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Sunday, 28 August 2011
silver-washed fritillary butterfly


I spotted this creature in the Castle gardens in Glenveagh National Park recently.  According to the Irish Butterflies website it is a Silver-washed Fritillary. In Gaelic it is known as the Fritileán Geal, and is the largest of the fritillaries found in Ireland. The butterfly is found in woods and wooded hedgerows. It is found throughout Ireland but is more common in the Southern parts.

The flower in the photograph is a South African alien which seems to be doing very well over there.

Posted by bigblue on 28/08/2011 at 02:13 PM
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Saturday, 27 August 2011
Sit back and hold tight

Last weekend I cycled the Worth Way and the Forest Way cycle paths, and filmed the experience. Here’s the video, which I am playing back at ten times the original speed…. giving you the full traverse of these cycle paths (and the bit in between) in just under 10 minutes.

What I like about the video at this speed is that it’s impressionistic and reminds me of a painting.

Worth Way cycle path
Forest Way cycle path

Posted by bigblue on 27/08/2011 at 08:09 AM
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Friday, 26 August 2011
Redhill to Tonbridge Line


Part of the original London to Dover railway line, the stretch from Redhill to Tonbridge goes in a remarkably straight line.  As a consequence it does not service the nearby towns very well with stations, as these are generally located some distance away from where the population actually lives. Until the early 1970’s the line connected via a “spur” at Crowhurst with the Oxted to East Grinstead railway line.  At a time when oil was cheap and plentiful. and trains were viewed as more to do with the past than the future, some very short-sighted decisions were taken with public transport. In my view this link should be rebuilt and the Oxted to Uckfield line should also be extended to the coast.  The Wealden campaign is fighting for just this.

Wealden campaign.

Posted by bigblue on 26/08/2011 at 08:40 AM
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Thursday, 25 August 2011
National Cycle Route 21


I’m on this cycle route which is also part of the Avenue Verte route linking St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. 

Well I’m not literally there .... I was there at the time that I took the photograph.

Posted by bigblue on 25/08/2011 at 08:12 AM
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011


In the supermarket in Ireland you can buy a bag of seaweed in the grocery section for EUR 5.95. Tourists can also buy a “seaweed bath” for EUR 25. This consists of a normal bath with seaweed in it. Does anyone else see some opportunities for a home cottage industry?

Posted by bigblue on 24/08/2011 at 08:55 AM
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Monday, 22 August 2011
Colgagh Lough


According to an information panel at this site, the lough is:

a small shallow lake in a roughly circular shape, with a diameter of 400-500 metres when full. It is one in a series of small lakes here in north Sligo all without any clear outflow, but which are thought be be linked to Lough Gill (which lies to the South) by underground rivers. Colgagh is set in an area of limestone and the particularly porous nature of the bedrock here can lead to a dramatic drop in water level - at times the lake can get very shallow indeed. Colgagh is a fine fishing lake with good stocks of brown trout and perch. Its reed-fringed banks are a rich feeding ground for wintering birds and species that are seen here annually include Mallard, Little Grebe and Teal. In the summer Sedge Warblers and Reed Bunting are known to visit.

In this photograph, on the opposite (right) bank of the lough can be seen the small Glogher graveyard and church (17th Century) and beyond it Magheraghanrush (Deerpark), site of a sacred court tomb, dating to 3500 BC.

I took this photograph from the viewpoint on the R286. Click on the photograph for a bigger view of the panorama.

Posted by bigblue on 22/08/2011 at 08:19 AM
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Sunday, 21 August 2011
+55° 5’ 30.13”, -8° 1’ 1.00”


On the unnamed road between Glenveagh National Park and An Fál Carrach is this amazing geographical feature, at the base of which is a quarry.  In fact the geography of the North West Coast of Ireland is generally impressive.

Click on the picture for a larger version of this panorama.

I found out that the mountain is known as Muckish Mountain (meaning “Pig’s Back” mountain). Here’s a short video of the walk to the prehistoric cairn on the summit:
Muckish Mountain Walk.

Posted by bigblue on 21/08/2011 at 08:49 AM
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Saturday, 20 August 2011
Pushing the bike out


During rush hour in Sligo.  The pub in the background Shoot the Crows, which has mixed reviews over on, is famous for its painted windows and murals.

Posted by bigblue on 20/08/2011 at 08:27 AM
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