Kinsale Walking Tour 10

along the River Bannon

The tenth and final 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.

We are headed toward lunch along the River Bannon. The Kinsale Chocolate Boutique, Exchange Buildings, 6 Market Square, did not survive the pandemic. This iconic corner is now the First South Credit Union (sigh).

With headquarters in Dublin, the Irish Red Cross provides in Ireland (click the links to learn more):

MIGRATION SERVICES,

PRISON PROGRAMME – COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH & FIRST AID

FREE DEFIBRILLATOR CHECK

RED CROSS AND IHL

EMBLEMS OF THE RED CROSS MOVEMENT

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

RESCUE SERVICES

AMBULANCE

MISSING RELATIVES

Come out of the center town to walk along Pier Road, River Bannon on its way to the harbor, on one side, town parks on the other.

Across from Kinsale Town Park rises this Tall Ship mast and other memorabilia from Kinsale’s maritime heritage.

A few hundred feet away are moorings for the Kinsale Yacht club, ” located in Kinsale, County Cork lies just 120 nautical miles from Wales, 240 from North West France and only 500 from the Galician Coast of North Spain. Most significantly it is only 30 km by road from Cork, Ireland’s second city, and between the two lies one the region’s main assets – Cork International Airport – with its daily links to many European capitals. Keelboats and Dinghies. The club runs inshore and offshore races, has active cruising and powerboat sections and most significantly for any real club, a strong and dynamic junior training program. Kinsale Yacht Club and marina are only a few minutes walk from every shop, hotel, pub and restaurant in Ireland’s gourmet capital.” — from the Yacht Club web site.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour 9

Protected Storage

The ninth 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.

Look closely to see this quote “The Onion is the truffle of the poor.” –Robert J. Courtine. Crackpots was decorated with unusual pottery, a casualty of Covid-19.

From a placard inside the stone walled “Town Pound.” “The Town Pound was an essential part of the administration of the old town, located near the Market House, the Potato Market and the Broadstone. It had replaced the Old Pound at the top of Barrack Street and was for the care of stray livestock, especially pigs and horses, with a scale of penalties for offenders. The Pounds were always kept as secure places, as shown in the records of the Kinsale Corporation, with an entry of 1673 itemizing a sum of sixteen shillings for the repair of the pound!” By Local Historian, Dermot Ryan.

The Tan Tavern is on the other side of Guardwell street, seen here over the stone wall of “The Old Town Pound” historical site.

“Kinsale Town Crest

I don’t recall where exactly this quote was placed. It is associated in time with the Town Pound (photo time stamps). Morgan Spurlock of the documentary “Supersize Me” is an American of Irish descent.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

History and Ghosts of the Triangle T Ranch

a ghost story

In my last post, Homecoming Parade 2003, I described my initial reconnection with the University of Arizona (U of A) as a 1975 graduate and alumnus.  This personal project of involvement with U of A and Arizona continued through 2011 with annual autumn trips to coincide with Homecoming.  The travel was as a CALS (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) Alumni Board of Directors member, a primary responsibility was raising funds for scholarships.

Texas CanyonGranite2007-5
The Amerind Foundation and weathered boulders of Texas Canyon granite.  Beyond are the Dragoon Mountains

I met, Linda Kelly, the owner of the Triangle T Guest Ranch, while camping in the Chiricahua Mountains.  I arrived a week before homecoming to photograph the landscape, nature and rock formations of the Chiricahua National Monument.  Click this link for my Arizona Online gallery, including some work from that time.  Linda and a friend were visiting that day and we struck up a conversation about the area and her Triangle T Guest ranch.  The next day I was scheduled to guest lecture a class at the U of A, as an alumnus of CALS.  The ranch was on the way and I needed a place to stay, so Linda gave me directions and I checked in.

She gave me a tour of the incredible weather granite rock formations of Texas Canyon and, meanwhile, shared stories of the history of Texas Canyon.  It is appropriate for the Amerind Foundation to be here (see first photograph), the winter camp of an Apache tribe for generations.

Texas CanyonGranite2007-1
Weathered granite boulders greet visitors to the Triangle T Ranch.

That night, my request was for a room storied to be haunted by a spirit they call “Grandma,” as in when her foot steps wake you from a sound sleep you say, “It’s all right, Grandmother.”  She woke me that night, footsteps in the dark, hollow on the wood floor, the room filled with a hard cold.  I talked to her, without a response, while swinging my legs out of bed to reach the gas heater in the wall.  I turned on the heat and the sound of expanding metal heat fins lulled me to sleep.

Texas CanyonGranite2007-2
I call this pair, “Father and Son.”  The restaurant is built around a round boulder. 

It made a good story for the students.  They were surprised I could fall back asleep, but after all I had to be there the following morning.

Texas CanyonGranite2007-3
Your imagination roams among the natural forms.

I gave Linda a few of my photographs from that day and we made arrangements for the Triangle T to supply a two night package for the CALS “Dean’s Almost World Famous Burrito Breakfast” silent auction during 2008 homecoming.

Texas CanyonGranite2007-4
A tableau of figures keep silent watch with the ghosts of Texas Canyon.
Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 8

Since 1690

The eighth 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.

