Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Just a short post this morning with a couple of pix to celebrate what was always a fun day growing up in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday back home, and although it hasn’t quite reached those heights here in the US, there are enough ex-pats to make sure that it gets plenty of attention. Anyhoo… here’s a sampling of photographs from my home country, leading off with The Dark Hedges, and followed by a few other famous and not so famous sights…

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ireland_gapofdunloe_road

ireland_torr_head_area

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lough leane boat

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BWDunmore Head

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monea_castle2

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gap of dunloe4

Kinbane Castle

See more of my Ireland photographs…

here: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com/p641596536

and here: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com/p830260940

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Beaghmore Stone Circles

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It has been raining here in Maine for what seems like an eternity, leaving the landscape covered in dirty – but thankfully receding – snow. With little desire to take the camera out in these conditions, and in anticipation of my trip to Ireland next week, here are a couple of images from the last time I was across the pond.

The Beaghmore Stone Circles are located just outside Cookstown, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. They were first discovered in the 1940’s as peat was being cut from the local bog land. On the afternoon we were there, it was a gray and windswept landscape, and I can distinctly remember experiencing an eerie feeling… a feeling that other people had been here long before us, and that this place was special.

According to Wikipedia,

“The stone circles and cairn are attributed to the earlier part of the Bronze Age c. 2,000-1,200 BC. It is possible that the full extent of the complex has not yet been revealed and further stones and cairns may still lie hidden in the adjacent peat.”

There are a total of seven circles, each consisting of many small rocks arranged in often imperfect, but definitely circular, shapes. There are also twelve cairns and ten stone rows, with experts determining that some of the stones may have been arranged and aligned in relation to the movements of the sun and moon. Cremated human remains have been found in some of the cairns, and even though the structures visible today might seem old, flint tools that have been carbon-dated to somewhere between 2600-2900BC have also been found in the area.

Sam and I are both excited to delve into the rich and ancient history of Ireland on this trip, and can’t wait to explore the countryside. I would love to return to this amazing site, especially at either sunrise or sunset with nicer light. Perhaps we should add the Beaghmore Stone Circles to our itinerary?