County Clare

Would you believe it, I'm still uploading photos from Ireland? I hope you're not sick of them! The last few nights, I've been working through some shots of County Clare, which happens to be my most favourite place in the country.


For me, nothing can rival finding the tiniest orchid bravely growing between the karst limestone of the Burren. Or the trees so bent by the wind that every branch reaches away from it. You wonder that life didn't just up and quit this place when the glaciers razed it.


And just when you think you get it, the sea pulls back and reveals more defiant lushness. And you breathe deep in the fragrance of it and feel at once its clemency and might.


But still beyond all that there's a mystical feeling to the place. Maybe it's more than the rocks, or the ever-changing skies, or the deep boom of the sea. Whatever it is, people past felt it too and left their marks, dolmens from barely comprehensible 3500 BC, castles and holy water shrines by the roadside.


And I believe the tourists feel it too, for there's a silent kind of reveried hush over most of the places you visit. And the locals seem to have a gentler grace too. Or maybe it's just my own fondness for the place, for childhood holidays when it seemed like another country altogether, that makes me feel these things. But somehow I don't really believe that.

More photos on my Flickr.
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