There was an overcast sky with no threat of rain yesterday, so we were thrilled when Olive offered to drop us off to paint. After checking out the local famine cemetery (yes, there are more than one of these - part of the heartbreaking statistics of the famine) we hoofed it over to the bog.
Well, we never actually made it into the bog. We slipped through the gate, loaded with our art gear, and then threw the gear through the next gate and climbed onto the path leading to the bog.
There is a placard at the entrance to the path which describes how John B. Keane used to walk along it while contemplating his writing. This part of the trail (which, as I recall, runs along an old railway route) is called "Sive", after one of Keane's writings. We knew right away this could be a magical place, full of inspiration and creativity. Check out County Kerry trails here: Sive Walk
Verdant fields, wildflowers four feet tall, blackberry bushes for miles. A mowed path through it, curving gently, inviting eyes and feet to follow. Birds everywhere. Insects, sure. The occasional enthusiastic dog bounding through. Quiet walkers, deep in their own revery.
Hours passed before we knew it. We were lost in the peace of the path, painting meditatively. Direct light (I am learning - the worst kind for plein aire painting) and yet somehow it was diffused enough to create soft loveliness.
There was a palpable sense of peace along the path, which lead to our deepening understanding of why writers flock to Listowel to write, and, now, painters to paint.
We will be back to explore more of this beautiful trail, and may actually reach the real bog. In the meantime, it was a joy to paint these two "Bog Studies", which are really "The Path on the Way to the Bog Studies".