Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Still here. The last couple of days I've been writing, not blogging. Finally finished the chapter which was giving me trouble, the one about the Last Feast of Tara, and hope to make better progress now.

ireland_1_2 043

Frosty here the last couple of nights, after a long stretch of mild weather: spring in the Rockies.

Back to work.


Thursday, April 21, 2011


Thursday already? I'm still getting caught up from Ireland. Strangely enough, spring was not much farther along there than it is here in Denver - and an early spring in both places. Good information, since this is about the time Gwernin will arrive there in the current book.

In the meantime, my larger apple tree has started to bloom, the daffodils are almost finished, the potatoes have started to come up (today!) in their raised bed, and the grass needs cutting. I've been working on the last a bit, much to the cats' disgust.

I'll have more pictures up soon (I promise!), but in the meantime here's another from Ireland:

ireland_9 013


Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm home again, with lots of new ideas for The Druid's Son and lots more pictures, which I'll upload today or tomorrow. In the meantime, another springtime picture from Ireland:

ireland_9 016


Monday, April 11, 2011


We spent most of today in Kildare, visiting sites assocated with St. Bridget. The monastery here was already established in Gwernin's time, and the site probably had earlier use by the druids, as Kildare means the church of the oak grove. Today the town was preoccupied with preperations for the impending visit of the Dalai Lama, who will be here Wednesday. Not sure whether or not we're sorry to miss seeing him - we move on the the Wicklow mountains tomorrow - but it was certainly easier to see things today in Kildare than it will be Wednesday.

I'm still uploading today's photos to Flickr, so I'll put one up later.


Saturday, April 9, 2011


We're in Shinrone now, near Roscrea. Spent today driving around Lough Derg to the west. A mild day which started clear but turned to hazy cloud. Spring is farther along here; white blossoms in the hedges, some pink-flowered ornamentals which look like crab apples, and some broadleafed trees beginning to bud out. I'm told it's an early spring, and this would be more usual for May.

Didn't take many photos today, but I may add one later. In the meantime, here's another from the Hill of Uisneach.

hill of uisneach

The touring around is raising (and mostly resolving) some questions for the book. I've shifted some locations to better fit a logical itinerary for the bards, and plan to check a couple of the new ones out in a day or two.


Friday, April 8, 2011


Spent the night at a nice country b&b near the Hill of Uisneach. We walked on the hill yesterday evening, and I think it's quite true that you can see all the fifths of Ireland from the top. There's going to be a fire festival held there May 1 - Beltane! Pity we can't stay that long. I'll post a photo later - it would take too long to upload the set now. Well, maybe one, of the festival roundhouse on the summit...

ireland_7 025


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Having a spot of lunch and a latte in the cafe at Cruachan Ai visitor center in Tulsk (no wifi last night) after a morning spent at Rath Croagan and the Morrigan's cave (note: spell check and corrections later). The Cave is a natural fissure in limestone to which someone in about the 6th century built a roofed souterraine entrance. The entrance is low, but the main cave is at least 6 metres high in the largest section. All of it is very muddy, and now so are we, or at least our rain gear. On the bonus side, it's stopped raining and is very nice now.

Didn't take any pictures this time, but here's one from our previous visit:


On with the tour!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Raining again, but we'll be on the road again today. Yesterday was good for me; I actually got some writing done in the morning, on the chapter where Gwernin arrives at Tara. Some complicated plotting in that one, and some decisions about the Last Feast of Tara, but visiting the site a couple of days ago helped me make some decisions. I could almost see the procession, winding its way from Cormac's House to the Rath of the Kings... Yesterday afternoon I walked on the lower hills; the rain had stopped, but the wind was strong and unceasing. Some of my photos were out of focus because I couldn't hold the camera still enough in the gusts. Here's one that wasn't:

ireland_5 011


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Another gray morning, a breeze rather than a hurricane, a few raindrops rather than a deluge. Probably good April weather for western Donegal. I've uploaded more pictures from yesterday on flickr, but this one will give a good idea of yesterday's weather:


A little time today to write up some notes and think.


Monday, April 4, 2011


A gray start to the morning today. Yesterday was mixed sun and showers, and increasingly windy. Much of the day we were driving north, and of course the rain was light until we reached our destination. Then suddenly we had a horizontal downpour. We sat in the car for 15 or 20 minutes until the band of rain passed, then went up the hill. The pictures were worth it.

ireland_3 039

Gray again this morning. Sideways rain at Doon Rock and Doon well, wind on the rock to take your breath away. It cleared, though, when we got down to Gartan - visiting some of the sites associated with Colum Cille. Still tremendous wind, but at least dry. A long drive then, through a national park, huge high slopes dun-colored under a hurrying sky, threaded with icy streams, mountains shaped by the glaciers of the last ice age, silent but for the songs of wind and water. We climbed a steep valley head which reminded me strongly of south Wales, to find the same tussocky sheep grass on top. Then slowly down to the sea, and Glen Columchille, where we're staying tonight.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

and Sunday...

A good day yesterday, although with some bands of showers moving through in the afternoon. This morning it's mostly clear again, with some high wispy clouds. I heard the wood pigeons cooing at dawn; now it's robins in the garden. Back on the road again today, moving north, but first breakfast...

A new set of pictures on filickr that I uploaded last night: here's a sample:

ireland_1_2 074


Saturday, April 2, 2011


No post yesterday because I was traveling. The weather was gray then; it's clear this morning, but may not stay that way. Spring is farther advanced here; trees beginning to blossom out, daffodils in the ditches, and green grass everywhere. A well watered land, this, and the weather's cool but mild. Yesterday's gusty wind has dropped, which should make it better weather for walking.