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dhmiriam
2011-05-03 17:47:51
"Fire hose snakes the scorched earth." from dhmiriam Contract pics
Picture: Fire hose snakes the scorched earth. (Contract pics)

Too close for comfort
By late afternoon today, three units of the fire brigade battle fires at the back of our home. Between the fires and us stand one hedgerow, our lawn, vegetable patch and the great tree nesting a pair of sparrow-hawks and its young. All day yesterday these units were busy only a kilometer or so away putting out fires on the nearby bog. The smoke and flames were carried rapidly by the high winds. We worried about our neighbour’s homes, one of whom lives in a wooden constructed house he built himself. Today’s fire is close, too close for any kind of comfort. We live literally next door to the flood plains for the NoreRiver. Most years we worry about flooding across this expanse of gorse, bog-cotton, marsh and reed. It was home to eleven or twelve pair of swans this winter, which is quite usual, and a fortnight ago a pair of cranes frightened us out of our standing as we watched the Slieve Bloom horizon pink up in the setting sun. It is home to migratory birds, the swallows arriving in from Africa only last week. The place is/was alive with pheasant. In our favour today, the wind is blowing away from our home, but in so doing the fires are devouring the marshland, rapidly. The sparrow-hawks do not return to the nest all morning. Tired men, drag long hoses into inhospitable spots, stomping out smaller fires as they go, deeper into the smoke. This place and its close environs is the only site in the world for the hard water form of the Pearl Mussel M. m. durrovensis, and today it is on fire. Gardaí sense a malicious element to these two local fires which is very unsettling. The harsh winter killed off many plants, their brittle skeletons drying out in the last few sunny weeks, now prove ready kindling for any kind of spark. That an individual would knowingly start one of these fires given these conditions beggars belief. By early evening the firemen gain the upper hand and following a two hour watch a single sparrow-hawk appears phoenix like, treading the air high over the smoke and settling down at last, on its nest and young.


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Summit Comment
Ben of Howth: Here's to Howth!
Bunsen7 4 hours ago.
Having made my first proper visit there this afternoon and doing the Purple "Bog of Frogs" waymarked route (anti-clockwise with the detour to the Ben early in the walk), I found myself marvelling ...

  
Track
'Off-Grid' in Arctic Sweden: Trekking the Dag Hammarskjöldleden
mcrtchly 12 hours ago.
We first visited Arctic Sweden in September 2016 and walked the middle section of the Kungsleden trail (MV track 3332). walk, Len: 110.7km, Climb: 1726m, Area: Sweden, Norrbotten ()

  
Summit Comment
Spinans Hill SE Top: Brissels or Brussels
Bunsen7 a day ago.
Climbed both hills on 16/12/17, following the main route described by others here on MV.The forestry between the tops has thinned out a little (or so it seems by reference to previous comments) an...

Track
Glen o' the Downs Wood
jgfitz a day ago.
This woodland track can be accessed directly from N11 heading South. After Exit 9, there is a road sign for Glen o' the walk, Len: 5.9km, Climb: 183m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Cloghnagaune: There must be an easier way!
Bunsen7 a day ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Following where others have gone I found myself wading through head high gorse to at...

  
User profile
IainMiller
IainMiller 2 days ago.
A rock climber, hillwalker and guidebook author living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. http://uniqueascent.ie/sea_sta...

Summit Comment
Roaninish: Roan Inish
IainMiller 2 days ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
Track
Cloghnagaune Summit and Stone Circle
Bunsen7 a day ago.
This is a rather painful hill to summit from the obvious parking spot at the forest entrance to the south east. Follow... walk, Len: 4.0km, Climb: 144m, Area: Cloghnagaune, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) C

  
Summit Comment
Inishbarnog: Roan Inish
IainMiller 2 days ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day7
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O?Keefe Booning Castl walk, Len: 27.7km, Climb: 362m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
An Bhuidéal: Climbing An Bhuideal
IainMiller 2 days ago.
An Bhuideal (The Bottle) is an iconic 50 metre high twin headed sea stack living 300 meters out to sea at the base of 250 meter high sea cliffs. Its remote location and close proximity to the sker...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day 6
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
Thanks to all for making the weekends on the Beara-Breifne Way so special. We have completed 187Km in 7 Day?s walking walk, Len: 30.3km, Climb: 781m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)


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