Posts Tagged ‘Ballythomas Hill’

Beara Bass.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Beara Peninsula is not known for its bass fishing, in fact on the Richter scale of Irish bass angling the area probably doesn’t even register. However there are one or two locations which do produce consistent catches of Dicentrachus Labrax and it is with great thanks that I salute Paul Harris (Dromagowlane House B/B), John Angles, and Mike Hennessy for their collective advice and direction which resulted in a fine evenings fishing for both David Murphy and I.

David Murphy with one of three Beara bass caught on an evening tide.

Sustained for an evening session after bass with a bowl of hearty vegetable soup, brown bread, and a pint of plain courtesy of O’Neills bar in Allihies, David and I headed towards a noted low water bass mark. Having fished the location on numerous occasions with poor results, yours truly was a tad sceptical. Mike, Paul, and John all concurred though that from November through to January bass would show, some to specimen weight.

Waiting for a bite, November sunset on the Beara.

Fish close to the stream and you won’t go wrong“, and so it transpired. On casting my peeler and lug baited trace forty meters into the lazy swell, no sooner had it hit the bottom then bang and a slack line indicated bass. Instinctively running backwards I connected with the fish, a spirited schoolie of about 2.5 lbs which took crab. Dave was next in landing a carbon copy before on his next cast landing a fine bass close to 4.lbs. By session end amongst a few doggies we had landed five bass between us, my scepticism melting with each fish. The mark had delivered and upped the species tally for our November trip to a respectable six.

See also: Dab Hand on the Beara.


Sunday Morning Hack Out.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Carrig Wood is a combination of spruce, larch, and beech woods. Clear felling of the evergreens by Coillte, The semi state forestry organisation, has been ongoing for a number of years resulting in bare patches on the mountain. The broad leaf sections thankfully have been left alone. A legacy of the recent children’s hunt is a jumping course combining natural obstacles such as fallen trees, ditches, dykes, and logs criss crossing between the beech woods and the pine forestry. It adds a new dimension to what is an enjoyable place to ride out the horses and ponies.

Cluney, a Connemara Pony who is learning the ropes.

Howard and Alan Woods of, Tally Ho Connamara’s, wanted to school a couple of youngsters, thus an arrangement was made to meet at the entrance to Carrig Wood on Sunday morning last. Crisp and frosty with no wind and a clear blue sky, it was a fine morning to be out.

A leisurely Sunday morning in north county Wexford.

The relations were up for the weekend and it did not take much persuading for the niece and sister in law to accept a steed and join the party. The idea was for the inexperienced horses and ponies to mix with the senior animals in a group situation and learn from the outing. The new jumping course being an ideal environment given its natural location.

Roz and Dixie jumping a pine log in Carrig Wood.

Young Erica and her green pony had a ball negotiating logs, ditches, and banks. The pony was well up for it and Erica showed her ability as a young rider which was duly noted by Alan and Howard. “As good a pair of hands as we have seen in a long while for someone so young”.

Erica and her green pony jump a log in Carrig wood.

The morning progressed with a trek along various forest paths before another round of jumping. The horses and ponies working up a sweat and enjoying the ride out.

Coming down the mountains, north Co. Wexford, Ireland.

On the day Erica’s pony showed its class, is definitely a prospect, and would be a credit to any junior rider once it has a few more miles on the clock.

At full tilt, horse riding in County Wexford, Ireland.

Where would you get it? Sunday morning in good company, enjoying the fresh air and shooting the breeze. I’m often asked about living in a remote area and possible disadvantages. Whisper it, ” there are no disadvantages”.

Assault on Croghan Kinsella.

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Normally climbing Croghan Kinsella, 606 metres, involves a steady hike through the forest coupled with a steep climb over the moor to the summit. From the entrance to Carrig Wood a fit person would make the top inside two hours. Add in snow and ice and things change just a little. The mountain had been calling me for the last month, today the 22nd December conditions were perfect so off I went.

Croghan summit viewed from the west.

Approaching from the west through Carrig Wood snow was lying calf deep on the ground. This pulled at the legs all the way to the top. Taking a steady easy pace following the forest paths I eventually cleared the tree line. The snow was pristine save for deer tracks. Above the trees a goat path climbs steeply following the line of the ridge to the summit plateau. A bitter north east breeze was blowing and boy was it sharp on the face. A snowy landscape lay below me every feature defined in black and white.

Looking west towards Kilpipe.

The march across to the summit was hard due to drifted snow. Persevering I made the summit mound and decided to traverse around to the east side due to ice formations which made climbing difficult. Following a wire fence I waded through knee deep snow making the top at 12.30pm exactly. In all the hike took 2 hours 15 minutes.

Summit cairn, Croghan mountain, Co. Wicklow, looking east towards Tara Hill, Co. Wexford.

A quick sandwich, cup of tea, and some photos for posterity and I was on my way down. Even though wrapped up the wind chill made it very cold up there. It was worth the climb though as the views on a good day are spectacular but today, WOW. In the distance to the north lay the Sugarloaf, Lugnaquilla and the north prison, defined in great detail by the snow to the north west, with Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs mountains to the south.

Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs mountains viewed from Croghan Kinsella, Co. Wicklow.

By retracing my steps the climb down was not too difficult, however the steep goat track was a little hairy due to the ice and snow. Taking it handy I was soon making my way through the forest, getting back to the house by 14.30 pm. The round trip took a little over four hours which was not too bad given the conditions.

Yours truly on the way down, Croghan Kinsella, Co. Wicklow, December 22nd, 2010.

Welcome to Narnia

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Who would have thought back in January of this year that come December we would have been snowed in for a cumulative total of four weeks and counting. A whole month in which time community has triumphed over the individualism of the Celtic Tiger. The Irish have come to their collective senses, humour and neighbourliness abound. Three cheers for large amounts of snow, history will show that the Irish were cold snapped to attention during the winter of 2010 and emerged rejuvenated and energised to once again take their place in the sun.

Winter scene, December 21st, 2010, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford.

Today is December 21st, the winter solstice, a pagan time for rejoicing. Tonight we will raise a toast to longer days and optimism. A new Government and a renegotiated deal with the ECB/IMF will kick us off nicely. Meantime a walk in the woods and an appreciation of what really counts.

A Robin.

This mornings snow is different, light and fluffy, it sits like cotton wool on the trees.

Snow covered pine trees, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford.

The forest trails are still reasonably defined. It would be interesting to climb Croghan while blanketed in snow. The views from the top would be spectacular. Maybe tomorrow.

Forest trails, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford.

Two roads diverged in a white wood, I took the one less travelled by and that is what made all the difference. Ruby enjoyed herself sniffing around. Plenty of deer in the vicinity, but none showing.

Ruby on the point.

A blanket of snow covers the land between Ballythomas and Tinahely. There has been no hunting for a month now. Dixie and Mandy took off for a hack in the woods just to keep the hand in.

Dixie and Mandy, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford.

Snow is falling again, there is no dreaming of a white Christmas here. In Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, we are living the dream, and do you know what it’s great.

View towards Tinahely from the viewing point, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford.

Nuclear Winter Maybe?

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Did they drop the bomb, or maybe an asteroid hit the other side of the world, or did Mount St Helen’s erupt again? In the warmest year on record we have the coldest November on record¬†with Birr, Co. Offaly, registering -16 degrees, for want of repeating, climate change what climate change? I think the media just likes a story.

Carrig Wood on the 8th of December 2010, twelve days after the first snowfall.

Twelve days later snow is still thick on the ground. Today is the 8th of December, the first snowfall started on Friday night the 26th November. At least 18 inches of snow lies on the ground with 6 inches of packed snow and ice on the lane outside, however the thaw has finally started.

Holly berries, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

It is still bitterly cold though. Rocky and Smokey decided to bunk down in their place of work.

Rocky and Smokey in the stable.

Meanwhile Dixie is foraging around the paddock.

Dixie in her paddock.

Canada or Wexford?

Carrig, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Partial Thaw

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Dumped on again last night, have not seen as much snow since 1982. However around lunchtime a partial thaw set in.

Fiery Larch, Croghan Mountain, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Towards Kilpipe Church.

The road towards Kilpipe.

Hungry Sheep at Ballythomas.

Hungry Sheep, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford.

Evening scene, Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

A snowy Ballythomas evening looking south west.

Life in the Freezer

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Today is Wednesday the first of December 2010 and it looks like we will have snow on the ground well into next week. A truck load fell this morning dumping at least six inches more on top of the approximately ten inches that was already there. Great fun but hey, this is Ireland washed by the North Atlantic Drift, what’s happening?

View from Ballythomas west towards Tinahely.

Took the dog out for a run around between the showers, both Ruby and Nat had a ball.

Ruby and Nat in the snow, December 1st 2010.

Well I will not forget this birthday in a hurry.

Yours truly crossing the rubicon.

Service with a smile, there are not many publicans who will deliver this level of service. Well done Mylie, stick us on two Guinness and a couple of whiskey chasers.

Mylie Nolan picking up the customers.

Hack Out in the Snow

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Four days snowed in, the lane outside is a sheet of glass. Three times in one year, will definitely be purchasing wheel chains. Meanwhile, to make the most of this early winter wonderland there is nothing like a good ride in the woods.

Mandy astride Dixie, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Plenty of trees down to jump.

Dixie jumping a fallen tree, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Getting rid of the cobwebs.

Dixie and Mandy cantering, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Practicing for the hunt.

Stretching out, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Would you really consider developing a hard rock quarry here?

Heading home, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

November Snow at Ballythomas

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Nine years living in north county Wexford and in the space of eleven months we have been snowed in three times, so much for global warming. It is unusual in Ireland to get snow in November, I have only experienced it two or three times in my life. Tonight, Sunday November 28th, 2010 the temperature is to drop to minus 10, brrrrr!

Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland, November 2010.

No fishing for the next few days, a few hikes in the forest and nights in by the fire. Plenty of supplies so bring it on.

Looking west towards Tinahely, Snow at Ballythomas, Co. Wexford, Ireland, November 2010.

Huddling up for warmth.

Livestock at Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland, November 2010.

A partial thaw.

Snow at Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland, November 2010.