Killarney National Park
Killarney is a case of the beauty and the beast. The grand landscapes of the lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park and the overwhelming tourism machine that has devoured the town. Nowadays you cant seem to have one without the other. To tarnish the whole town with that reputation would be unfair as there is a number of small independent retailers and businesses which provide quality goods and services with decent value for money. The lakes of Killarney comprise Lough Leane, Muckross Lake and the Upper Lake which are bordered to the south by Torc Mountain and Purple Mountain to the south west. The N71 runs out of Killarney to the south thorugh the gap between the two mountains . The road provides ready access to the National Park and to the main vista at Ladies View. This is the tourist landscape shot of the Upper Lake looking back down the gap towards Killarney. Instead of stopping at Ladies View, stop a short distance down the road at Galway's Bridge which features a small church, cascading river and a gnarly old tree. Due to the road furniture along the road, I avoided including the church to instead focus on the tree. Crooked and angular, the tree is full of personality and gesture, so I had to abandon the car and stop for some shots. The weather gods favoured me as two puffy clouds aligned themselves above the tree to give the impression of smoke signals arising from the tree.
Continuing past Ladies View, we stopped again just before Looscaunagh Loch to see if I could find an alternative view of the Upper Loch. Instead, we were greeted by two Sika deer who happily posed for photographs. The deer were undeterred by our presence continuing on with their business and only occasionally stopping to check us out.
The more scenic and spectacular drive is on the other side of the mountain. The Gap of Dunloe runs in a north south orientation between Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Purple Mountain to the east of Killarney. The narrow and windy road follows the River Loe through the gap as it passes through 5 lakes on its way to join the River Gearhameen to flow into the Upper Lake.
The final photo of this post is taken at Lough Leane near Ross Castle. The rain clouds were coming in and I had just enough time to capture a few frames before the wind started blowing and the rain falling. I liked the tree but needed something else in the frame. The reeds provided some foreground interest with the vertical lines of the reeds drawing the eye from the bottom of the frame up towards the tree.