Ducking into an alleyway with the haughty name, “Chairmans’ Way,” we stepped into a different world.

Promising a castle, it delivered these charming offerings.

This doorway, yellow roses (Pam’s favorite) and Calla Lilies.

An ivy clad nook / cottage.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour 7

Literary Encouragement

The seventh 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.

So much to see around Newman’s Mall, coming upon “Stone Mad.” Possibly a reference to The Maiden Stone of Scotland. Maiden Stone and Persephone, 8th century AD, and 1961, Shaun Crampton. The salmon-pink granite monolith known as the Maiden Stone was erected by the Picts in the eighth century AD at the time when Christianity was filtering into the north-east. It bears, Janus-like, a series of vivid symbols, carved in relief, and, on the other face, a round-headed cross, set between a possible cavalry scene and a great roundel filled with interlace. The symbols, which are vigorously carved in relief and include a beast or dolphin, mirror and comb, look back to the powerful range of animal and object symbols used as a kind of heraldry on memorial stones in the two previous centuries. The cross side indicates its use as a preaching site during the conversion of the Picts. The notch out of the northern edge of the stone has fed a legend concerning the daughter of the laird of Balquhain who was baking bannocks on her wedding day and bet a stranger that she could finish her task before he had built a road to the top of Bennachie, ‘ere she would become his own’. Being the Devil, he won: she took to her heels and, in answer to her prayers, was turned to stone as he caught her, the notch being the spot where he grasped her

Looking outside through window bars, viewing a quote written carefully in white paint on slate, written of the Misses Morkan’s of “The Dead”, in James Joyce’s 1914 short story collection, “Dubliners.”

What is behind a fascinating red door in the yellow wall that held the above quote.

A cosy nook….

References
“Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie – An Illustrated Architectural Guide”, by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Tain Way Poetic Finale

A Poem to accompany our arrival at Carlingford

To close our time on the Tain Way I offer a poem written and presented to the congregation of the First Unitarian church of Ithaca New York 25 years ago, 1992. Interspersed are final photographs from our walk on the Tain Way of 2014.

The poem content is not directly biographical / confessional although it draws upon my experience as a single parent in the 1980’s through 1990’s.

A Poem Read To The Congregation

I

a crisis threatened an Irish village
men women children filled the meeting place
everyone participated especially the infants

Ram on Slieve Foy
The Tail Way descends from Goliyn Pass to the northeast, passing among commons grazing. I attempted to identify the breed of this ram, but gave up. I can say sheep on the Cooley Peninsula are primarily bred for meat and there are black faced breeds known for meat production.
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Ram in profile on Slieve Foy
The flocks of County Louth commonly carry paint brands to identify ownership. Paint branding lessens wool value. This is less of an issue if the livestock are primarily raised for meat.

in spite of it all a plan was arrived at
after the vote
from the back of the room a man called out

….you know the type…

THIS WILL BE OUR PLAN
UNTIL
WE FIND OUT WHAT IT IS.

Walls and Battlements of King John's Castle
The ancient portion of Carlingford. I called the top of the castle “battlements” in the loose sense, as the ruin now longer has a walkway.

II

my son John and I have a photo of him at 5 years
washing dishes
standing on a chair up to his elbows in rubber gloves
the caption reads “Two Men On Their Own.”

i had agreed to accept a divorce from helen
only if john was left with me

one night in particular stands out from that time
i did not sleep for planning what john and I would do

Walking the Tain Trail to Carlingford
Unbranded, perfect white marks this lamb among an extensive fern bed. Tain Way steepens on approaching Carlingford. Below is the residential Carlingford, the Greenore road running to the right. The large structure with two rows of dark windows is the Four Seasons Hotel where a substantial brunch is served Sundays.

III

seven years passed
not a long time
since then we’ve moved
found another a better life

Ram and Lamb in pasture
We descended below the ridge to pass into excellent pasturage. The growth of fern hides a lush grass pasture.
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raising John alone was not part of the plan
Its been just john and me
helen gave birth to john
to have a part of me
in case of loss
i felt the same way
and she understood

Walking the Tain Trail to Carlingford

a welcome
feminine voice in our home
“Little House on the Prairie”
and
“Little House in the Big Woods” twice.

Gorse against the slopes of Slieve Foy
Plants and livestock on these slopes of Slieve Foy contend with adverse conditions in the form of a constant east wind. The stress is evident in the stressed trunk, although this species thrives in this environment, as seen in the strength of bloom and the yellow patches on the slopes, all of which are gorse. Gorse flowers are edible; the entire plant can be used as fodder when crushed to the consistency of moss. In Scotland there’s a museum with a roundish boulder called a Whin Stone.

V

Here is an excerpt from a newspaper article by Wilder
called “HOME”
that has an emotional resonance for me
dated 1923
Wilder was in her 50’s.

Out in the meadow, I picked a wild sunflower, and as I looked into its golden heart, such a wave of homesickness came over me that I almost wept. I wanted Mother, with her gentle voice and quiet firmness; I longed to hear Father’s jolly songs and to see his twinkling blue eyes; I was lonesome for the sister with whom I used to play in the meadow picking daisies and wild sunflowers.

