It being a lovely clear Spring day, today I packed a healthy picnic...
collected my Dad, the eager almost 93-year-old, and we headed off into the bush.
The picnic area is beside the headwaters of a river, with picturesque stony rapids, and deeper pools where lots of children were swimming - it was quite a warm day...
We love these very tall gum trees, and you can see some of the many people who were camping here by the river...
We set up our picnic under this wild fruit tree, which none of us could recognise. Anyone?
Lots of red bottle-brush trees attracted many varieties of birds,
and Dad enjoyed identifying them for us.
He might have a bit of dementia, but many of his faculties are very good.
He described to us how this area would have been covered with thick undergrowth in centuries past, which encouraged the very tall trees to seek the light above the scrub.
We drove through a district named Kerry by the early Irish settlers..
Here is the local church, and look at this closeup of the gate in the foundations:
yes, a wee Irish shamrock!
This sadly unloved building used to be the local Irish Pub, and would have looked very pretty and welcoming in its hey day..
An old dance hall - it made me remember a tune from my childhood:
the bittersweet Irish song: The Kerry Dance.
Long-term readers of the blog might know I like to sing in choirs -
my very first on-stage experience of this was when I was about eight,
singing in a large school choir.
I found a version on YouTube, sung by Grand Ledge High School Madrigals.
A rather more sophisticated arrangement than the one I originally learnt, but it is the type of choral music I enjoy singing today:
The little farming communities have tended to be swallowed up by 'progress' - better transport and communication mean less local life, small holdings have been bought up and amalgamated into much larger farming establishments, the dairy industry has mechanised and there is no living for a farmer with a small herd, as in days gone by...
I wonder if those who remain are haunted by the ghosts of times past - and The Kerry Dance?
Have a great week, to be sure..