Sunday, February 15, 2009

A sunny winter's day in Waterford

The other day we had one of those rare occasions that need to be remembered - a beautiful sunny winter's day in Ireland. These have been so few and far between this winter that I thought it deserved a post of its own, seeing as I devoted a few posts to the bad weather!

Two views of the centre of Lismore showing the Main Street, with the Courthouse, Red House Inn and Monument

I love the reflection of the bare tree in the water of the canal in this shot.

After the absolutely dreadful weather we have had in the past few weeks, with rain causing flooding and icy roads causing mayhem, I delighted in going for a few long walks with Ben the dog and my last-legs old camera in tow. (More on the camera anon!)

"The Spout" - a natural spring that supplied Lismore with water before plumbing arrived!

We are not used to driving on snow and ice like some of you are, nor are our cars designed for such conditions with no snow tyres or whatever you have in normally snowy countries. So as I wrote in an earlier post, the country goes into metaphorical meltdown when this happens, and skids to a halt, with school closures, work stay-at-homes, and latest updates on every millimetre of rain or snow.

The N72 road from Lismore to Cappoquin showing the old canal and the new controversial railings to stop people falling in to the shallow depths!

Lismore Millenium Park showing an obelisk and the quirky statue of St. Carthage, carved into a lightning-struck beech tree by a Welsh sculptor who worked for a week with a chain saw, much to everyone's bemusement. It beats cutting down the tree!

Mind you, there has been such boom-time over-development in floodplain areas in parts of Ireland that there is an economic reason for the impact such weather has on our towns. Whole books have been written, and millions spent on tribunals, on the ruinous planning Ireland has suffered in recent decades. This made millionaires out of many builders and landowners, and left many communities badly planned, with urban sprawl and no infrastructure like decent access roads, shops, schools and community centres. Now we are paying the price in urban decay with no-go areas and crime ridden sink estates in some of our cities and towns.

The moon rising over the River Blackwater

Thankfully Lismore has escaped the ravages of much of the bad planning decisions, perhaps as a heritage town there are more stringent planning restrictions and many listed (preserved) buildings.

Geese and ducks on the old disused canal that brought barges from the River Blackwater where it wasn't tidal and navigable

So I hope you like these photos I took that lovely sunny day, they show how good Lismore looks when the sun shines and are in stark contrast to the photos on the earlier post here, where you can see Lismore and environs in our snowy and wet weather.
I said more of the camera anon. Well, yesterday I got an early birthday pressie of a brand new camera and these will probably be the last of the photos from my ancient old trusty 2 megapixel Olympus which has finally given up the ghost. It has served me and the blog well thus far!

Another view of our garden looking towards our house


Peggy said...

Hi Catherine, Lismore looks beautiful in the sunshine. I did not know about the tree, very ingenious! I will defintitely have to make a day there come summer.

FoodFunFarmLife said...

Lovely photo's, nice to see the blue skies & sunshine ! Congrats on your new camera, look forward to seeing your photos :)

Rachel Cotterill said...

Love the reflected tree :) Will look forward to seeing what your new camera can do, what type have you got?

Catherine said...

Thanks for the comments, Lismore does look great in the sunshine - if only we got more of it!
PEGGY - I will take a close-up of the tree statue and put it up, it is very cool! You should come during the Immrama festival in June, combine a bit of literary culture with sightseeing!

LYNDA - I haven't uploaded any photos from the new camera yet but have taken quite a few - including my baking session today. It has lots of bells and whistles and even has a Food thingy for taking food photos!

RACHEL - The tree is lovely, one of those lucky shots you can't really plan, at least I didn't till Igot home and saw it onscreen!
my new camera is a Panasonic DMC-FX30. It is a compact 7.1megapixel which doesn't sound a lot but is pretty good, lots of cameras now seem to be 10 or more, but I liked this one and all its possibilities. I love photography and hubby has an Olympus SLR digital 8mp camera which takes great shots but I didn't want something heavy, just a light pocket/bag camera!
Also it was on half-price offer - there are some upsides to the recession!

All the best, Catherine

The Cherry Tree Farm said...

Oh, your pictures are so beautiful! It's so GREEN where you are, and the buildings are so lovely. I am always astonished by the *age* of things in other parts of the world. Here, the very oldest buildings date only from the 1870s -- there were native Americans here before that, of course, but they were nomadic and didn't leave any buildings behind.

Thank you for the tour! :) kristin

Jeannette StG said...

I like "the Spout" -it must be very old - thank you for sharing your neck of the woods - so green!

Catherine said...

KRISTIN - there's a reason why it's so GREEN Here - that would be all the rain we get! It is the price we pay for the beauty of where we live I guess though there are times when I think there must be a better deal, like all those places that get nice summers and yet have lovely green landscapes - like Switzerland! And they get proper snow as well! As for age, yes Lismore has pretty ancient buildings and the castle was begun in 1170 or thereabouts, whenever the British occupation of Ireland started. ( mind you the pope sent them over to civilise the unruly Celts so we can always blame him for the next 800 years! But this is not a polemic on colonialism, that's for another post maybe, and I am not an Irish nationalist after living here through all the troubles in the North. Way too much bad history. But the courthouse in the photos is pretty ancient, 250 years or so, and the monument is from 1850 or so, and our own house is from 1827, we have a book with street maps from the 1700s and 1800s and the castle leased the land for 99 years and then people could build on it.
JEANETTE- the Spout is very old, I will try to find out the history of it, it is water piped in from a spring miles away, if only someone bottled it it would be like Evian, instead people wash their cars at it, water their horses and donkeys there (less now with the demise of such modes of transport) and take it totally for granted!

Debbie said...

Oh my. This is my first visit to your blog and I so loved these photos. How beautiful.

Jo said...

Hi Catherine, I'm new to your blog; saw you on Lynda's blog yesterday. I love your beautiful town. I love the tree statue! I'm adding you on my blog as a link. Hugs Jo