Sandstone & Quartz. Grays and pinks, and whites. Hares in the fields. And finally the glorious sun that lets me see this landscape in all of its’ glory. There is something about the Sheep’s Head Peninsula that fills my heart with wonder and a strange sense of belonging. The landscape seems to speak to my heart in a language I understand. I think I’m in Love!
I’m staying with my friend Jean Williams. You know what’s funny? Her address. The Green Cottage, Kealties, Durrus, County Cork, Ireland. No post code, no house number. In fact she’s added the Green Cottage, it’s not normally in there! That’s Ireland for you; old school, a little ridiculous, but fabulous because it takes you out of the fast paced, make it happen Americana and reminds you that something different and quite magical exists. I think this way of life is dying out, but I’m happy to have taken its’ medicine on its’ way out.
Myself, Jean, and this woman Connie from Germany took an evening walk the other night. We traversed the boggy landscape on rocks, saw carnivorous plants such as sun dews and butterwort, and the highlight was witnessing a fox chase two pheasants, a male and a female. I spotted the fox limp trotting through a field. It was like we were one step behind the fox. We saw him, then we finally saw what he saw, the pheasants. Then we realized what he was trying to do with those birds. He wasn’t successful and after taking note of us ran under the hedge and up the hill. But it was thrilling! You know you’re a nature nerd when this kind of thing makes your day.
Last night I arranged for Connie and I to go set dancing in Ballyvourney. Ballyvourney is a Gaeltacht area and a good distance away from the Sheep’s Head. But here’s another classic Ireland. I called the organizer of the dance, Larry, and told him I’d like to come with a friend and did he know anyone that could drive us? He said he’d try to find someone, and he did. Connie and I got a lift (aka hitch) into Durrus, the closest town, some 4 miles from Jean’s and then Nuala picked us up and took us the 1.5 hours to a small town in the mountains, Ballyvourney. This is the first place I ever went set dancing in Ireland, so it was fun to go back. And wouldn’t you know it, I saw people there that I danced with last weekend in Ballinhessig with Ger! Such a good night!
Nuala told us that she’d be happy to drive us all the way home, but we wanted to walk a bit. So Connie and I were let out about a mile from the house and walked back under the stars. The sky was filled, like Montana filled, with large and small ancient lights. We could see the lighthouse at the SW edge of Ireland circling in the distance. And then we heard a bird. It was singing, on and on and on. It sounded like strange electronic music. It would go for minute long stints of singing, pause, and start back up again. Anybody have a guess as to who it is? I’ll put up video later.
So, what have you fallen in love with recently?