Thursday, July 01, 2010


Did you know that wild sheep molt?

Walking around the remote island of Achill, in County Mayo, I discovered this thing on the side of the dirt road that resembled a giant, half-torn cotton candy cone. Part of a wild sheep's discarded winter coat, with that good warm wool smell! It had never occurred to me that this is of course what all sheep would do if there were no shears around.

Of course, I can't talk about Ireland without mentioning its pubs. But the first pub we went to upon recovering enough from jet lag was a bit different from what you would expect.

It was the middle of World Cup fever at the Shakespeare on Parnell Street, and the bar was crammed with hundreds of red shirted KOREAN soccer fanatics. There are Koreans in Dublin! (In fact, the city has not one, but three Asian supermarkets!) The average age was 19 or 20--international students mostly--and the adjoining restaurant sent steaming plates of bulgogi and japchae to whoever was lucky enough to nab a table.

We also went to plenty of traditional pubs in the rural countryside. Morrissey, in a tumbleweed-worthy town called Abbeleix, was my favorite:

Finally, endless green. I love peat and bog and all the wild things that grow in there. My favorites: purple moor grass, ling heather, sphagnum moss, bog cotton (or what I like to call feather flower), bell heather, and fuschia.

Here is a slideshow of some photos of the trip. Double-click on the small picasa logo in the bottom right corner to get it going (NOT the big green play button, which just throws you into the first photo on Picasaweb):


  1. Beautiful photos! I was in Ireland many years ago - a few weeks in Dublin and a few weeks traveling by bike through Donegal and then down the coast. Would love to go back some day. I'm delighted to discover your blog.

  2. Thanks Melissa! I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures!