Sunday, 23 July 2017

Walking the Essex way/ County Kerry

Puck fair! One of many tales of Kerry...
The word Puck really means puc an Irish word for a male goat...County Kerry Puck fair is one of the oldest most traditional gatherings at over 400 hundred years old.
If its to be believed a mountain goat was crowned King. Our bus driver and tour guide Brian was telling us all this tales that I had to go and buy myself some books on the history of the area, and its amazing how I relate to its history. Because you see, in my Homeland we too have very similar fables or even true stories coming down the centuries.

Anyway! The story goes like this. In early August every year a group of people go up in the mountains and catch a wild goat. It is brought back to the town and the Queen Puck, traditionally a young school girl crowns the goat. (((King Puck)))....the King is then placed in a cage and enthroned on a high pedestal  for three days. On the 3rd day of the fair, he is brought down and  he gets taken back to the mountain...

So many tales as how the festival came about....Apparently- Cromwell and his army were on the rampage robbing the people of its valuables in the area and disturbed a herd of goats. A puck goat was separated from the rest of the herd and ran towards Killorglin...He arrived in the town in such a state that the locals knew danger was approaching. They managed to save all of their valuables and stock. The town honours the goat by staging the festival in the second week in August.

I love it! So many stories and superstitions  that has survived  for hundreds of years...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Walking the Essex way

As I mentioned before I had a little break in Ireland County Kerry is fascinating full of narrow paths and hills I felt right at home....The Irish are very good at telling a tale and the history is so fascinating I was enthralled by it all....
Like the story of the Rose of Tralee!
A tale about love and tragedy.
Mary O'Connor came to work as a kitchen maid for a well to do family, then the eldest son William, falls in love with Mary however his family does not allow the marriage.
William who was wrongly blamed for a killing during Daniel O'Connor meeting in Tralee was forced to flee the country. After being away for six years he returns in the spring of 1849, having been cleared of murder.
He returned to Tralee hopping to find his Love, but it was not to be, he arrived on the day of Mary O'Connor's funeral. He was heart-broken, Later he married a local girl and moved to America they had two daughters, but the marriage was not a happy one so he returns to Tralee, he ends up with a terrible depression and sought solace in alcohol....He died in 1864 at the age of 44 and was buried beside Mary...

Such tales! I could've listen to them all day, our bus driver and tour guide Brian, was brilliant he had so many stories and he made them come alive....
And this is my little tale of the Rose of Tralee
And if you have any Irish blood you can enter the festival that occurs in Tralee every year, so that you can be crowned the Rose of Tralee...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Walking the Essex way

Just got back from a little break in County Kerry with friends Collette and Sue.
So much history! On our first day and our first tour was to Ross Castle at the National park where we had a trip on the lake such a big expanse of water, the park covers 10.236 hectars and its combination of mountains and woods lakes and waterfalls gives the area a unique scenic beauty.

The park is famous for its native and natural habitat of yew and oak woods, some are over 200 years old. In 1981 the park was designated a special Area of Conservation, Ireland's only native herd of red deer roam freely throughout the park, I did glimpse a few deer from the boat but it was a little too far to get a good shot. After the boat ride we take a ride on a (((jaunting cairt))) I mean to say horse and cart through the beautiful park....

So now we are back on the bus and on our way for more beautiful scenery's, unfortunally it was not to be, we were met with a very thick mist, we had a couple stops but the scenery was a little sparse.
We stopped by one of the Bog Villages which now is a museum, and we had a well deserved coffee or should I say an Irish coffee! It was very nice too..
The lake in the national park

Ross Castle.

Ross Castle Photo taken from the boat

The big lake at National park

Jaunting cairt.. 

Coffee break


Friday, 16 June 2017

walking the Essex way

My Friend Paula and I are still walking through the footpaths surrounding our village, we see the changes through the seasons.... This is the season to find wild orchids, we get so excited when coming across them and yesterday when walking through a field not only did we find the orchids but to our surprise a hare walking towards us, or should I say hopping!  Paula and I just stood there mesmerised then he sees us and it was so funny when he saw us, he just stood still for a second then jumped and off it went. My friend with her quick thinking filmed it running away, and the Essex Wildlife Trust have it on their FB page now...

The butterfly's and the insects are amazing too! So far we have photographed Painted Lady, Red Admiral's, Tortoiseshell and the Essex skipper and a load of insects.

Getting ready for another walk have a lovely day...
Follow the path

Painted Lady

Red Admiral

speckled wood


Dragonfly... (((Black-lined orthetrum))) I think?

Essex skipper


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Walking the Essex way

Am feeling a little nostalgic.... Its wet so no walking for us today! At one time we used to walk came rain or shine! Rain pelting down on us and the wind ragging round our ears...I really loved those walks it was so exciting....

Wishful thinking

Was it true or just a rumor going round amongst the trees.
Was it real or was it fancy? Did I hear upon the breeze


blackbirds tuning up their flutes and morning thrushes practising
lovely and exciting songs that made me dream of spring
Maybe it was wishful thinking! Or just a sweet but foolish notion
conjured by the thrushes tune.
Yet I swear that I can hear it growing stronger every day,
the note that tells of hidden nests and feathered hosts, along the way....

Friday, 26 May 2017

Walking the Essex way

My goodness we are at the end of May and the weather really has surprised us. Sis and her beloved has come to spend a few days in Essex way.
It has been a long time since they were last here, they were supposed to have come for a visit last summer but I broke my leg, so it all had to be cancelled but now here we are all again my other Sis Elsa also joined us and it has been lovely to get together.

Yesterday my girls and my little darling came over to say hello to the aunties, We had lunch in the garden it was so lovely to have the house full of chatter and laughter, it took me back to my childhood when we were young in my Madeira and living at home, a home that was so full of music and love and that's just how it felt yesterday when we were all talking sometimes a little to loud at times with all the excitement.

I will miss them when they go back home to Dorset. Next time it'll be our turn to visit them, always love going down to Dorset the walks along the Jurassic are amazing....
Sis Connie right and I on left a few moons ago

My garden

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Walking the Essex way

It has been a while since my last posting, but my friend and I are still doing our early morning walks. We walk through the seasons come rain or shine, some day's we walk for a couple of hours but there is day's that we over do it a little and go for the burn, crazy I know but once we get going we just have to see what is further on, like my friend say's its an adventure!

On Tuesday we take a different route and of course we had to see were it led to so we kept going and 5 hours later we arrive home dragging our feet, but feeling great because we found another interesting footpath... Wednesday we just took it easy and only walked for three hours. The insects are buzzing and the light is getting better....Now not able to walk until Monday...