Saturday, March 29, 2008


A few random pictures from around Lough Key during the week.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring in The Air

With the little bit of recent sunshine, there are signs of life in the garden again. The daffs are up, the cherry blossom has appeared. Things are happening with the wildlife too - the Whooper Swans over Lough Gara are on the way back to Iceland, and it's the beginning of the breeding season for badgers, which unfortunately means we start to see casualties on roadsides.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

90 Years Young

I was asked to take some photographs last weekend at the celebration of Rita Lavin's 90th birthday party. Her family gathered to mark the occasion, which started with a blessing from Fr Brian Conlon. Her seven children and nine of her grandchildren were there, as well as her longtime friend Dobbie, who is only 89.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Wearing of The Green

When is St Patrick's Day not St Patrick's Day? Well, this year it seems, as it falls on the Monday of Easter week. The bishops weren't happy at the prospect of celebration and merriment during what is meant to be a solemn and reflective period, so tomorrow is now offically St Patrick's Day; 24 hours early. For me it means that because of a longstanding booking to cover a family celebration, I won't be photographing a parade for the local papers this year. So here are a few faces from the crowd in Boyle last year instead.

And finally, the man himself in attendance at today's wedding.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Shaggy Dog Story

This is Henry.

Henry lived with an elderly man who died. The man's relatives didn't want Henry, so they locked him in the house, where he stayed, trapped, for weeks, until he was almost starved. A neighbour heard him one day, realised what had happened, and called Roscommon ISPCA. Though they tried to re-home him, Henry remained in the kennels for months. I saw him on their website - - a couple of weeks back and liked the cut of his jib. We went to meet him, but in less than 60 seconds he and Ossie had a serious fight. When I rang Sharon from Roscommon ISPCA the next day and said we weren't sure Henry was the right dog for us, I asked what his chances of being homed were. Henry is a big, wild-looking dog. She replied "Nobody wants Henry".

Those words stuck, and I couldn't forget him without giving him another chance. So yesterday morning, he came to stay with us for the weekend. He's a big galoot, a truly gentle giant. He's a good part Irish Wolfhound and a fair part something else; loves a cuddle, is mildy curious about cats, but finds hens fascinating; he likes going places, but frets and drools like a tap in the car, eats like a horse and could sleep for Ireland. Even Ossie thinks he's cool.
I don't think he'll be going back to the kennels.

Somebody wants Henry.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pond Life

The frogs were having a high old time of it in the pond for a couple of days last week. They've settled down again now. These pics are for Ronan, who claims not to have seen a real life frog since the mid-1980s. He really should spend more time in the countryside.

Two from Cavetown lake, and a fisheye view of Ardcarne church on a moonlit night a couple of weeks ago.