Well it has been a number of years since I last attended a Munster Bonsai Club meeting and I must say that it was great to see some old faces and meet some fellow enthusiasts also.
It was great to walk around Marks really impressive Bonsai garden again and to get an insight to some of his trees. It was a really good and friendly meeting. It has been a credit to the lads in Munster Bonsai to see the development and progression over the last number of years.
I look forward to being a part of this club again and learning through workshops and the monthly meetings. And of course, having the craic.
Recently went for a walk with the family in Gougane Barra. It is the place where the famous River Lee begins its journey into Cork City and the location where St Finbarr built a monastery on the little island situated to the left of the lake. This was constructed during the times of Penal Law. One of the items within this law which was prohibited, was to celebrate Roman Catholic mass. Being so remote meant it was very popular with Irish Catholics who could celebrate mass with possibly less of a fear of being apprehended and punished for doing so.
When people ever visit cork i always say you should take a spin down to Gougan Barra. The scenery is suberb especially on a clear and sunny day. And it is a photographers dream for capturing beautiful shots with so many elements in one place.
What is really interesting is the forest walks. Now being with 6 children there is only so far you can venture. As what is always in the back of your mind when walking with kids is, how far you travel, it seems twice as long on the way back. Everyone is tired, looking for hiddybacks, plasters, water. You swear you were traveling through the Sahara. So taken the short distance we could travel I managed to capture some nice shots on the phone of the walk into the woods. I didn’t take any pictures of the lake or church. As I have done so many times in the past and with the chaos of walking with 6 kids all under 6, you can imagine you are pulled from pillar to post. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the walk as it was a lovely day and they love looking at trees and letting their imagination run riot of bears and wolves in the forest. Now myself and the wife may have had something to do with that, but its all part of exploring the woods as kids.
There are many native species of flaura and fauna and over 20 species of trees. Notably Scots pine, Japanese Larch, Sitka Spruce and Lodgepole Pine. On reading more on the woods i discovered that in 2014 the woods was temporarily closed to allow for the felling of over 16,000 trees mostly larches, infected with or susceptible to Phytophthora ramorum a pathogen responsible for Sudden Oak Death (Thank you wikipedia). Some of which you can see in the below picture.
If you ever manage to get to Cork in the south of Ireland I would definetly recommend a trip to Gougane Barra. I hope you enjoy the pictures of some of the trees and landscape.