Saturday, May 16, 2009


Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

What's that? It's raining? In Ireland? IMPOSSIBLE!

Believe it, ladies and gentlemen. It's been rainy and cold for a few days straight now, though I suppose I can't really complain because it's not snowing. And in true Irish fashion, it's often raining and sunny at the same time. Very strange. I know I've mentioned this country's screwy weather before, but I don't know if you can truly appreciate just how absurd it is until you have experienced it for yourself. So until that day comes, you'll all just have to take my word for it and accept the fact that there's some sort of magical weather vortex over Ireland.

The simultaneous combination of rain and sun, as much as it makes me feel as if I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone, creates a rather interesting setting for photos. Matty inspired me to start playing around with the settings on my camera because it has the potential to be so much more than a point-and-shoot. So I've been doing some playing, outside in the rain, and felt like I should share some of the results with you. But first an introduction. And by "introduction" I mean "rambling collection of my thoughts". I've suddenly been feeling like a writer again, after not producing anything besides academic papers for years. So just bear with me.

Friday night I was sick of being a lazy bum all day, so as dusk began to set in, I walked up Killiney Hill despite the rain (I suppose this was me following Jane's advice and taking advantage of the time I have left here). Dusk is my favourite time of day. Have you ever noticed how the whole world looks different at dusk? A thick grey-blue haze is cast over everything and there is just so much energy and magic around. I would just like to add that being in a forest on a mountain beside the sea in the rain allows one to bask in the most incredible smell of Green imaginable. The lousy weather kept most people off the hill, making it so quiet, aside from a huge number of very excited birds who were out celebrating the rain.

Has anyone ever experienced pathetic fallacy? I know we all know what it is and learn about it school and can probably recognize it in literature/film/art. But have you actually lived it? I have. Standing on the hill, just watching, as darkness crept over the sea and a flaming orange sliver of sunset was visible between the clouds and Dublin City, while a fine mist of rain covered everything. Perfect. Seeing my own reflection in the misty panorama had an incredibly calming effect. It was comforting to know that, just like myself, Dublin is having mixed feelings about my upcoming departure. That, my friends, is pathetic fallacy made real.

Most of these photos don't require much individual explanation, so I'm just going to post them.

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Dusk. Rain. Mountain. Forest. Sea. Muse.

Today, I met up with Claire and Kalen to take a day trip down to Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow to see the Powerscourt House & Gardens. Again, it was sunny and raining for most of the day, but we managed to make the most of it. The gardens at Powerscourt are really gorgeous. So many bright colours! In some ways, it reminded me of the Butchart Gardens and made me feel all nostalgic.

Again, I feel that most of these pictures speak for themselves, but I'll throw in a few comments here and there.

Enniskerry is west of Bray, further towards the Wicklow Mountains. The mountains are visible from a few spots on the Powerscourt grounds.

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Venturing out into the garden, and heading towards the lake.

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The fountains are really lovely. There are quite a few of them.

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The Winged Horses.

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(From underneath the horses)

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Into the Japanese Gardens...

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We climbed up Pepperpot Tower. The name makes me giggle, not gonna lie.

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There's a nice view from up there, even though it's not very high.

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Cannons to guard Pepperpot.

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Powerscourt is also quite well-known for its golf course.

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Inside the house, the main floor is almost entirely shops and restaurants, but upstairs is more historical. This is the ballroom.

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And the view.

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Back outside to the Wall Gardens.

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I found something so poetic about this tree...

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And the walk through the Wall Garden brought us back to the lake. (As always, I apologize for the slantiness of my photos. I can't seem to shoot straight, no matter how hard I try.)

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The front of the house.

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Of course, the best part was the flowers, glittering with raindrops.

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Strange weather, but we had a good day regardless.

I know it's a rare occurance that I ever follow any kind of advice given to me (my mother can attest to this, I'm sure), but I do plan on making the most of the rest of my time here, and enjoying it as much as I can. But I know I've mentioned before that I'll be back to Ireland someday. It's only a matter of time before the cold winds whip off Dublin Bay and suck me back in. I'm never gone forever.


Jane said...

I love your photographs! It looks so lush and green. The flowers are gorgeous - how do you get the colours to be so vibrant? The flower photos would be wonderful as notecards, For 2010 - you could make your own calendar with your favourite photos from Ireland.

I also love the picturess of building and architectural details. winged horses, wrought iron, the ballroom......

emerald_away said...

Thanks! The colours are so vivid because I use an HD camera with the ISO and colour saturation settings cranked. Yay technology!