He/She came over the wall in a black refuse sack,not even showing a paw!Next thing I know there it was,wedged in the fork of a tree,head up seemingly determined to make it to the top.Every day since seems to move a bit up or a bit down but evidently happy to remain where it has found itself.
See for yourself,but be warned that if you happen to be walking a dog on a lead be prepared for mayhem.
On the Blue Trail,in the Spruce Wood before you make your way out of the wood on your descent towards the east gate.
Ah go on and take a selfie with ....
Wednesday,a fine frosty morning of shimmering silvery filigree - a Spiders' Credo.
These few shots were taken on the Green Trail inside the boundary wall walking west.
The work of letting in the light began early in winter sunshine moving the stones aside to allow passage on the Green Trail.The track is now clear but caution is advised as mortar remains there.Met with a Grandfather with his grandson with smiles on their faces as they wended their way on their adventure to uncover mysteries great and small.
The dark sat on my shoulders as I set off up Irishtown to the Rock but the light came on as the morning set in.Checked all the bollards were in place as above and set about clearing the stones and rocks from the GREEN TRACK.The images below show the progress.No sign of Coillte today despite word Friday they would be on site to assess the situation.Personally I think this location is ideal for the Trailhead.Let's see where this attitude gets me!
WARNING!Extreme care is needed when/if walking on the three tracks for the rest of this week and possibly beyond: -
a.The ground is wet throughout,covered in leaves,with roots showing,all slippery as hell -walk slowly and with attention;
b.Care is needed on the GREEN TRAIL,two hundred metres west of the Trailhead,as part of the track is covered in stones - this section will be cleared of stones to allow passage in safety,tomorrow,Monday.
c.The small ZIG-ZAG below the TRAILHEAD is closed as it is too dangerous to walk safely - highly unlikely repair will be effected by week's end.If you wish to walk the BLUE TRAIL please enter the wood at the V entrance near the gate to the east ,walk the circuit and exit again at the V.
d.The water is receding along the PURPLE TRAIL on the river and is walkable,entry at V entrance & exit.
Below is the debris washed down the gully from the roadside wall collapse as well as the gauging out of stone,pebbles and gravel on the 70 metre descent to the river.Tis possible to descend this gully with caution from the Blue Trail just below the timber fence at the small zig-zag or to ascend from the river track.Today Sunday have updated and extended the slide show with additional images to show the extent of the damage from the deluge,road to river.
The Green Walk is open but there is some debris,stones etc on the track about 200 metres from the Trailhead
-walk with care.
The Blue Walk is open most of the way but the river is in on the bank below the sleeper steps - a small detour to the right as you descend will see you through.
However the steps on the small zig-zag have been almost washed away,excapt for the timbers - extreme care needed descending.
The Purple Walk is closed due to flooding on the track.
The photos above,at the small zig-zag show the extent of the damage caused by the deluge which followed the collapse of the boundary wall.
This was the scene that met my eyes this morning.The boundary wall,about two hundred metres west of the Trailhead was WASHED AWAY in the downpour of the previous nights rain, about 30 metres of wall.Luckily the section of wall fell inwards and thankfully no one was walking on the track inside at the time - had they been they would have been washed away in the torrent ,for torrent it was as it rushed headlong through the wood by the right of the small zig-zag.Then down the Gully tearing out roots and rocks,creating small cascades as it went and many holes exposing gravels and underlying rock as I will show in more slides below.
Colonisation of the boundary wall at the Rock is well underway since we undertook the repair and rebuild some time ago.What to me has been remarkable is the prevalence of various types of nettle showing either on the face of the wall as above,atop the wall or along the verge - the latter reaching up to three foot plus in height.
Nettles as with other so called weeds have appeared in place-names such as Kilnantogue,Coill na Neantog, the Wood of Nettles/Nettlewood,County Offaly and Carrownanty,Ceathru na Neantog,the Quarter of Nettles to give but two examples - cf Irish Wild Plants - N.Mac Coitir,available at the bookstore,Mitchell St.
The nettle,with its harsh stinging leaves and stems is a symbol of desolation and abandonment.However its nutritious leaves and many herbal uses also make it a well-respected plant.In addition Nettle was traditionally highly regarded as a source for making cloth.
Two varieties are listed in Ainmneacha Plandai agus Ainmhithe/flora and fauna nomenclature:- neantog,common nettle and neantog bhliantuil,the small/annual nettle.
When I worked in Dublin nettles were commonly called Stingers by the children I taught - spot on!
For folk beliefs and customs Mac Coitir above is your man!
For your next quiz,"what night was known as Nettlemas Night?"
The Romans of antiquity had a wondrous use for the lowly nettle as a stimulant to love-making!
Caution is advised as there's enough sting in the tail already.
A shot taken in the early morning winter light at the Rock and looking towards the river below.A tangle of form
full of irregularity and individuality but straining towards the light.While there is a very definite shade,below at ground level and to each side the overall impression for me,at least is one of lightsomeness.Though in the early stages of winter, the light seduces us to believe in a springtime not too far distant and like the laurel to branch,contort and reach for with feet on the ground,touching the earth.
Laurel is all too often described as invasive and intolerant of other species - true on both counts as I have found out since first becoming acquainted with the plant all of eight years ago.At that time the laurel owned the Rock in a way no other plant did.It was everywhere,weaving through the tree line,straddling branches of beech and ash to gain purchase under the sky above.Doing likewise with its own kind,serpentine in shape and form and movement.
author artist activist