Walk of Wonder

Bright One

I took Indi the Mutt-Hound for a walk up the lane yesterday. Hadn’t been that way with him for a while, and I was blown away by what I found! Irish wildflowers are flourishing in the verges and hedgerows of Ireland, and no one seems to notice or care. Ireland’s countryside is alive with flora and fauna, which we seem oblivious to.

Do I just walk around with my eyes closed? Why have I never noticed this thriving diversity crowding our roadsides? It may sound crazy, but I felt like these beauties were introducing themselves to me, they were just jumping out at me wherever I turned! I feel so glad, but saddened that it’s taken so long.

There were daisies and dandelions and buttercups everywhere of course. But then I spotted this…

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Ferns are beginning to unfurl. There is something wonderfully prehistoric and primaeval about ferns, I think, especially at this stage. I love them.

I thought these tiny little stars of gorgeousness were forget me nots, they were rambling everywhere, but they’re actually a type of speedwell, and quite common in Ireland’s verges and roadsides.

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I’ve never seen these little purple and white lovelies before, which surprises me because there were so many of them. I think they are a type of vetch.

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Next up… do my eyes deceive me? I thought this was a wild orchid, which made me feel very excited! But no, I think it is a lone dog-violet, and very beautiful it is too!

There are thirty types of wild orchid native to Ireland, who knew? Their Irish name is magairlín (mog-er-leen) which means ‘testicle’, on account of the shape of the bloom of the native early purple orchid… just thought you’d enjoy that little nugget!

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These were very eye-catching, and stood out a mile among the profusion of greenery. I think they might be sandwort, but I’m not sure.

These need no introduction… I think you know very well what they are, and how much I love them. I was able to get a picture of a field border hedged in gorse, you can see how invasive it is. Left to itself, it just creeps further and further into the field. It can gladly invade my garden!

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The hedge cutting has been severe this year. I don’t think this one will ever recover. Still, I was truck by the silvery bare knotwork of branches against the intense yellow of the gorse and the vibrant green grass.

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After I took this picture, my battery ran out, and there were several wonders I was unable to bring to you this time, so this concludes my walk of wonder for now. Last year I ate tiny sweet wild strawberries and blackberries picked from the verges when I walked with Indi… that’s what I’m looking forward to next!

I take all my pictures on my Samsung Galaxy S4, but I’ve noticed recently that all my images seem to lose their colour and clarity when I transfer them to WordPress. Any ideas among you photographer types? I think I may have to invest in an actual camera, but it must be simple, small, budget and novice friendly, and have a powerful zoom… any recommendations would be gratefully recieved!

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32 thoughts on “Walk of Wonder

  1. My commute to work is urban to the backbone, Ali, but I love seeing the stuff which grows in the cracks in the walls not to mention the gutter… It’s not worth photographing but I always admire the ability of flowers to survive in the unlikely concrete jungle of the inner city. At this time of year, it’s all terribly poetic.

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  2. Sometimes when we are feeling happy, the world seems to come alive with color all around us. This has happened to me in the past. Maybe the happiness you are feeling about Carys walking has done this for you, Ali. I was quite intrigued by the vine covered tree with the vines growing over the paper notice. You will have to go back and photograph the sign so we can see what it says and how old it is.

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    1. I will definitely go back and check out the sign, Rachele! And yes, I think you are quite right… we do see the world differently when we are happy than when we are sad, or stressed. 🙂

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  3. You could use a trick and add some colour before uploading them…
    I bought a Nikon Coolpic AW130 for 349 € yesterday. You can see the first pics I took in my g+ profile. I will upload one in my WordPress blog soon (www.claowue.de). Then you can compare the colours.
    If looking for budget: The Nikon Coolpix AW120 is not so much different and it about 260ish €. Both cameras are waterproof btw… Good for taking pics in the land of Rainbows and Leprachauns 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just followed your blog Clao! And look forward to all your adventures and photos! Yes, being waterproof is definitely an advantage over here! 😀 Thanks for your tips. I have been playing around a bit with the camera on my phone today… I have learned a lot, I never knew it could do so much. But still I have the feeling that I migbt graduate to something else. A zoom would be handy, for a start.

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  4. Nice Ali, I remember we used to have loads of hedge rows nearby as kids and would spend many a day picking off the blackberries. That said very few of them made the journey home 🙂

    Quick ti for the images, try increasing the saturation and or contrast on your S4, this should help. play around with the settings until you get the look you are looking for.

    If your gonna make a move to an DSLR camera, jessops seem to have a nikon D3200 for £279. http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/products/nikon/d3200-digital-slr-camera-in-black-18-55mm-vr-ii-lens–84946/show.html

    I think there is one in Newry or if you want a really good compact camera try the Nikon 1 S2, http://www.jessops.com/online.store/categories/products/nikon/1-s2-compact-system-camera-in-white-11-27-5-30-110mm-lenses-91036/show.html

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ed! Interestingly, when I look at the post on my phone, the colours look fine. Maybe its not WordPress but the screen on my laptop which is fading the pics. The camera on the phone is great for holiday and family snaps etc but I do get frustrated at not being able to get in closer to detail which intrigues me. I’m not a photographer, I just dont have the eye (or patience) for it, but I think I could do better.

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      1. LOL< maybe it is the laptop, you could check the colour profile or maybe the screen is just fading?
        Try playing around with the phone settings, here are a few pointers to get you started.
        http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/samsung-galaxy-s4-camera-guide/
        If you want to get up close on fine detail, then try finding the macro setting on your phones camera, this should help.

        If you get the hang of these and still are not happy, then maybe go for a Bridge camera, they are a good step up and dont cost a fortune 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love taking pictures of plants I see on walks. Much easier than birds, bees or other moving creatures, because they stay put and you don’t end up with an unidentifiable blur (I’m no photographer, really). Our spring wildflowers here on Vancouver Island are just finishing up; it’s nice to see what’s blooming in Ireland.

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    1. Thank you Audrey! Its interesting, we still have had no summer weather at all yet, even our nice days have not brought any real heat. But the plants are still blooming! Maybe the lack of sun and blue sky is forcing my eye to other areas of brightness! It is certainly easier to concentrate on taking pics of things which dont move… except when you have an impatient mutt-hound tugging on the lead!

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      1. We’ve had a warm spring after a warm winter, and it looks like the summer will be warm and dry. I envy places that get summer rain. But then, no one is really happy with the weather, wherever they happen to be.

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    1. Thanks David! Its amazing what Mother Nature puts right under our noses and we just dont see it. Cars drive along that country road really fast… no one would even know these wonders were there. If global warming is destroying the world, she’s going in a blaze of glory!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Craig. My hubby and sons looked at that picture and said “What did the sign say?”. Funny, I never even looked. I just saw the vines twisting like knotted old fingers and claws over the tree bark. I love how they grew over the sign, it must have been there quite a long time. To me what the sign said was irrelevant.

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