This is a view from the hill that you climb in the approach to Loughcrew Cairns, near the town of Oldcastle in Co Meath. The town itself can be seen off in the distance.
While a lot less well known than Newgrange with its famous interior illumination at the solstice, Loughcrew is equally beautiful for its illumination at the equinoxes. The backstone of the main chamber on this hill is known as Cairn T and its interior is lit up by a strong beam of sunlight on the equinox of spring and autumn. As the light enters the chamber of this passage tomb, it is shaped by the many stones along the entrance of the passage and as it moves towards the center backstone, it lights up from left to right revealing the many ancient solar symbols carved here.
This site was first discovered to feature this amazing feat of solar engineering in 1980 when Irish American scholar Martin Brennan realized how the light illuminated the central chamber on the equinox. in total, there are 23 tombs in the complex here at Lough Crew and they date to approx. 3500 BC, making them over 5500 years old.
As you approach the ancient cairns, you can drive about two thirds of the way up the hill, then park in a small carpark and walk the rest of the way on foot. While the place is open at all times to visitors, animals graze freely on the slopes too and will give a visitor an inquisitive look at they pass by. They are skittish though, and the sound of my shutter clicking was enough to send this sheep running.
Just as well, considering there are over three and a half million sheep in Ireland, they almost outnumber people, so its a good thing they have a nervous disposition and are not prone to rising up against us :)
The reason for the name on this shot is because all of the sheep have different numbers painted on them, (here we see four and eight, 48) While I am sure the reason is logical and practical, I imagine the farmers sitting around on the cairns on a sunny day playing Woolly Bingo.
thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
Romano46 (18472) 2014-04-27 7:32
con questa immagine hai rappresentato una delle caratteristiche più tipiche del paesaggio irlandese. Il verde immancabile in ogni luogo della regione è vivacizzato da una delle attività tipiche e tradizionali della stessa.
La pecora con il suo folto mantello ha accupato la giusta posizione nei due terzi del fotogramma per inserirsi con il suo sguardo mansueto nella bella e originale composizione.
I colori sono delicati, la nitidezza si ga notare ed il cielo presenta una delle belle giornate che anche in Irlanda non mancano mai.
Complimenti sia per l'idea che per la bella cattura.
Eccelleneti come sempre le tue note.
Ciao e buona domenica e buon inizio di settimana
emilbo (22616) 2014-04-27 7:49
Une très intéressante scène de campagne avec ce mouton bien placé pour la pose et les autres derrière. La perspective est à perte de vue sur un fond brumeux. J'imagine qu'ils sont numérotés pour que le propriétaire les reconnaisse, si c'est comme en Tunisie où j'ai vu différents groupes de moutons avec des bergers mais il n'y avait pas de clôture. On dirait presque le montons en avant plan est en 3D.
Félicitations!… et bonne semaine,
COSTANTINO (64256) 2014-04-27 8:13
Hello my dear friend
this view is not a simple view
its a really lovely view bringing
memories to me from my village
the amazing greenery is the real
beauty of the mother Nature that
begins to live again in spring
welldone my dear friend
worldcitizen (8472) 2014-04-27 8:43
Beautiful country scene! I like the depth, and the warm sunlight in the foreground. The sheep are adorable - especially number 48, who was brave enough to pose for your camera. :-) Maybe you can suggest "woolly bingo" to the farmers, and start a new craze!
photographer_sg (4414) 2014-04-27 10:07
this is a beautiful composition with the lovely greenery with the grazing sheep displayed in perfect contrast and excellent clarity. Number 48 really seems to have posed for you with lovely eye contact. The town visible in the distance with the hazy blue horizon forms a lovely backdrop. Really interesting note about the solar engineering.
Thanks for sharing and have a great new week ahead.
lousat (89918) 2014-04-27 10:43
Hi Noel,magnificent view,typical of irish countries,caught in a rare sunny day to have very bright colors and fine detail everywhere,and it seems very proud to be the main subject of your pic,very nice idea and very well done,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
Tigerlily (3379) 2014-04-27 11:41
A beautiful shot, Noel. Wonderful light and colour..
Interestingly,I took a photo of a sheep when I was in Heathersage, it looked different from this one...It's interesting to have a chat with a sheep, a lot of staring but talking..:-D... Have a nice evening.
carlo62 (46545) 2014-04-27 11:52
sembra che la pecora si sia messa in posa per te.
Una posa molto fiera, il ritratto è perfetto, ben ambientato e con gli splendidi colori delle campagne irlandesi.
ourania (44368) 2014-04-27 13:19
your note is both informative and funny, the sheep looks quite confident and brave in this photo, that's a real portrait in a rewarding context. He looks like the king of the hill, the most sociable of the group, a vast valley at his feet. You managed the light wonderfully, the natural colours are so well defined and pleasing. Your composition has superb depth and balance, it looks dynamic too. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great week,
photoray (13981) 2014-04-27 14:59
Ironically I believe there is a connection with this Irish sheep and Malgo's posting of Georgia's Jason & the Argonauts "Golden Fleece"? Another irony, is # 48 was Jackie Robinson's number, the first Afro American to play professional baseball.
Perhaps there are no ironies but instead a connection to the Loughcrew magic?
