Spring is finally in the air here on the west coast of Ireland. Soon the clocks will go forward and in the words of Bob Dylan for the times they are a changing! We can see the stretch in the evenings now as slowly but surely they get longer and longer until during the summer we hardly have more than a couple of hours darkness each day. The bird song grows louder as activity in bird land busily reaches fever pitch. Soon it will be loud enough to wake you before dawn but it is such a beautiful sound. Oddly enough the wind that has lashed the land all winter long has stopped this morning,while I was out shooting there wasn’t a breath, nothing stirred although it is still cold. The forecast says dry all week with some frost but its a blessing as the land is saturated and needs time to dry.
Around now I begin to get excited about the coming year and the workshops scheduled. Already I am planning a trip out to the Aran Islands in March for a couple of days. Myself and my wife spent a couple of days out there last July in the middle of a sudden and unexpected heat wave. I remember buying what turned out to be the last bottle of sun cream in the small shop on Inis Mór. For the next few days we shared it with lobster red-roasted tourists who roved all over looking for a bottle to no avail. Of course schools were out so the kids were having a ball diving into the turquoise water from the pier. In Ireland we LOVE to talk about the weather and of course it was the main topic of conversation in our bed and breakfast!
It is such a beautiful landscape, truly unique. From the ancient ring fort of Dún Aonghasa on Inis Mór, over a thousand years old, to the wreck of the Plassey on Inis Oir there are many sites to take in. The miles and miles of hand-built walls are a wonder to behold when you start to think about how much work is involved in them, it must have been back-breaking. Last year when I took a group of photographers out there they were left entranced and enthralled by the friendly laid back attitude of the people and the excellent food—the best fresh seafood you can imagine! Then there is the banter and the craic with the locals. It is such a pleasure too to be traveling on foot, the only cars on the Island are belonged to the Islanders themselves so no driving and best of all; little or no traffic. We walked everywhere and you know what? It was wonderful! Especially at night walking home beneath a star filled sky after a traditional music session and a couple of pints of creamy Guinness:)
You can book your place on the next trip or take a look at the other photography workshops I am running this year here!