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Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop Walk

Cnoc na dTobar

Cnoc na dTobar


Cnoc na dTobar

Cnoc na dTobar
Here is a selection of photos that Chris from Berlin took when he came for a short visit to South Kerry. On our first two walks I did not bring any camera, but he took some nice shots that I´m happy to share with you.
We walked the Bolus Barracks Loop in Ballinskelligs and Cnoc na dTobar near Cahersiveen. You find some more photos from our other walks on my German blog here
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The last couple of days were somehow different as it started to snow on Thursday night. The bog where 24hours before the fire service battled a large fire was now covered under a coat of white. Since we could not drive we decided to go for a walk and take some photos. I´m showing here some photos in colour. Some mor are on my German blog in black and white. My neighbour had to feed nuts to his sheep. On Saturday evening I went for a walk on the beach. The landscape opposite Ballinskelligs Bay was still covered but it had already started to melt.
The snow was a great visual experience in regards how a familiar landscape changes with only a few features being visible while all the green and brown was gone.
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The spring season is used every year in Kerry and other parts of the country to burn goarse on fields, mountains and bogland. The last two weeks were exceptionally dry and wherever you went you would see smoking hills and farmland. I am not the person to judge the efficiency of this undertaking and if I´m asking local people they tell me it was always a custom here.
However, I see the impact on the air quality and I have witnessed what happened when upcoming winds make fires uncontrollable. People have lost their property, ancient woodlands have burnt down and people have died as a result of these fires. The state has to use hundreds of thousands of Euros of taxpayers money to maintain and improve the local Fire and Rescue teams and their infrastructure.
I do not know if this type of thermal plant control is practiced in other European countries, but I believe it has do be stopped by the local authorities with the help of the Irish Government.
Last night I witnessed a substantial bog fire near my home, with 3 fire engines and members of Kerry Fire and Rescue Service teams from Sneem, Killarney and our local station in Cahersiveen. There was a danger that a nearby forest would catch fire and would be destroyed.
The photographs were all taken after 10pm, which means that none of the fire fighters were in bed before 2am. I spoke to one member of the Sneem group and when he told me where he came from I asked him "Is there no fire in Sneem tonight?" His answer was:"No, there are living law abiding people in Sneem". I hope one day we can say that about the Cahersiveen area as well.
Thank you to all members of Kerry Fire and Rescue teams that came out to fight and destroy this fire at Raheen bog, Ballinskelligs.
©Michael Herrmann
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The view from Michael Kirby´s house to Horse Island and Ballinskelligs Bay, his first painting.

Wild flowers in a vase

Sea pink and rocks

Ballinskelligs Bay

South Kerry scenery

A cottage near the mountain and the sea

Kerry hills and fields

Ballinskelligs Bay 

Wild flowers and vase on table

A seascape 

Cottages, bog and fields after harvest

The archive of Michael Kirby from Ballinskelligs was presented to Cork University College  on Monday, December 5th.
Anne and Pat Coffey handed the  collection  over to the University for future research and publishing projects.
Michael Kirby was born in 1906 and lived most of his life in Ballinskelligs apart from a few years in the USA. He died in 2005.
He worked in Ballinskelligs as a fisherman, learning the skills from his father as a young boy. When he retired from fishing at the age of 75 he began to write books and poetry in the English and Irish language. He also started painting pictures of the area and the sea that he knew so well. When he passed away he had written eleven books and painted over 300 paintings.
The private archive contains published books, newspaper and magazine articles, periodicals, audio recordings, hand-written copies, photographs and personal effects.
I had the privilege to take some photographs before the material was handed out to the University. 
I would like to thank Anne and Pat Coffey for the opportunity to see the works of Michael again and to allow me the publication on my blog. 
The paintings belong to Anne and Pat Coffey´s private collection. 

Here is a link to another article on my blog about Michael Kirby. link
©Michael Herrmann 2017
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If you continue the road that follows Lough Currane where the new hotel is just being build you reach the townland of Glenmore. The members of the South Kerry Camera Club visited the area last night on a wonderful warm summer evening. On the way you are passing scenes with mountains and lakes on the left as well as steep rocks and plenty of trees. At some stage you are going to see the parking place for walkers who want to do the Kerry walk. Keep driving for another 1,5km to the very and and turn at the last farm and find a place to park without interfering with the farm gates. There are some wonderful spots to photograph the valley, the trees and the river that runs there. Walking on the road is no problem as you are hardly going to meet any car. Enjoy this peaceful place and look at the sky as you may even see an eagle if lucky.
©Michael Herrmann 2017
MerkenMerken
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Beacon Point, Baltimore. Sherkin Island Lighthouse in the background

Baltimore Beacon

Sherkin Island and Cape Clear

Baltimore Cliffs

Beacon Point from the Sherkin Ferry boat

Sherkin Island

Sherkin Island

Mizen Head

Mizen Head cliffs from the bridge 

Old Mizen light signal

Different light signals, the small one top right with stainless steal backdrop is the current working LED  light.

Always close to my heart: the lighthouse keepers window view

Uillinn West Cork Art Centre building

Basement space with art by Matthew Lanyon (painting) and Tony Lattimer (sculpture)

Art by Philip Booth

First floor, Art by Matthew Lanyon and Tony Lattimer

 Tapestrie by Matthew Lanyon

Painting by Matthew Lanyon

Painting by Matthew Lanyon

An Altarpiece for West Penwith, stained glas by Matthew Lanyon

Deelish Garden Centre just outside Skibbereen, http://www.deelish.ie

Only a few of the many flowers that are for sale at Deelish Garden Centre, http://www.deelish.ie
Clerke´s shop that became a stamp picture 2016

Buildings at town center Skibbereen


I spend the first week of July with my wife and two grand sons in Baltimore, County Cork. We have never been in that part of Ireland before. The landscape is mostly smalls hill farms divided by roads, lakes and forests and lovely coastal drives along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Baltimore is a small seaside village with a lively harbour and some good restaurants and pubs. The pizzas are rather good and you enjoy the view over the harbour while you eat and drink. My daily place to check emails and messages since there is wifi outside the bars.
Another highlight is the community swimming pool, complete with sauna and jacuzzi. A real asset for the village that should be more appreciated and used. We went there 5 times during the week, the boys loved it.
Another great place near by is the town of Skibbereen. A buzzing 3200 people town with an fantastic art centre and a great selection of shops, pubs and galeries. The Uillinn Art Centre is a wonderful art space right in the center of Skibbereen with an attached cafe bistro that serves delicious food and really tempting cakes. The art centre was showing an exhibition by three leading artist from Cornwall. The paintings by Matthew Lanyon dominated clearly the show but the sculptures from Philip Booth and Tony Lattimer added another dimension to the exhibition. I liked it so much that I went twice to see it. I was suffering from art fatigue, obviously. Whenever you are in the area, go and have a look inside, please. No regrets promised. My grandchildren liked the elevator too.

Another colourful place is just outside Skibbereen: Deelish Garden Centre: Deelish Garden
You are greeted by a friendly lady there, who likes to laugh as well as my grand sons noticed. The plants and flowers are good as well, we had to little space in the car but brought our shopping safe to Kerry.
Another highlight of the week was the trip to Mizen Head to visit the lighthouse keeper dwellings and the signals. The view from the bridge is amazing and dramatic, even on a dull day. The visitor centre is very well done, very good exhibition and video screenings about the history of the place and the importance of lighthouses in the past and present. Kind of funny when you watch a video on Mizen Head just to see my friend Richard Foran, lighthouse keeper from Valentia Island making an appearance on the big screen. Its a small world.
©Michael Herrmann 2017
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Last Thursday was the first night I could leave the class room with my class in Tech Amergin Waterville to shoot some photos during the blue hour. We received new tripods recently that we tested and even did a bit of light painting using the torch of the phone.
In previous weeks my students prepared for long exposure settings and working with the tripods.
A welcomed light source was the local oil delivery truck that provided interesting lights on the near house wall and lane.
The warm tee afterwards in the Sea Lodge Hotel was a good way to finish the night.
©Michael Herrmann 2017
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On the Kerry Way from the "Climbers Inn"


Caragh River




Forestry near Ballaghisheen





Photography is about exploration and a certain amount of curiosity. Walking gets you to places that you don't see from the car. Both locations above are proving samples. Only when walking the places I did notice the growing of trees in the areas. Living near the coast, we don't have many trees around here. The vertical lines of trees are a contrast to what i usually see. That kind of change in my visual routine is an interesting change.
If you are in the area consider a walk in to the woods.
©Michael Herrmann 2017
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The South Kerry Camera Club is organising a few workshops in the coming month. We are starting off with a 2 hour workshop about Flashlight Photography on January 24th. The events are open to everybody with an interest in photography. The fee is € 5.00.
The workshop will be held at Tech Amergin Waterville.
©Michael Herrmann 2017
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from:  Statement by the Toscaireacht on the passing of   Anthony Cronin.

"Anthony Cronin was a poet. That is how he wanted to be remembered primarily. But as the moving spirit in the foundation of Aosdána, he was also one of the most significant figures in Ireland’s cultural history. He raised the public standing of the arts and, most especially, of the artist, to a level that no one of his generation would have thought possible. In part this was due to his understanding of history – in the 19th century a poet of genius like James Clarence Mangan lived and died beyond the notice of the state; in part it was due to his indignation that another poet of genius, Patrick Kavanagh, as well as many of Kavanagh’s contemporaries in other arts, such as the composer Frederick May, were reduced to poverty and treated as little better than outlaws. 

As Anthony Cronin dies there are many artists today in Ireland who can live and work in their native land because of what he did for them." 

You can read the full statement here

I discovered Anthony Cronin some years ago by listening to a radio program on RTE 1 called 
"Arts tonight" with Vincent Woods. During the program in which Anthony Cronin read from his poems and held an interesting conversation, reflecting on his life in Ireland and the arts.
It is still one of my favorite programs and you can listen to it here


A word about the photograph.
The signal tower on Rossbeigh beach, Glenbeigh was photographed in 2010. 
It has been left to be destroyed by the sea. In 2016 a replica of the tower was erected in the village.


©Michael Herrmann2017
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