshine.
Some years. few or no berries can be seen.

Finally, a superb pink Rose in a local garden on Nov. 16th. 
These and yellow Roses seem to survive right into January each year.
If you want to isolate such subjects from the background,
set an aperture of 5.6 or a flower symbol on your camera,
if that feature is available. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween 2017

Have a Frightening Time!

The above graphic was prepared for a selection of images from 
the Portlaw Halloween parade
organised by Portlaw Task Force
for Sunday October 29th,
but I was unable attend same due to circumstances beyond my control.

Then on the 'real' Halloween, Tuesday 31st,
I was late heading out and ended up with a limited number of images.
The above witch, seen in a local hallway, was one of the lucky shots.

Brown Street, usually with plenty of 'Trick or Treat' people,
was almost deserted, but I managed this one picture
before my camera developed some problem.
This group said they came a long distance,
but were well received at all houses they visited.

I was just about to give up meetng any more participants,
after travelling around various streets,
when I came across this delightful group in Bridge Street.
Fortunately, my camera was back in working order.
Asking for a name, they said they were
'The Portlaw Spice Girls'!!!

Luckily I had come across one more witch the previous day
in someone's front garden.

(one left click will show an enlarged copy)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Séipéal agus Reilg an Chaisleáin Nua, Co. Phort Láirge:

Once part of Portlaw parish,
Newcastle church and cemetery are now seldom heard of.
Their unique 'secret' location may well be the reason!

As already stated, the location of the long-defunct Newcastle church, and cemetery, must surely be quite unique. On the road from Kilmeaden to Carrolls’Cross (Waterford to Cork road), turn left immediately before Haughtons’ pub. A short distance further on, having come to a Y junction, keep left again, and a very short distance still further on one will see the entrance gate on right, with name plaque on gate pillar.

From inside the gate, a very-well-kept grassy passage leads uphill,
making one wonder what is over the top!                              

On one's right, before reaching the summit,
one is pleasantly surprised at seeing this nice grotto to
Our Lady of Lourdes,
with this natural outcrop of local stone.

The stone, sandstone surely, is beautifully coloured.

A pleasant surprise, on the right side, going uphill, was this very healthy cluster of
Cornflowers (Centaurea Cyanus) ?

Once over the top of the incline, the well-maintained entrance to the cemetery
comes as a surprise.
This work may well be performed by volunteers from the Ballyduff end of the
combined parishes of Ballyduff & Portlaw,
or is is Portlaw & Ballyduff!

This stile on the left side of the entrance gate caught my eye, but there was a second,
which I discovered later.

The centre stone in this photo caught my eye.

The two stiles on the inside wall.

The east gable-end of the church,
where slightly to the right of the sycamore tree, can be seen a close-up of the object in the next image
Beside it, lies a table tomb, burial place of a one-time local Parish Priest.

Canon Patrick Power, in his
'A Compendius History of the United Diocese of Waterford & Lismore',
published in 1937,
"There is, however, an eight-sided baptismal font, which is of interest,
if only for its octagonal character;
 in medieval symbolism, eight was the number of regeneration."

The eastern gable end.

Obviously the location of a window, now filled with stone.
Oddly this small window was at the eastern end, where one would expect the altar to be.

A very large cross, made with the shrub - 'Box'.

One of the most legible headstones found;
tilted forward slightly, which possibly prevented weathering.

                                                                                                                                                             Possibly one of the oldest headstones to be seen.

No text anywhere on this crucifix.
I've seen somewhat similar crucifixes/crosses elsewhere in other, not-too-distant cemeteries,
with embossed wording, which denoted they were made in Carrick-on-Suir.

Part of one of the window opes.

Part of doorway arch.

Final image in the series.

Further text to follow.