Tuesday 31 May 2016

WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY - Video of Walk Around Mount Stewart Lake (Part 2 VIDEO)

Yesterday I showed you the Part 1 of the video I took when I walked round Mount Stewart Lake, near Newtownards in May.  Today we commence part 2 as we ascend the steps up to the Tír na nÓg. This name means "Land of the Young" in Irish mythology and  folklore.  Once again, get a cuppa coffee, sit back, relax and enjoy. If you missed the first part yesterday, CLICK HERE.

There are birds on the lake. If the video does not appear below, CLICK HERE.

There was a blue flowered plant in the video that I had forgotten the name of when I was recording and I can now tell you, it is Echium candicans.

I am linking this post with WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this video with the Mute Swans, Moorhen and Mallards on the lake and thank you for your visit.

Many thanks for all the comments you leave on this post. I hope you will join me for part 3  of a shorter video as I finish our lake walk.

Monday 30 May 2016

THROUGH MY LENS - Walk Around Mount Stewart Lake (Part 1 VIDEO)

All last week, I took you on a fairly energetic but spectacular walk at the Gobbins cliff- path, in County Antrim however for the next 3 day we are going to amble slowly round Mount Stewart Lake, near Newwtownard in Northern Ireland.  The video was too long to show you it all at once so I have made 3 shorter ones. So get a cuppa coffee, sit back, relax and enjoy.  

If the video does not appear above,CLICK HERE 

I know from my statistics that not everyone watches my videos however I do hope that today and for the next 2 days, you will stop your busy schedules and relax for 5 mintues to see the beauty that is around you.

I am linking this post with THROUGH MY LENS.

I hope you will join me to continue our walk and se what birds are on the lake.

Many thanks for your visit and I hope you are relaxed and refreshed.

Also to those who leave comments, I thank you.

Sunday 29 May 2016

SUNDAY THOUGHT - Gobbins (Part 7)

My letters have been straightforward and sincere; nothing is written between the lines! And even though you don’t know me very well (I hope someday you will), I want you to try to accept me and be proud of me as you already are to some extent; just as I shall be of you on that day when our Lord Jesus comes back again.

2 Corinthians 1:13-14  

May 2016

This is my last image from the Gobbins series I have been posting about all last week.  It is a very unusual sight to see a letter box like this in Northern ireland, however it is at the top of a very steep path that lead down to the few properties nearing the beginning of the Gobbins cliff-path.

I hope you have enjoyed the series and if you missed any posts, here are the links below.

Thank you for visiting and also to all who leave comments.

Saturday 28 May 2016

SATURDAY CRITTERS - Gobbins (Part 6)

As we were mainly a bird group we asked George, our guide if we could spend more time looking at the main colony of birds that we found at the end of our Gobbins walk.  There were Razorbill, Common Guillemot, Shag, Kittiwake,
Common Guillemot, Shag nesting and Cormorant flying by.  


Common Guillemot

Common Guillemot and Shag

Common Guillemot and Kittiwake


This memorial that you see here was erected by friends of the deceased to commemorate "The Pickie Boys," a group of, Queens University Belfast, students who rented Burnside cottage near Woodside's farm above us during Easter and summer holidays. 

The group included Walter Newell a highly accomplished rugby player and his friend Billy Edwards. These two amongst others described how they loved spending glorious summers in the Gobbins and Islandmagee. Sadly Lance Corporal Newell was killed in action in 1915 serving with the Black watch regiment along with his two brothers. Capt. Billy Edwards also died, killed in action in 1917. The monument was erected in fond memory of "The Pickie Boys," shortly after the war.

These are a few of the properties I saw 
on our way up the last big climb
 to our waiting bus.  

CLICK HERE if the video does not appear below.  

I have only one more photograph to show you and that will be on tomorrow's post as we reach the top again and join the bus. All the past Gobbins links will be on that post.

I am linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS.

However, I would like to thank all of you who came on this walk with us.

Now on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, we are off walking again however this time it will be very leisurely, on the level and very beautiful.  In fact, I have made 3 videos from the walk I did last week round Mount Stewart lake.  You do not want to miss it.

Many thanks for joining me on the Gobbins walk and to all those who leave comments.

