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Kinsale Walking Tour 5

Kinsale Giant with pickled herring

The fifth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

A stone’s throw from the antique mooring of post 4 is this former Courthouse building, Market Square. Built around about 1600, with additions in 1706 which included the frontage with the loggia on the ground floor. Offices and a jury room were provided on the first floor, and part of the original building was converted into a paneled courtroom.

It was in this building that the Kinsale Town Corporation and its sovereign conducted their affairs and the Courthouse was also used for ceremonial occasions in the 18th century. This courthouse was the location for the inquest on the victims of the Lusitania, sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale in 1915 and is now home to the Regional Museum.

The Museum in the Courthouse includes a display on the famous Kinsale Giant. He was Patrick Cotter O’Brien. He died in 1806 and is believed to have been over 8 foot tall.

The Museum houses the largest collection of maritime artefacts in Ireland.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Lone Pine 1

Tortured existence rendered plain.

The eastern approach Zion Canyon is a national park unto itself, route 9 passes through otherworldly landscapes.

Captured with a Kodak DCS Pro SLE/c dslr and a Canon lens EF 200 mm 1:2.8 L II stabilized with the Manfrotto Studio Tripod model 475 and the 468 Hydrostatic ball head. This series explores the possibility of the iconis “Lone Pine.” Here the tortured existence of this organism is rendered plain.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Apple Orchard in the Wilderness

Persistence of agriculture

….continued from the chapter “A Ride to Reavis Ranch”

Imagine walking across the ranch house ruin towards where I described the former pond. Looking to the east and north from the elevation you see this sight.

In the near distance a grass pasture slopes into Reavis Creek. The creek has flowing water in all but the longest dry seasons. By the way, the trail from Pine Creek is on the slopes of that conical feature in the distance, to the left.

Click any photograph for a larger version.
Looking from the former house site towards the Arizona Trail running beneath the distant red rock ridge. Not the fence rails on the left and apple trees in bloom.

From the ruin, walk down the Arizona Trail, south, for a few hundred feet and turn left into the fields to encounter the same apple tree, and a close up of pure white apple blossoms.

Portrait of a Blooming Apple Tree

At Rest and History

This tree is an outlier of a thick stand of several hundred trees to the north. The Searcher and I rode into the middle of the grove for a rest and chat. The horses were allowed to graze in the abundant new grass brought on by the winter rains.

The Searcher told me the story of the valley and that it was a man named Clemans who planted 600+ apple trees, trees in bloom all around us. The Reavis Valley was long a site of agriculture, starting in the 19th century with Elisha Reavis, who passed away in 1896 and is buried on the slopes of White Mountain, and continued with a series of ranchers and entrepreneurs in the 20th: John Fraser, William Clemans, who planted the trees, and John A. “Hoolie” Bacon, then Bacon’s son-in-law Floyd Stone who sold the land to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1967.

We talked about some earthwork I noticed, in the southern part of the valley. It was part of a water system that diverted Reavis creek flow at the head of the valley to the ranch house. We decided that strange hexogonal structure on the elevation above the house ruin was the site of water storage. At that location the structure would provide a pressure feed for the house and much else.

Abandoned Hay Rake

A mix of winter rains and fertile soil were exploited in the Reavis Valley for a handful of decades, the enterprise now is set aside. This abandoned hay rake and chassis, used to harvest grass in seasons past, is evidence of the work. The apple trees produce to this day without irrigation.

The Searcher touched upon the subject of the “Circlestone” ruin he mentioned on our morning ride. He had never been there, but mentioned some books on the subject. It is a wide circle of rough stone wall enclosing mysterious structures. At this point, I was hooked, and decided to check Circlestone on a later trip. Here are some photographs from one of those trips, in November 2006.

Reavis Ranch Apple Orchard Tree

Reavis Ranch Apples Yellow

Reavis Ranch Apples Red

In my next post The Searcher and I return to Pine Creek, Colorado gives me some trouble and we visit a stand of wild oats in the Reavis Gap.

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Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Moon Fin

Gibbous Moon and Red Rock

Driving from the Petrified Forest National Park my son, Sean, and I arrived at Chinle, Arizona the evening of Monday, November 2, 2003.  No time to rest or eat after checking into the Best Western he and I reached the White House overlook and trail head with the sun low in the sky, the sun sets 6:45 pm these last few days of Daylight Savings.  The Navajo Reservation observes Daylight Savings, so the click jumps crossing the border from Arizona to Reservation.

I was 50 at the time and with Sean graduated from SUNY Maritime and fresh from a tour at sea we made good time to the canyon floor.  I wanted to catch the White House in the setting sun.

One morning, 14 years later, I published a fine art photograph from that trip.

Looking along the canyon, over thick stands of Russian Olives, I caught the risen moon, in gibbous phase, against a mid-canyon freestanding fin of red sandstone of the southern canyon wall. Today, those trees are gone, removed as an invasive species.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills Photography

Ephemeral Water

Rainwater from distant thunderstorms on the vast Colorado Plateau emerge from a cliff wall, Zion Canyon. The fall will last for a few hours, we bore lucky witness as do my images shared below.

