Tour map for photography trip from June 30-July 9, 2012
There were too many tourists at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park to have a ghost of a chance at an image without any people. But I rather like the tourist approaching as I snapped this (HDR from 3 images) because she gives a sense of scale and a spot of color.
No post-processing yet… must come back and see about that later! Foxglove in the gardens in Bunratty Folk Park.
They don't need to trim the grass here! Mama Goat was busy building up her strength.
Mama Goat keeping an eye on me while having some lunch.
Such a pretty face!
I never saw him stand up while we were photographing the goats.
A young one...
See what I mean about that ram (back right of photo)? He never stood up to graze!
This is the view from the window of my room at the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon… fortunately I spent almost NO TIME in the room while staying there before the photo tour began!
A bit of the history (found here: http://www.dromoland.ie/tour-the-castle.html) of the Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate: "It is built entirely of dark blue limestone, and in fine chiseled workmanship; the ornamental grounds and woods extend over more than 1,500 acres of land.from some of the eminences there are views of the Shannon and Fergus, which, at this part of the country, resembles a large inland lake with island, making Dromoland one of the most beautiful and desirable residences in Ireland." - Burke's "Visitation of Seats", 1855.Dromoland Castle, one of the most famous baronial castles in Ireland, was the ancestral home of the O'Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, who are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and direct descendants of Brian Boroimhe (Boru) High King of Ireland in the eleventh century. (follow the above link to read more about this impressive resort)
This duck was not sleeping... just caught it blinking.
A mute swan... they are considered an invasive species in the US… but I don't know about Ireland. They certainly are beautiful.
This male Mute Swan seems posed for a getaway!
Our cab driver for the day's adventure said this one is a male… the telling feature is the pinkish orange tint at the front of the beak which the females do not have.
In addition to the pinkish orange tint on the beak, the size (males are slightly larger than the females) is another feature that allows determination of the sex of these swans. When seen from a distance, gender is almost impossible to determine!
A tiny bug, or two or more, visits this water lily in the walled garden at Dromoland Castle.
A portion of one of the ponds in the walled garden at Dromoland Castle.
Typical of many structures we saw... this one was in the walled garden at Dromoland Castle. The Irish do not seem to mind having their buildings covered with vines.
The roses in the walled garden at Dromoland Castle were spectacular... one reason is definitely the attention the garden is paid. We saw a gardener with a wheelbarrow full of trimmed flowers past their prime and headed for the compost heap.
Reflections of a water lily in the walled garden at Dromoland Castle.
I forget what kind of tree this is... maybe a Lebanon Cedar? It was huge... this is a panorama from two images because there was no way to get far enough back to get it all into one shot.
The ducks were quite content to let us get close… but not TOO close!
Scratching an itch...
Pretty as a picture... female Mallard.
This one was resting in this pose and opened his eyes when I got close so that he could make sure I didn't get TOO close.
Another female Mallard... resting and keeping an eye out for humans who might wander too near.
There was no way to stop anywhere we could get any closer to these old ruins… would have been fun to explore. From Wikipedia, the ruins are from a Franciscan friary that was founded in 1464 by Thomas Fitz-Maurice, 7th Earl of Kildare and his wife Joan, and completed two years later. It is currently a ruin and is located inside the Adare Manor Golf Club. (It was in the area of the grounds open only to guests of the Adare Manor Hotel and was quite a walk from the part of the grounds open to casual day visitors.)
Another restaurant on the main street in the town of Adare, this one is housed in a somewhat newer building.
A portion of the garden at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort... the view from the bench is of the hotel but I prefer this view...
Formerly a castle (obviously), Adare Manor Hotel is now one of Ireland's 5-star hotels and golf courses. If one stays there, it is possible to have a free tour of the manor house, formerly the home of the Dunraven family.
We crept a bit past the 'do not enter' sign under the huge, old Lebanon Cedar to get this view.
Another view of the gardens... the carefully trimmed boxwood designs fascinated me... the distant tiny images in the center are golfers on the green at one of the holes on the golf course.
I loved that I could see the stormy sky reflected in the window glass.
Adare is one of the prettiest towns in Ireland and has some of the oldest thatched roof buildings in all of Ireland. Some are small guest houses, some house businesses and some are still private residences.
Several of the old, thatched roof buildings house restaurants.
If we'd had more time, I would have loved to dine here.