Day 38a: A Lot of Churches (BBW13 Ballyhoura Way: Glenbrohane-Corderry)

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The day began foggy, almost cool, as I set out from Glenbrohane.

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Early lambs of the day, sorry I freaked you out guys

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Hazy morning through the trees

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Verdant reflections

It did not take long for me to arrive in the first village of the day, Ballylanders. A statue of Mary stood at the town’s main intersection, her gaze indicating a likely target for investigation.

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I agree Mary that does look interesting

I wandered up to have a look; the crowds from Sunday mass emerged and milled past me as I walked. At the building, I could find no signs or placards indicating what it might have been, save the one above that door that clued me in (if I hadn’t already guessed based on the structure) that it must have been some manner of church.

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I mean I am assuming but it seems like a pretty safe assumption

I spent some time looking around, though.

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A noble old structure

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I admit that ivy is one of my favorite interior decorations

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I think the crows agree

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I mean it is so versatile look you can even evoke stained glass patterns with it

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And this building did not just have ivy, see those flowers

I’d finally finished my obsessive photographing of this church and gotten back on track only to encounter this sign just a short distance outside Ballylanders:

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Look, a holy distraction!

So off road I went again. This next stop continued the practice of combining an old churchsite with a graveyard, which we’ve seen a number of times before.

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This church was older and more worn down than the last. Apparently it dated from around the 15th or 16th century and had the kind of terrible name of Spittle Church

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It relied even more on the use of ivy which I might too with that name

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Guarded on all sides by gravestones

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With a nicely decked out lady’s well in the back

You’ll notice the skies in these photos are showing a bit more blue as we go on. The earlier fog had lifted, and the sun shone down. As I set out again, walking the next section along a series of sleepy country roads, I could almost feel the season shifting around me, spring beginning to shade towards summer.

The air warmed, thickened.

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I saw foxgloves blooming along the roadside for the first time.

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The rising heat coaxed smells out of the other flowers, out of the grasses and leaves, into the air around me. I breathed in the scent as it brushed against my skin, humid and drowsy. My steps slowed even more than usual, and I drifted along as if in a dream.

May was nearly over, and I could feel the palpable nearness of June, sunlight pressing against a curtain, lighting it up from behind, eager drips of white-gold lancing through lacework edges.

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Water sounded cool and inviting; I longed to go splashing in, but I was not alone (or mostly alone) in the middle of the mountains this time. I kept on, eventually reaching Galbally, where I picked up a sandwich before continuing on to enjoy a lazy picnic lunch in front of the Moor Abbey.

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This one was founded by the Fransiscans in the 13th century, and saw a great deal of both use and turmoil – raids, fires, and attempted bombings among them. Some friars were martyred here as well – reputedly and miraculously spilling no blood upon being beheaded.

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There is that shot I like again

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Old towers against blue skies

As I explored the abbey, a young man walked past the open door, shirtless, and howled in at me. Haunted indeed.

Shortly thereafter I would go down to walk along the river when he and his friends had been bathing – yet another of the signs of summer… (continued in next post)

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