Ireland

A good friend of mine lives in Quin, County Clare. She is establishing a horse stud there. In addition to the almost 20 horses on the land, are the clan of barn cats, the two almost-indoor cats, two great danes, a black lab, and ruling the roost, a Jack Russell named Lucy.

The sheep she keeps on the land improve the pasture. On this morning they were especially vigilant, because the day before, the hired hand’s dog had done a bit of sheep chasing.

Beach Pants, Inis Mor

The Aran Islands have been settled and farmed for a long, long time. People gather cockles on the beach, and I was kindly offered some by a stranger.

the stone walls of Inis Mor

The soils were at one point so depleted, the people there faced starvation. In order to rebuild their soil, they carried seaweed and sand up from the shore, onto the barren rocky hillsides.

the stone walls of Inis Mor

Then they protected their hard-won soil with a stone wall. The island of Inis Mor, nine miles by three miles, has 10,000 miles of stone walls. At least, that is what a bus driver there told me.

The man who ran this Kilronan pub resembled the roosters, popping up from behind the bar, greeting customers with a bobbing motion of his head.

This tree in Tulla, County Clare, has survived hurricane-force winds.