Across the years, the old home and its love called to me, and memories of sweet words of counsel came flooding back. I realize that’s all my life the teaching of these early days have influenced me, and the example set by Father and Mother has been something I have tried to follow, with failure here and there, with rebellion at times; but always coming back to it as the compass needle to the star.

So much depends upon the homemakers. I sometimes wonder if they are so busy now with other things that they are forgetting the importance of this special work. Especially did I wonder when reading recently that there was a great many child suicides in the United States during the last year. Not long ago we had never heard of such a thing in our own country, and I am sure there must be something wrong with the home of a child who commits suicide.

Tain Trail Enters Carlingford
The trail detours around sheep pasture just before descending to the outskirts of Carlingford.

VI

we give so much to our children
what’s left over though
is ours

Red Poppies front a Fieldstone Home.
The first Carlingford home passed by the trail is a solid fieldstone home with a slate roof fronted by a natural garden featuring red poppies.
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William Carlos Williams wrote
it is difficult to get the news from poems
yet men diet miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there

Ruined Cottage, Carlingford
This ruin lies off the Tain Way as it descends through the outskirts of Carlingford town. Constructed of stones, mortar and what looks to be concrete. Long slate slabs protect the eves. It’s been abandoned for an age. What a story it must have, long slow and full of life.

it is not difficult to understand this
to live it is another matter

The Abby Bar
Named for the Carlingford Priory, a nearby ruin, the Abby Bar is located on Dundalk Street (R173), Liberties of Carlingford, Carlingford, Co. Louth, Ireland. Liberties of Carlingford might be called greater Carlingford in the USA.
 

you have to live it
in order to have something
left over

Metal Cover with Celtic Motifs
A metal cover, about 8 inches in diameter located in the sidewalk on the left side of The Abby Bar on Dundalk Street, Carlingford. The triple spiral triskelion symbol has become a Christian symbol of faith for Celtic Christians around the world, a visual representation of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and eternity. In Ireland, the symbol acquired its Christian meaning prior to the 5th century. The triskelion predates Christina and even Celtic culture as petroglyphs of the astronomical calendar at the megalithic tomb Newgrange (3,200 BC). The symbol is associated with Neolithic cultures throughout Western Europe.

VII

never the less
my emotional resonance in reading that piece
“Home”

Entrance with Calla Lilies, Carlingford
Caring touches to a well-tended home entrance along the Tain Way, Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland.

did not come from the sentiments Wilder so skillfully evoked
though I shared them it was that sharp part

Church of Saint Michael Grounds, Lamp Post
Lamp post on Church of Saint Michael grounds.

i did not agree with it lacking a reason
and so must have re-read
“Home”
fifty times a hundred
who knows

Church of Saint Michael Facade
The Church of Saint Michael is a Roman Catholic Church on Dundalk Street (R173), Carlingford.

so committed to speak today
and began to write
something was bound to shake loose

Church of Saint Michael Grounds

then those lines form Deuteronomy
gave themselves to me

Before you this day is set good and evil, life and death.
Choose life, that both you and your descendants might live.

Church of Saint Michael Grounds

“Home” was a twist of these lines

as long ago as 1923
Wilder was experiencing our present
contemplating the unthinkable

Wilder held her own experience as a shield
and denied such a tragedy
could ever touch her

for me the result
is a beautiful poisoned apple
innocently offered
by a treasured friend

Final Tain Trail PHotograph
Pam Wills and Sean Mills on the grounds of the Church of Saint Michael, Dundalk Road (R176), Carlingford.
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VII

life is a gift
not entirely under our control
Yes we must be careful
but for some this is not enough

Walking the Tain Trail to Carlingford
Michael Wills and Sean Mills on the grounds of the Church of Saint Michael, Dundalk Road (R176), Carlingford.

we must forgive others
and ourselves

************************************************************************

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 6

Since 1690

The sixthof 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.

Walk across the square from the Museum to Newman’s Mall, the ancient heart of Kinsale.

Within Market Place is this bust and memorial to Peter Memorial. the plaque text reads: “Peter Barry arrived in Kinsale in 1963 and settled in Scilly where he made his home. In those early years he operated and developed Scilly’s unique Spaniard Pub and the Man Friday restaurant, and later the Grey Hound Bar in Market Place. Peter Barry’s vision and selfless commitment to making Kinsale the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Irish tourism inspired others to join with him to work on a voluntary basis for the common good of the town. This led to the formation of organizations such as the Good Food Circle of Restaurants, and the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism. Many events followed such as the Wild Geese Weekends of the 70’s, the annual Gourmet Festival, International Food Forums, the Wine Museum at Desmond Castle and others which extended Kinsale’s tourism season to being an all year round affair. Kinsale and its community owes a great debt of gratitude to Peter Barry -Truly a Man for all Seasons.”

There is the Greyhound Pub, among the rest, at one time run by Mr. Peter Barry.

And again…..”Established 1690″ indeed.

The oldest pub in Kinsale, or anywhere.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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

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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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