Captured with a Kodak DCS Pro SLE/c dslr and a Canon lens EF 200 mm 1:2.8 L II stabilized with the Manfrotto Studio Tripod model 475 and the 468 Hydrostatic ball head. I prefer the details of misting water at the widest lens aperture, focus is clear throughout the plane, excepting some foreground brush.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Adirondack Respite

Seven new photographs from the Adirondack Wilderness

One weekend my nephew Chris and I backpacked to Peaked Mountain Pond, the Adirondacks wilderness, in the rain. My son, Sean, was to meet us later. The constant rain made the easy trek into a slog. Our attitude improved after the tents setup and the fire. The skies clear to a brilliant display of the Milky Way away from light pollution.

Peaked Mountain in the light of an August dawn taken from the west pond shore. Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Adirondack Park, New York State. At 2,919 feet, Peaked Mountain is a modest height though it rises an impressive 675 feet in 0.4 mile.

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Looking north across Peaked Mountain Pond from the west shore shortly after dawn.

Peaked Mountain Pond – CLICK ME for more Adirondack photography.
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We used the canoe as a punt, using a solid branch to push around the shallow pond for short distances, after bailing.

Abandoned Canoe – CLICK ME for more Adirondack photography.
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Mid-morning, we headed up the trail to the peak. I caught this orb-weaver spider web on the way.

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…and a detail. Technically, this is a macro. Did not wait around for the owner.

Orb Web with Dew, detail – CLICK ME for more Adirondack photography.
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Later, in the afternoon, Chris caught some Zzzzz’s in a time out from water gathering. We pumped water through a filter, this is necessary throughout New York State to avoid giardia infection.

Adirondack Respite – CLICK ME for more Adirondack photography.
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The ultimate in peace and tranquility, though disturbing a hornet pollinator can lead to excitement. This water lily bloom was caught with a tripod mounted long lens. Look closely for the hornet at work inside the flower. HHealthy water lily leaves are the epitome of tranquility because they are always clean, giving the illusion of tranquility. Scientists study water lily leaves to learn how the leaf surface sheds dirt. Imagine self-cleaning cloths.

Correction: it is the Lotus leaf, not lily pad, that is self cleaning.

Water Lily Flower with hornet – CLICK ME for more Adirondack photography.

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Browse my reasonably priced stock photography. This blog features seven (7) photographs I published today to Getty Istock and my Fine Art gallery.

License the photo, download and use it. Click this link to browse all my Getty IStock Photography offerings.

Or click this link or any photograph or this link to select a print with custom framing from my “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” Fine Art Gallery.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 4

A mysterious chili pepper and hidden watchers

The fourth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

This mural on the corner wall where Market Quay meets the Market Square. I puzzled over the following photograph until I recognized the Chili Pepper from the mural.

Without Dermot Ryan’s storytelling I’d never have guessed this stub of a post was a bollard to which ships’ mooring lines were fastened. It follows the memorial bollard is close to the lane named “Market Quay.”

The Jim Edwards hotel and restaurant façade is a colorful and elegant element of Market Quay.

Dermot told a tale about spies, looking from windows above the square, reporting on shortcomings of citizens.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spider Orchid Grand Flowering

grand flowering of an anniversary present to my wife

Here in Ithaca we have a greenhouse specializing in orchids. Several years ago if visited and picked up several for my wife, Pam, as a present for our wedding anniversary. Pam’s orchids site in our east facing bay window. This Caladenia, or spider orchid, has bloomed several times under her care. This bloom was especially successful.

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These flowers are an achievement. Caladenia are difficult to maintain and cultivate outside of their native environment. Most are endemic to Australia and New Zealand.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour 3

A story lurks….

The third of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Looking northwest along Market Quay toward Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church seen rising above the rests. The Jim Edwards hotel on the right. This, and the next, photographs are an interesting, or not, slice of life on Market Quay this May day: a man in a striped apron carries packaged food, ostensibly a delivery, and it probably is.

An man in striped apron carrying a delivery (…or a story plot line….) walks in front of Victoria Murphy and Daughter, Real Estate Agent, storefront on Market Quay, Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland. Notice the store to left is vacant and handled by Victoria Murphy. That store front has high turnover: was occupied 2017, vacant again 2019 (as per Google Maps).

“Angle’s Secrets” storefront on Market Quay, Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland. I believe this building is owned by Victoria Murphy and Daughter Realty, the storefront second to the right. Don’t ask me how I know this as, no, I do not know it in the usual sense.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Woody Peony 100 mm

Macro series

See my May Woody Peony postings for background on this peony variety.

These photographs were taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV dslr and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens stabilized with the Manfrotto BeFree Carbon Fiber tripod with ball head.

The morning breezes of May caused me to “up” ISO to 1600 for a faster shutter speed at higher f-stop.

Taking full advantage of the macro lens, the higher ISO helped to maintain sharper focus on the highlighted feature, in this case the stamens.

A gallery of macros with various settings and aspects of the bloom.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills