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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)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>
Track
Pique d'Endron
David-Guenot a day ago.
A walk completed with my friend Alexandre. We took the usual route up the Pique d'Endron (2472m) which requires a bit of walk, Len: 17.4km, Climb: 1288m, Area: France, Occitanie () ||

  
Summit Comment
Knocknaskagh N Top: Summer Stroll
magnumpig a day ago.
Taken from the summit looking north on 16/07/2019. Nicer views from this peak than from the main peak (which is crowned with a Cork flag currently). Myriad of paths on these mountains now due to l...

  
Summit Comment
Laghtshanaquilla North-East Top: Rocky Top.
sandman a day ago.
Access via the forest entrance on left at R9891428087 which although has a barrier is not locked according to locals this will allow you to drive up to the mast and just past it at R9690927255 a t...

Forum: General
MI Access News.
simon3 a day ago.
Access updates July 2019Gleninagh, Twelve BensThe Bodkin family who own Gleninagh in the Twelve Bens have asked that climbers and hillwalkers not park along the access road to their farm, which is...

  
Track
Meall Fuar-mhonaidh
Peter Walker a day ago.
By Scottish standards Meall Fuar-mhonaidh has no great distinction in terms of height or form. But it is prominen... walk, Len: 9.5km, Climb: 520m, Area: Meall Fuar-mhonaidh, Glen Affric to Glen |...

  
Summit Comment
Curracahill: Not great
chelman7 4 days ago.
Curracahill is the 633rd highest spot in Ireland. It would be about 633rd on my list of good walks.

Summit Comment
Cuilcagh: A classy mountain
hazyview a week ago.
I followed the directions (per scarecrow & others) to the second carpark & we commenced the awesome long boardwalk across the bog & up the mountain. A good challenging climb of stairs to the summi...

  
Track
Soum de l'Arraït, Montagne de Lège and Sommet de l'Oudérou from Binos
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 16.8km, Climb: 1272m, Area: France, Occitanie () ||

  
Summit Comment
Hill of Allen: Pleasant and easy stroll
TommyMc a week ago.
A pleasant and easy stroll from the lay-by on the Allen-Miltown road as referenced by Dessie1. Frustratingly a spacious car parking area at this spot is padlocked, meaning visitors must park in a ...

Track
Thor's Cave and the Manifold Valley
Peter Walker a week ago.
walk, Len: 17.5km, Climb: 445m, Area: Lancashire, Cheshire & the Southern Penni...

  
Summit Comment
Largan Hill: Having it Largan
madfrankie a week ago.
In an effort to avoid the unpleasant tree-stuff described previously, I decided to make an alternative approach. At the western end of Lough Talt I took a minor road at G38776815942 that skirts th...

  
Summit Comment
Inishturk: A quiet place
TommyV a week ago.
Similar to Inis Mean, the middle Aran island, Inis Turk is in the middle of Clare Island and Inis Bofin and is much less visited than it's neighbours. The island itself is very small and can be hi...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 18 Next page >>