Nature Notebook 5 April ’16


– flower and bird announce the start of Spring

Over the past several weeks I have not been feeling myself. A hard, dry cough from a tickle in the throat, runny nose, sore head, chest, tummy. Most comfortable when I was lying down.

In an attempt to walk it out, always my best cure, I did two extended walks on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

faill a chrann viewDSC00135

On Tuesday, a day that was generally fine, with the odd light shower, through the woods to Faill a’ Crann. Apart from battling with myself I noticed the first tight buds on the larch. For the last ten minutes of the outward journey there are increasing views of the Middle and Lower Lakes. From the highest point at the end of the forest road that huge panorama of the two lakes. The imminent snow-capped peaks of Purple, Tomies and Glena and on the far northern side of the Lakes the Sliabh Mish and other Dingle Peaks were also white.

tree panorama DSC00149

the shadow in the pine woods was particularly striking

At the end of Tuesday’s trek I felt no better. But neither was I any worse.

On Wednesday I set out to do a good walk without too much climbing. I headed directly south, through conifer woods along the western flank of Mangerton, over the Owengarriff, high above Torc Waterfall and its special micro-climate gorge.

Now rising gradually, from well-surfaced forest road on to paved path across the north face of Torc. The larch was now a green haze, a most spectacular annual evolution,the lightest, brightest, most delicate face of nature.
dark panorama DSC00158 Almost at the highest point the hail came down and down and down. I was clothed to contend with what was falling but it was vital to pick steps carefully on compacted ice.

The view from the high point here is one of the most accessible spectacular wild views of Killarney, through rhododendron, precipitously over the Middle Lake, then the Muckross Peninsula and arms length away the Lower Lake. When the clearing of the rhododendron here is completed and tidied – and the original route over to the Upper Lake is opened up – this will be a route without parallel.

When I got home, I certainly felt no worse, maybe a little better.

By Friday I felt better than I had been for a month.

with brian susan DSC00165

On Sunday last gathered Monterey Pine cones for an hour. In sunshine it was dry, calm and warm. Two hours along the north face of Torc was a summer experience. Then a saunter around Muckross gardens. Daffodils still in bloom. Magnolia blossom covering high leafless branches. Yellow tulips are at their richest and most vibrant best. Red rhodendron blossom against a white azalea/magnolia.

yellow tulips DSC00171 rhodosDSC00179

Spring has certainly started. Now nature will have new wonders every day. Even hour by hour ash, oak, horse chestnut will produce more and more leaf. In a few weeks the dawn chorus will be at its peak. Missing a minute in the outdoors during these days and a special event will have passed by.

Of course I feel better. How could I be otherwise?

Frank Lewis

all of this walking was done from our Gallan Eile holiday home

– for more information or to book a stay at our self-catering rental accommodation Gallan Eile …

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