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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?
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>
Track
Lough Curra Circuit
Jim Holmes 6 hours ago.
A simple enough route, but very rewarding - from the Cush carpark, head upwards to Lough Curra. Then it's up to the mi... walk, Len: 12.9km, Climb: 1011m, Area: Galtymore, Galty Mountains (Ireland) G

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc na Boirne: Murren.....a little gem.
jsramsey1491 a day ago.
Last Thursday, 18/10/2018, a few friends and I did a recce on Murren Hill and the surrounding area. We have over the past twenty years or so covered most of the county but this was the first time ...

  
Track
Croghan Kinsella
jgfitz a day ago.
This is a variation on track #3938, so I will avoid repeating the comments made there, with which I fully agree. This... walk, Len: 11.4km, Climb: 412m, Area: Croghan Kinsella, Dublin/Wicklow (Irelan

Track
Buckaun - Binnaw circuit.
simon3 2 days ago.
Hydro scheme at Lough Nadirkmore.The walk starts from a point high in an east facing coum of Maumtrasna. This road goes walk, Len: 5.8km, Climb: 368m, Area: Partry/Joyce Country (Ireland)

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Binnian: Mind how you go on a route Not Recommended
Pepe 2 days ago.
Climbed this yesterday on the route leading from Brackenagh Bridge. Chose this route because I wanted to do Moolieve and the Wee Binnian on the way up. On a plus note a local farmer kindly let me ...

  
Forum: General
THE POWER OF WORDS
Pepe 2 days ago.
There I was scratching around on Slieve Binnian. Up top, I bumped into a couple out hillwalking for the day. Pleasantries were exchanged – which way did you come up, fabulous views, the weather – ...

Summit Comment
An Bhinn Bhuí: A spectacular landscape
Damian120 2 days ago.
It's a seldom-visited area of County Mayo yet it boasts some of the most impressive coastal architecture in the entire country. After spending five years covering and exploring the landscape of th...

  
Track
Knocknalougha South Top
Onzy 3 days ago.
Route to Knocknalougha South Top from Crow Hill carpark ... as outlined by melohara on the Hill Page... walk, Len: 11.7km, Climb: 430m, Area: Knocknalougha South Top, Knockmealdown Mo...

  
Track
12 (Listed) Bens - Revisited
GSheehy 5 days ago.
I was drawn back by the lure of completing the 2002 - 12 Bens Challenge route. I got the details from John J. Cotter w... walk, Len: 29.1km, Climb: 2598m, Area: Benglenisky, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Ben

Summit Comment
Big Collin: Permission required?
StephenMullin a week ago.
Hi thereCan anybody tell me if permission is required to walk up Big Collin? If so, how does one go about obtaining this?Many thanks!

  
Track
Greece, Pelion Peninsula: Paou to Chorto return
Onzy a week ago.
walk, Len: 8.3km, Climb: 237m, Area: Greece, Thessaly ()

  
Forum: General
Re: Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon
Peter Walker 4 days ago.
Hi daithi07The 'what's left to do in Ireland' article currently lives largely in my head rather than anywhere more tangible. It will see the light of day at some point in the next few months. I am...


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