I originally published these blossoms as “wild rose”. It was my Facebook friends who pointed out these are hawthorn flowers. The key to identification was the shape of the leaves.
In correcting my mistake, I learned the young leaves of Hawthorn are excellent for salads. Wonder how the fairy folk, associated with single hawthorns (as in the following photograph from the Hill of Tara), react to picking leaves from their trees? I didn’t hear of the practice during our time in Ireland.
My mistake was understandable, in botany the hawthorn is in the same family as the rose. The flowers are similar, having five petals. The “haw” in hawthorn is from the Old English word for hedge, as is this linear standoff the tree lining the way up to the Loughcrew Cairns.
I read these votive offerings are made at Beltane, in which case these are fresh from placement May 1.
The following year Pam underwent double total knee replacements, never the less, she was great company for all our adventures on the island. Even this steep climb.
We marveled at the hawthorn hedges in field after field. I first notice them from the World Heritage Site, Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne, “Palace of the Boyne”). Here is one on the Dingle Peninsula, on the other side of the island.
Pam and I had the emotionally moving experience of Cóbh Heritage Center on May 29, 2014. This statue stands outside the center, on the quay from with thousands of Irish emigrated from what was then Queenstown. My father’s mother, Elizabeth Wills nee Duffy, left from here April 28, 1898.
These are the words on the plaque:
“Annie Moore and her brothers Anthony and Phillip embarked from this town on 20 December 1891 on the S.S. Nevada. Annie was the first person to be admitted to the United States of America through the new immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York on 1 January, 1892. This sculpture was unveiled by the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson on 9 February, 1993. It was erected by Cóbh Heritage Trust Ltd. and is dedicated to all who emigrated from Ireland.
This sculpture won the Zeneca Ireland Ltd. commemorative sculpture award . A statue of Annie Moore was also erected at Ellis Island, New York. The commemoration of Annie Moore at New York and at Cóbh was initiated by the Irish American Cultural Institute.
This sculpture is the work of Jeanne Rynhart of Bantry.”