Graceful – Weekly Photo Challenge

When I think of gracefulness, I would think of the beauty of movement or the strength and control in that movement. When looking at a ballet dancer, or belly dancer for that matter, the amount of skill or training is often overlooked in the end result. A bird of prey uses tiny graceful movements to unleash it’s power, the resulting grace is undeniable.

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White Tailed Sea Eagle (I think), Burren Birds of Prey Centre, Ireland

This bird was HUGE, but it swooped in from the far hillside with an overwhelming feeling of grace. Then at the last second, with a powerful flick of it’s wings, lifted over my head to perch at the back of the arena.

I know a lot of people don’t like to see captive animals, but in my opinion, you get the feeling these birds don’t realise they have been raised in captivity. I was happy to see them. If it hadn’t been for this bird I would never have known a Bird of Prey’s head is level with it’s chest in flight. In my mind, it would be a straight line along it’s back to it’s head. Every day’s a school day!

 

Ambience -Weekly Photo Challenge

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Choristers’ Hall (or the basement), Medieval Museum, Waterford Ireland

It must be very difficult for the curator of a museum to leave a space without any exhibits, but that is exactly what they have done in Waterford’s Medieval Museum. Ignoring the incredible pieces on display within the museum (impossible really, when you consider Waterford is Ireland’s oldest City), the structure of the building breathtaking in itself.

The Choristers’ Hall was left untouched, underground, following a fire on the upper floors of the building. As a National Monument it is covered by rules, one of which is it is not allowed to be touched, so the above structure of the museum is “floating” over these foundations. When the hall was built, in the 1200’s, it was a very special building at the time. So when the modern museum was built above it had to be given the same sort of care. The architect sourced stone from the same quarry as the stone used on these pillars.

If ambience is something you can feel, you feel it entering here.

 

Names – Weekly Photo Challenge

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Seahorse Memorial, Tramore, County Waterford

When you walk along, and pass a set of names on a wall, it’s easy to carry on and not think about why those names are there. This picture is of a tomb cover, that is fixed vertically against a wall, not flat over a tomb as it says on the first line. Even that makes you think that this tombstone has had some history.

The memorial was paid for by the surviving members of the regiment, in memory of of those who died on the Seahorse. 350 people lost their lives on the night of the 30th January 1816, mostly soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars, some travelling with their wives and children. This number does not include the people lost on the Boadicea and the Lord Melville, that were both lost in the same storm.

The following 200 years have seen a lot of changes in Tramore, it is now one of the most popular seaside resorts in Ireland, being situated on the stunning Atlantic coast in the South East of Ireland. When you look out over the bay you can hardly imagine the horror that happened 200 years ago.

There were too many bodies to be buried in the town’s small graveyard, so they were buried in mass graves along the beach. The tombstone was placed on the strand opposite the point where most of the bodies were laid to rest. As the area became more popular for holidays the stone was moved to it’s present position on the Doneraile overlooking the bay.

Resilient – Weekly Photo Challenge

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Dunhill Castle, Dunhill Co. Wateford, Ireland.

This is the black and white photo in my header, sums up resilient to me. Dunhill Castle overlooks the Anne Valley, as the river flows down to the Atlantic coast, in the South East of Ireland.

The castle has stood up to a huge amount of pushing and shoving over the years, but it’s natural defences stood it against many foes. It was built in the 1200’s, on the site of an earlier Celtic hill fort. The castle stayed in the hands of the Power’s (the name Power is the south east of Ireland is like saying Smith in England) until Cromwell became a bit angry in 1649, and he took control of it.

The land was then given to some English Sir’s, who didn’t have any interest in the area, and it fell into disrepair through the 1700’s. The structure remained solid, but in ruins right up until the 1912 when a heavy storm tore off the east wall. The rest of the structure has remained resilient.