Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Climbing Skellig Michael is no small feat. While it's only (!) 700 feet high, it's 700 feet straight up; more than a few people give up after their first experience of vertigo. The early monastic community built a 650-step stone stairway to the top (no handrails, though), and it certainly helps. Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry, Ireland. 10 July 2008.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Skellig Islands. The primary purpose was to visit the 6th century monastery on Skellig Michael, but we were also able to view the 50,000-bird-strong Northern Gannet colony on Small Skellig. The birds use every single possible ledge on the island to nest, and are quite a sight (and sound) as they fly around the craggy island. (Years ago we saw the world's largest colony of these birds on Bonaventure Island, Quebec.) Here you can see Skellig Michael in the background. Little Skellig, Co. Kerry, Ireland. 10 July 2008.

Monday, July 21, 2008

These wild irises grow in abundance-- this particular one was being buffeted by 30 mph winds that made photographing it a challenge! Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland. 6 July 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Did I mention that there were lots of opportunities for rainbows in Ireland? This double rainbow was in the Connemara. Near Cappaghoosh, Co. Galway, Ireland. 5 July 2008.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And another of Greenland from 37,000 feet. 17 July 2008.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It was a beautiful day in Greenland yesterday, or so it appeared from 37,000'. I first saw Greenland on a transatlantic flight in 2002, and now I try to make sure I'm awake at that point in the flight. It's rare to see it, and to see it clearly, so I was quite happy to get a few photos of both the east and west coasts. Don't you love the iceberg 'debris'? Greenland from the air, 17 July 2008.

Friday, July 11, 2008

These Ogham stones seem to be scattered all over this corner of the world. They are thought to possibly be grave markers from the 5th or 6th century. Near An Daingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland. 7 July 2008.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Connemara is pretty wild, especially along the coast, but even 40 kilometers west of Galway city we encountered beautiful blue lakes and streams. Near Kinvarra, Co. Galway, Ireland. 3 July 2008.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It was about 9 pm, after some rain, when the setting sun broke throught the clouds and shed some lovely light on the abbey ruins in the little town of Quin. Shortly after this, a rainbow appeared. Quin, Co. Clare, Ireland. 1 July 2008.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

So far we've done OK with the weather-- a good amount of sunshine and blue sky (and some showers and rainbows, too, but not a lot of hard, driving rain). This was somewhere along the R477, in The Burren. Near Murroogh, Co. Clare, Ireland. 2 July 2008.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Heading a bit north from Africa.... I'm in Ireland for a couple of weeks, enjoying the sights, and mostly, freedom from my computer. But I did promise a few Irish country scenes, so here's one: "The Guardians of History." These cows took their job of guarding these castle ruins VERY seriously. This was taken just outside of Loughrea, Co. Galway, where I was trying to find the house of a childhood friend whom I visited 36 years ago. The details of where, exactly, the house was, were a little fuzzy, and I never did locate it (or the childhood friend, who I think now lives in Galway city). Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland. 2 July 2008.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I got a lot closer to Billy. It was slightly eerie, watching these animals that SO resemble humans. Ngamba Island, Lake Victoria. Uganda. 17 June 2008.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yes, you are cute. And adorable. Ngamba Island, Lake Victoria. Uganda. 17 June 2008.

Friday, July 04, 2008

And now, on to some cute chimp photos! This is Rambo, a three year old chimpanzee, who likes to play with this rag. He would run with it over his head, approaching adults and practically saying, "See, aren't I cute?" The humans who saw him certainly thought so! Ngamba Island, Lake Victoria. Uganda. 17 June 2008.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The last of the "Birds of Uganda" series (I think...). Entebbe, Uganda. 17 June 2008.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

These storks are amazing-- they are close to four feet tall! It's easy to understand how stories developed about storks bring babies after you see one. (There was another type of stork that we saw with a beak that wasn't quite as long, and curved at the end, but I didn't get a photo of it.) In addition to populating beaches, they fly and perch around the tallest building in downtown Kampala. Their wingspan is HUGE, so it's quite a sight to see them circling in the air. Entebbe, Uganda. 17 June 2008.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

And another bird pic... . Ngamba Island, Lake Victoria. Uganda. 17 June 2008.