Fat Old Willow at Lough Na Fooey…a new plate drying

October 31, 2017

Lough Na Fooey (‘Lake of the winnowing winds’) is a small glacial valley lake ringed by steep sides just over the Partry mountains on the far end of Lough Mask. The north east side is Mayo, the south west Galway. Its western end gets the Devil’s Mother mountain, a sandy beach, a sandy bottom, and a scatter of willows…..

A new carborundum and dry point plate drying, next steps inking and printing.
Click on a thumbnail photo to enlarge
 

 

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Street food and pavement art

September 23, 2017

shellfish snacks, mosaics, limestone pavement

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That was the summer down at the lake

September 11, 2017

Summer 2017, apparently it was wetter, colder, soggier, duller than normal. It felt like the quickest one on record anyway.
On the good news front, cooler, damper weather gave lusher greener growth on the lake shore – that thin layer of soil can dry out very rapidly.

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Woodland Walk – the warm, sunny season

August 31, 2017

The ancient woodland lying in a long narrow strip against the lakeshore is flood-prone (or you could just say it gets drowned every year) and thick with Ash, Alder and Birch; hardy regenerating types. Maybe the annual soaking helps distribution and fertility – the shrub layer is chock full of hawthorn, willow, hazel, spindle, holly, blackthorn, bramble. And knee deep under that is species-rich with lichen, fern, violets, anemones, nightshade, nettles, mint and meadowsweet. Green light and shadow, you have to walk slowly….

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summer in the meadow

July 31, 2017

Nose to the meadow ground, chin in the mud looking through grasses and thistles, buttercups and dandelions at clouds and blue skies, sunrise, sundown..

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Fertilisation: my guess…

June 22, 2017

Those little egg cups are lined with silt, pooled with water and colonised by algae – the gulls and cormorants splash great dollops, hare and deer sprinkle a few pellets, the wind desiccates and whips up a concoction
then off it goes…!

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Spring Lake

May 04, 2017

Lough Mask is sinking back slowly leaving a creamy-grey sediment on seemingly barren rock. The summer shoreline has been under lake water for months. By March it started to reappear, then drowned a second time under inevitable Spring rains. The levels have dropped back in April and the new profile is taking shape. No great numbers of plovers this year but Seagull island has risen from the lake again, all noisy, feverish whirling. That whitish silty skim is cracking in sunlight, its a moonscape/desert day today…Summer will be here next week, for sure!

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Limestone Pavement, Lough Mask. A new plate

April 26, 2017

The limestone shoreline on our side of Lough Mask looks like a pavement made from slabs of exposed rock, the blocks separated by narrow, shallow fissures.  When the winter floods sink back, the lake leaves a thin film of white silt which settles into time/water eroded sharp-edged small holes or cups in the limestone. Chunks of rock have long empty spiky tubes Рlike a candle casting factory. Retreating ice sheets left boulders of sandstone and limestone strewn around, the limestone resting in centuries old sockets as the surrounding slab slowly dissolved around them. Amazingly, over spring and summer, ferns, orchids and other wildflowers carpet the stone and ash trees grow in eggcups! Constant magic..

A new plate drying off.

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Blooms blooming

April 12, 2017

Everything is slower in the west (time wise!). Word comes from the East; in Dublin the Cherry trees have been blooming for weeks. Our side of Ireland has a more considered, one by one, bloom. Humph.
The Blackthorn is fully out, even its little green leaves are starting to bud by now – an advanced state of blossom! The Gorse, or Furze or Whin, Ulex, is coming into its best flower and any blast of sunshine gives a sweet hit of toasted almond-coconut, shiver-exciting in a dark, wet, Mayo Spring. During the last couple of days the Crabapples have stirred themselves to pop open a few clusters. The Birch and Alder have been swinging their catkins for weeks. Maybe it’s this slow tip-toey cool slide into Spring that lets you notice the individual turns…anyway, with the blooms comes the sniff in the air of glorious summer!

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Buds budding..

March 20, 2017

Spring is taking a grip with trees beginning to bud, small pockets and hazes of green are appearing on and between the dark bare branches

 

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