Thanks for sharing,
jjcordier (79297) 2014-04-27 23:06
Tu as tiré le bon numéro et gagné ce superbe mouton en premier plan qui te permet de réussir cette belle composition pastorale.
timecapturer (49288) 2014-04-28 3:19
like the title for this one. It is an intriguing thought and though not a big lover of Bingo, I think I could enjoy playing this version. I love the expression on the sheep's face and also the real feeling of wide open space too. This time of the year, I tend to avoid sheep as with young lambs in tow they can be a bit aggressive and unpredictable, hope you escaped unhurt - avoiding the sheep-pats is hard enough walking normally, but running could present all sorts of problems. :-)
Enjoy a good week - B.
saxo042 (37794) 2014-04-28 11:19
A magnificent view over this landscape! The sheep are well collected close to the camera and one of them is representing the herd and is seen very close. A funny title and a very attractive picture.
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-04-28 13:05
He he Noel,
Had to laugh at your title.
Great Pov, on to this sheep and your Dof is fantastic.
Number 48 seems to like you.
Wonderful, and thanks for the laugh.
mesutilgim (94610) 2014-04-28 13:07
Hello dear Noel,
Nr 48 is just great !!
Nice landcape capture with 9 nice models !
With your notes and capture TE has teached us again.
TFS and best regards
Fis2 (96121) 2014-04-28 13:51
I like frame and warm colors.
macjake (67126) 2014-04-28 17:03
my girlfriend Tosca would be ALL OVER this scene :)
I'm into castles and such, she's into animals.
So there are about 3.5 million sheep in Ireland? who keeps track of these stats? haha
and yes, lets not piss off the sheep :)
fun shot, has charm written all over it. love the baby sheep to the left.
love the bg hills too.
elenimavrandoni (0) 2014-04-28 20:15
Noel, a legendary drive and what a view!!!
a panoramic view and a landscape to admire for its natural beauty and its peacefulness!
the sheep are worth to mention for the natural posing and thank God for their existence!!
a very lovely shot!!
omid266 (6746) 2014-04-28 20:49
A wonderful and spectacular result from Nature in Meath, with lovely sheeps in forground and in the area,
Beautiful green colours of landscape , very attractive and eye-catching,
very well seen and Thanks!
Best wishes from I.R.Iran
rigoletto (34279) 2014-04-29 5:37
you have a crazy imagination (enhanced by the gloomy sky hanging above your heads?). but there is sunshine here, and happy numeric cattle scatered over grazen greens. eye contact was essential :)
rogerl (1616) 2014-04-29 6:29
Noel, that was a very interesting note. Next time I'm in Ireland I will try to visit this place. The sheep may have been skittish, but this one did a great job of posing for your shot. Perfectly positioned to capture his/her face as well as the number. Nicely framed, with the sheep at thirds and a lovely landscape, though somewhat hazy, behind. Thanks.
tyro (24408) 2014-04-29 14:47
As always, an interesting and informative note and, in this case, an amusing one too - especially about the sheep. But isn't it curious that we are always so amazed as just how clever the ancient Egyptians were, building their big pyramids and so on, yet we forget that people in our own islands were equally clever and resourceful around the same time.
This is a delightful shot with a wonderful distant view from your high viewpoint. In itself the landscape would have been very pleasing but the inclusion of your woolly friend in the foreground adds more depth and interest too. Lovely fresh spring colours and light, perfect exposure and excellent details and sharpness.
pajaran (59581) 2014-05-01 14:29
Interesantan i dobar tekst o mestu sa opisom ...
Lep pogled na ovce i grad u daljini ...
Dobar trenutak snimka, kontrast i perspektiva, lepo pokazano zeleno polje sa ovcama, lepe boje.
Srbija je bila poznata po uzgoju ovaca i jagnjadi.
Prijatno vece i lepa noc, sve najbolje.
An interesting and good article on the site with a description ...
Nice view of the sheep and the city in the distance ...
Good time recording, contrast and perspective, beautiful green fields shown with sheep, beautiful colors.
Serbia was known for sheep and lambs.
Have a nice evening and night, all the best.
jhm (151544) 2014-05-02 1:19
A wonderful focus on the sheep, so clear and nice.
Perspective and depth are wonderful with a lovely background.
Excellent panorama view about these area.
Very well done, TFS.
delpeoples (57278) 2014-05-02 5:03
hehehe great title. I know that this marking is rarely done as it might affect the wool, but I noticed it's done a lot in Ireland. Does that mean that this poor unlucky Number 48 is wanted for his meat instead of his wool? :( I like how he's posing for you, giving you his best Blue Steel - Derek Zoolander would be so proud. You positioned him well, off centre which allows us to see into the distance and the mountains beyond. Lovely bright colours and light, hopefully you're having a good Spring.
Happy weekend, Wheatjuice o'Clock here :D
serp2000 (43818) 2014-05-03 3:06
This is one of the most funny photos for me on the Trekearth today. LOL! Amazing title and interesting note. Your photo reminds me the Scottish landscapes. Good portrait of #48.
Have a great weekend!
jcpix (13914) 2014-05-04 10:43
Ahaha...Rise of the Sheep, I forsee a whole Terminator thing coming out of this shot. :) With that straight forward and intense stare, I'd say this fella' is about to come charging and commence that overthrow of humanity. Ruuuuuun! Please don't let them become self aware.
As mentioned in your note, they outnumber the rest of us....and if he's only #48, I really do fear our future!? I am a bit confused however, when did wool jackets come with four legs....or am I the only one with that visual? hehe
A fun shot, there really does appear to be an expressive nature from this "portrait," you've managed to capture the character of the animal, and have composed this with plenty of context by showing the vast expanse of the landscape. Love the title too...must be difficult to keep them lined up on the card though!? :) Hope you've had a nice weekend. Take it easy.
Cheers from the dusty desert,
Miguel82 (27674) 2015-03-07 14:16
That sheep would like to tell you something Noel
it is so funny
their droppings fertilize the pastures
they were grazing peacefully