Friday 27 May 2016


It is time for Weekend Reflections and Friday’s Hunt again.  The word prompts are - the letter V, Favourite and Sunshine.  When I went down to my old caravan recently to cut my grass, I spied this one VERY small VUNERABLE VIOLA and took 3 shots of it, then I did a little playing with the images and the results are seen below.  Perhaps YOU have a favourite? Please VOTE! Of course V is also for VIDEO so I will show you that at the end of this post to brighten up your day.

Nearing the end of our Gobbins walk that I have been sharing with you this week, this VERY VERTICAL wind vane came into VIEW with its reflection being VISIBLE in this small pond.

Now this VIDEO shows a VARIETY of wonderful coloured Tulips and on any dull day (and we have had many this week) will bring a splash of SUNSHINE to your day. Photographed in Ward Park which is 2 minutes walk away from my home.  CLICK HERE if it does not appear below.

I am linking this post with WEEKEND REFLECTIONS and FRIDAY'S HUNT.

Many thanks for your visit today and also to all your comments.

Thursday 26 May 2016

GOOD FENCES -Gobbins (Part 4)

I hope you are still on this Gobbins cliff-path walk with me and today I will tell you a bit about the bridges.  A series of 15 new bridges and 6 new gallery structures (which hug the side of the cliff) were constructed and installed during 2014-15. The path includes an iconic new Tubular Bridge. Weighing over 5.4 tonnes, it was craned into position on the 22nd October 2014.  

This is a cave we passed and I heard Pigeons cooing in it.

Visitors can once again enjoy the 22m-long tunnel, including a section which runs below sea-level. Four of the new bridges are over 30 metres in length. 

There are a total of 1,400 steps we have to climb!

You may be glad to hear, we are now on our way back. 

                          I loved the different views from the bridges.

Now the hundreds of birds on this cliff are probably to hard to see but I will be showing you close ups of Razorbill, Common Guillemot, Shag and Puffin with a video clip on Saturday’s Critters.

As I looked out at the Irish Sea, I saw this lone fishing boat hard at work.

As we were entering the tubular bridge on our way back, George, our guide, said we should take a group photograph.

So that is all for today but look in again tomorrow.
 I am linking this post with 

Many thanks or visiting and also to all who leave comments.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

GOBBINS - (Part 3)

The Gobbins is an Area of Special Scientific Interest.  High cliffs, hidden ledges and rich fishing make  a magnet for many kinds of birds, and yesterday I showed you 'close encounters with the Kittiwakes'.  CLICK HERE for that post.

This spiral stairway (which we did not climb) lead up to a top pathway which at present is not completed and therefore not open as yet.

 The old path at The Gobbins was a fee-paying visitor attraction. Ticket collectors, like retired railwayman Sam Cuthbert, sat before Wise's Eye from 10am to 5pm each day in the summer season. If you had come by train he would check your railway ticket. If you came under your own steam, you paid a fee. A gate across Wise's Eye kept people off the old path out of hours.  It is kept locked permanently and every guide has a key to open the gate.  

Okay, let's go and mind your head!

The Fulmar bird always nest very high up on the cliffs so it was a matter of craning ones neck up to see them and try and get a shot.  

Great care has been taken to ensure the path at The Gobbins does not impact on the local birdlife.

Thanks to the very different habitats created by the sea, the rocks, with this wonderful Lichen on it and cliffs, have a great variety of plants, ferns and also grasses can be found amongst the caves, ledges and rocks of The Gobbins. The path allows visitors rare access to treasures such as the Bell- like Sea Campion, Kidney Vetch, Thrift and Spleenwort.

Now we have come to the tunnel.  It is very narrow and much darker than it looks in my shots as I used flash.  We had to be very careful where we walked but George kept us right and very safe. 

As we went down there were these 6 small steps 
before the big climb up again.  

I was first up, thus enabling me to take this shot and what is wonderful about it is that my friend Linda, in the pink at the top, has been terrified of heights all her life but decided that this walk just might cure her.  You can see she can even look down and she was thrilled as was the rest of the group and George when we told them at luchtime that she had conquered her fear.

Now, I am sure some of you are out of breath after that big climb so we will continue our walk tomorrow with more bridges/fences to see.

Thanks for your visit and also to those who leave comments.