Donard and Commedagh Saddle
Early June, flu-shook but determined, Mournes again, via Glen River to saddle, between Donard and Commedagh. Parked at Donard car park, and entered the wooded area left and rear of the car park. Through a couple of sets of gates, meters apart, (ones of which has a pillar adorned by a pint of ale and hazard warning sign). The evening before, on recce to river path, met with a sloshing of beer swillers armed with a couple of crates of cans and potato crisps, trying to negotiate the art of strolling into the wood nonchalantly with a couple of crates of cans and potato crisps while beer swilling. One was at least thirty years old going on sixteen, purple gilled, too early for confused, a lot too late for plugged in. It occurred he’d miscalculated Oxygen, both types! Not the best, first experience of an area.
Drowned (wet), was the only manner in which we hoped to spot the swillers on the second day. Both parties avoided the fate. It was early. The wide entrance path after the gates narrows in after a bit and following on a little way we entered something akin to a Robin Hood movie set. A diaphanous aura of blue-greens, and purple, bounced from the greenery and June’s rhododendron blooms, to mingle with dappled light playing down between the pillars of trees. Blades of gold sheared through the green canopy above and made of it all (excuse the effort, just too few words for it, check out the pic. But being completely unskilled in taciturnity, I offer it anyway) ‘an iridescent canvas’. And, everything quivered in the half shelter, like the muscles of a fine lean animal shaking off some niggling irritation, or some wonderfully febrile creature bristling with the expectation of chase or conquer. Nape hair afire, it was contagion and enchantment.
Not unique perhaps to these woods, but none the less, there it was, that intimacy created by the company of trees, proximity to river, and underfoot of rock and root that cocoons the lover of such things. Here, at Glen, it attends with great caress.