Sunday, January 31, 2010

a strange field.

the boys (simon and richard) sadly had to return to london on sunday, so as one last hurrah they wanted to do a bit more exploring around the burren. on a great map that we have of the area there's a place just marked as 'a strange field' - so of course we were curious what was so strange about it. at about 1 on saturday the other grad student simon (blonde simon (II), as opposed to our brown-haired simon (I)) picked simon, richard, megan and i up in his little car so we could cruise around to a few places. we ended up going to way more than just the strange field, first stopping at the anient tomb poulnabrone.

a strange field on the map.

the most ridiculously unnecessary path at poulnabrone.

poulnabrone! how would you like to be buried here?

simon I's stylish socks.

simon I and simon II chattin' it up around the tomb.

richard martin mckenzie baines.

after poulnabrone we went to where the map said that the strange field would be. we parked on a road by an abandoned house and walked north a ways, but all of the fields looked fairly normal. above are the boys wondering where the strange field is, until...

we found it? maybe? i think we're figuring that the strange field is this one with the vertical rocks around the perimeter. it was a little bit strange, indeed.

strange rocks in a strange field.

simon clearing not convinced we found the strange field.

richard showing off his dainty english ankles.

after leaving the strange field the simon and simon consulted the map and found an old fort nearby that we wanted to visit. we walked up a lane an ended up at a locked gate to somebody's house.

richard could see the ruins of the fort behind the house, though, so we climbed up their wall and walked on it around the house towards the back, where the fort was.

the fort!

rounding the wall to get back. sorry, homeowners!

maybe doesn't look very impressive here... but it was!

we drove past the turlough that we had visited earlier with gordon when it was completely full. the boys hadn't seen a full turlough before, but sadly it was pretty empty.

finally, we went to eagle's rock, which is a nature preserve. the 'rock' itself is a mountain with a sheer rock cliff face. tim jones had told the boys a story of a hermit priest who'd built a small church at the base of the cliff and lived in a cave there. naturally, we wanted to find it.

(simon I, this means you!)

we came across this dead cow in the middle of a hazel scrub forest. pretty gnarly. we're not sure how long it had been there because it was clearly very well picked over, but some skin and fur was intact and there was still a pool of blood underneath its neck and head. my plan is to go back in another month or two and collect the bones for a project i'm conceiving. in the words of my papa, "that's my country girl!"

look at that gooey eyeball!

flap of skin still intact.

leg, obviously not still intact.

we found the remains of the church! up the cliff just a tiny way was the cave as well, so we climbed inside. it was really, really tiny and rocky (duh) as you can see below. hardly enough room to stand up and definitely did not look comfortable enough to lie down in. i guess the hermit priest wasn't too picky.

inside of the cave.

richard found some nice women's gloves in a tree. they even had rhinestones - fancy.

view from down the hill a bit.

there's a holy well right by the church as well.

megan found this tiny little shroom, which according to papa is a sarcoscypha coccinea.

the entire woods at the base of the mountain was just amazingly green and so dense with moss and vines it got pretty difficult to move at point. but we found just tons and tons of wild garlic everywhere! so delicious smelling.

walking back.