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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 .. 19 Next page >>
Track
Trekking in the Caucasus Mountains: The Chaukhi Massif, Georgia’s Dolomites
mcrtchly a day ago.
Mention Georgia and most people automatically think of the State of Georgia in the USA, but there?s another arguably m walk, Len: 34.0km, Climb: 1766m, Area: Georgia ()

  
Track
Lake District: Extended Kentmere Round
Onzy 2 days ago.
Classic Kentmere Round extended to take in High Street. 9 Wainwrights in total. walk, Len: 22.2km, Climb: 1108m, Area: Yoke, Lake District - Eastern Fells (Bri...

  
Forum: General
A hike in the Alps Maritimes
mallowman 2 days ago.
I went to the Southern Alps for a trek at the end of October for hopefully some sun and a dose of vitamin D to get me through the winter. Here is a link to my blog of the trip. I hope you enjoy, S...

Track
Lake District: Fairfield Horseshoe
Onzy 2 days ago.
Lakes Classic round taking in 8 Wainwrights... walk, Len: 19.2km, Climb: 997m, Area: Nab Scar, Lake District - Eastern Fells (...

  
Forum: General
"Deaded"
BleckCra a week ago.
Never would have thought it but it turns out mountains can can be named after insects. Despite all my decrying this site for its translation of Meelmore as Hill of the Ants, I find right on the do...

  
Track
Croagh Patrick
Paul_Rooney 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 7.7km, Climb: 709m, Area: Croagh Patrick, Croagh Patrick (Ireland) C...

Summit Comment
Binn Mhairg: A well worthwhile but neglected scramble
IainT a week ago.
The quartzite slabs on the NE flank of Binn Mhairg make a good scramble, one of the best in the Maum Turks. They are reachable by traversing round from the Mam Ean track, pathless but largely gras...

  
Summit Comment
Aughinish: Clare Island
sandman a week ago.
This island is located in County Clare but can only be accessed via County Galway. Originally connected to Clare but the connection was lost in 1755 as a result of an earthquake The British built ...

  
Track
Near Truskmore, Dartry Mountains (Ireland)
Paul_Rooney 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 8.5km, Climb: 424m, Area: Truskmore, Dartry Mountains (Ireland) Trus...

Summit Comment
Scanlan's Island: Clare Island
sandman a week ago.
Access to the Island is via the gravel road/track located at M2575111537 .During low tide you have no problem driving on to the island and following the track to the left over concrete to within m...

  
Forum: General
Local 100
wwwalker 4 weeks ago.
I just wanted to say well done on the change to the local 100 conditions. I was nearly there but the last 2 or 3 would have involved almost going through peoples gardens etc. so I abandoned trying...

  
Summit Comment
Munnia Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a week ago.
Best to access this hill via the farm gate located on the the coastal side at M2929112163 in order to avoid the houses on the opposite side. Just a quick up and down over grazing land to begin and...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>