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pdtempan
2017-04-02 23:59:12
Light and Shade
I've just spent a week on the slopes of Teide, the mountain which casts the largest shadow on earth, according to various sources for Tenerife tourist info. True or not, it was certainly true that we were not in direct sunlight until about 9.30 in the morning, about 3 hours after sunrise. Which has me thinking: the amount of sunlight an area gets is of great importance to farming communities. In French-speaking parts of the Alps and Pyrennes they use the terms adret and ubac to denote the sunny and shady slopes of the mountain. Adret seems to be from Latin ad dextrum, "to the south, south-facing", while ubac, or bac, is from opacus, "opaque, dark". In the Vosges the term envers is used for shady slopes. These differences determine where the snow lingers longest, where different crops can be grown, where herds of livestock are best kept, etc. I'm sure they must have been equally important to our ancestors and must have played a major role in coining place-names in Ireland. The various hills called Greenane or Greenoge denoting sunny spots (from Ir. grian, "sun") immediately spring to mind. But I wonder if some names on the MV lists are not more 'opaque' examples of this phenomenon. Buckoogh in Co. Mayo was interpreted as Ir. Boc Umhach 'eminence rich in copper' by John O'Donovan in the Ordnance Survey Name Book, but is there any evidence for copper there? It would be good to hear from anyone with local knowledge. The south-facing slope of Buckoogh gives the gentlest approach, while both the north-east and north-west slopes are significantly steeper. Could it really be Bac Ubhach, meaning something like "shadowy slope", where ubhach is an Irish form equivalent to French ubac? Looking on the brighter side (!), I think that some of our names with odhar or odhartha, usually understood as "dun-coloured, yellowish-brown" might well be yellowed precisely because they are weathered by the sun. Odhartha looks distinctly like an Irish form of French adret. Cashloura, a townland in the Shehy Mountains, is situated on the southern brink of a hill, so *caiseal odhartha, "sun-beaten fort" or "fort facing the sun" seems an apt description. Any thoughts and other examples?
The next meeting o.. by Peter Walker   (Show all posts)
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Ordnance Survey Ir.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Forum: General
Free Bus Service in the Nephew Begs
madfrankie 15 hours ago.
This from The Wild Nephew Beg Mountains Facebook page: The new free bus service is up and running that was set up to ferry people around the Nephin beg wilderness, So far take up on the bus has be...

  
Track
Sheep's Head Ramble...
Onzy a day ago.
walk, Len: 8.4km, Climb: 237m, Area: Cork Islands (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Croghan Hill: In the Steps of Old Croghan Man
ladyhawke1003 a day ago.
Croghan Hill is one of the main reasons I came to Ireland. I am researching Old Croghan Man for a book. Even with Mel's precise directions we had a little trouble finding the community centre. It ...

Summit Comment
Great Saltee Island: Bird's Glare
simon3 2 days ago.
. .

  
Track
Near Knockshanahullion, Knockmealdown Mountains (Ireland)
jackill a day ago.
walk, Len: 13.6km, Climb: 518m, Area: Knockshanahullion, Knockmealdown Mountain...

  
Summit Comment
Curra Hill: Cloudy Climb
andreos97 6 days ago.
Fantastic walk, personally feel it's best starting your approach from Glenbeigh village and heading up through the forest as it's quite well signposted. Once leaving the cover of the trees, we wer...

Track
Fermoy Scouts night hike
jackill a day ago.
walk, Len: 19.5km, Climb: 928m, Area: Shannon (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc Lios Uachtair: Connemara in the round
fieldoptic a week ago.
An easy to access and navigate hill, well worth it for its central position and views in every direction. Park as previously suggested at L8530 4820 and head north east before swinging north. The ...

  
Track
The Sturrall
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 9.1km, Climb: 268m, Area: Donegal Islands (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Cnoc Mordáin: Long Connemara Summer Evening
fieldoptic a week ago.
Though the road near L88003920 appears unfenced you will encounter a fence very soon after leaving the road. This fence extends along this back road, Bothar na Scrathóg and keeps cattle in typical...

  
Track
Croaghavehy
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
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Summit Comment
Ballinacorbeg: Worth a brief visit
Bunsen7 a week ago.
Pleasantly surprised by this, could clearly see Lugnaquilla and Croaghanmoira, as well as numerous other summits, slightly awkward entry into the fields just west of the forest which don't appear ...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>