Lorraine's Pick

October 07, 2013  •  11 Comments

November 22nd 2013.

It sometimes seems that our winter is marked by points of celebration. We slip from autumn, summers end into school traffic, then it's Halloween, next stop Christmas, next stop January sales, winters slipping past, and.... did we escape snow, or will it come in March? All too often our big brands mark celebration, or our call to be together with a call buy things we might need, if we can afford them. And in all of that maybe we miss what winter might offer us. Not just the miserable sense of waiting for it to pass; but using it to prepare, repair, revive. or even renew?

In the landscape it is said there's another celebrating going on. Trees that become bare, that play their own music as winter chills whistle though their bows and branches, are having their own party. It's said the roots of trees are hugely active in winter expanding, preparing, making ready for new life, new seasons of growth, and flourishing, there's a big vibe in winter under our feet.

Today I and many family and friends heard there's a bit of a party, a celebration for Lorraine. Her medical professionals have seen dramatic improvement, indeed recovery in her health. And although she still has treatment to finish, there is big cause for celebration this winter for Lorraine. She prepares for Spring.  Lots of Love Lorraine   k


Herewith some images of our unseen 'party goers' in winter: trees.






November 6th 2013.

November for me is often the most gloomy of the months, though it tries hard not to give us too much of winter before Christmas. Autumn is finally ended, though it stayed as long as it could this year, making, as many have commented in Tullow street in Carlow,  "Sur it'll sortin' the winter". Some of the grey tones of November remind me of what a surprise black and white images can be. It's as if our mind's eye sees something even more when the vibe of colour is removed. The possibilities of other things, unnoticed before, are now present. Maybe we 'see' from the inside? I guess that's what I will be doing with my photography this month, Seeing from the inside. Here are a few local images of the older streets in and around Carlow, along with other places shot on days sometimes like November. Enjoy the greys         K







October 23th 2013.

Yes, it will look like I am just rattling on a bit too much about this season, autumn. However all through summer I procrastinated about making a visit to Inistioge and the magnificent grounds of Woodstock House. This very beautiful spot sits just over the southern tip of County Carlow in County Kilkenny, a place of meandering waterways, slow hills and treelines sitting naturally in the line in which they were planted a very long time ago. Inistioge sits on the edge of the river Nore (one of the "Three Sisters", the Nore, the Suir, and the Barrow). Above this line of village and river sits Woodstock: beautiful grounds, home to very unique trees, some ancient, or indeed very old species planted over 200 years. The turning of the year, the waning of summer colours and the vibrance of nature in low, late-afternoon light was just beautiful. Here are just a few from this location. You will find several more on www.keithdowlingphotography.com. Just look into the gallery 'Other Worlds' and scroll the images titled, Inistioge or Woodstock -  about 18 images in all. Enjoy  K


October 7th 2013.  And the kindness and warmth of a 'perfect' September yielded to a definite autumn feel in this early part of October.The colours of Autumn have begun to blaze in the days of a less high flung sun in the skyline. Its light rays are the perfect source to add warmth to autumn colour, and scenes. The south of County Carlow with its line of mountain, river and an east-west arc of sun movement in the skyline is full of beauty and landscape that have a wonder all their own.

The line of the railway viaduct, now overgrown, with glimpses of the grand Borris House which remains hidden from the main road as you move toward Ballymurphy, Clasganney and on to Graiguenamanagh, adds colour and shape to the backward glance of the small rural town of Borris, perched on a slow rising main street. As I moved away from Borris, and its viaduct of nineteen arches of beautiful granite, the Black Stairs hills revealed in autumn sunlight, were almost three dimensional even after the odd rain shower.

Clasganney lockgates and mill below the road level and from a well marked viewing point reveal the natural untouched course and line of the beautiful River Barrow as it pushes south toward St Mullins via Graiguenamanagh.

Carlow is indeed a very beautiful part of Ireland, full of lesser seen uncommercial beauty, of sights and sounds, and indeed memories and stories within the landscape.  More soon.     K









September 20th 2013.

September seems to be giving us a gentle and slow moving autumn interlude. The echoes of our summer still, in bright warm days coming and going, even with the day appearing to start a little later and sunset ends coming sooner. All of which gives some of us time to appreciate the glad feelings that come when we give ourselves a little time to become aware of the passing cycle of beauty, and nature's turning of seasons - offering us insight into what's important, and what might feed our inner world despite our circumstances, and even our troubles.

These three images below were taken very recently at an ancient historical, early Christian site a few miles west of my home. The September sky looked like it had the promise of a beautiful sunset moment, however as I readied myself facing westward, the autumn weather changed quickly and rain showers pushed up over Carlow town, moving  westward toward the historic site on Killeshin Hill.

As I about-faced moving from a westerly sky to an easterly sky the fading sun's refracted light filled the rain-laden skyline with typical autumn colour and drama. The rainbow appeared, almost as a stage set moving with the rain showers.







September 6th. 2013

Today a most beautiful September's day, reminded us that our great summer with genuine 'heatwave' feel is just slowly moving away. Lorraine is doing really well this week having recovered from a secondary infection while journeying through her treatment schedule. Recovering well, with good rest which is helping greatly. My guess is that the same breeze and warm air in our September day here in South East Ireland, probably made its way through her windows in South East UK. As a reminder of our wonderful summer, here is a picture of Waterville on the Kerry coast on its Iveragh Peninsula bathed in summer evening light and balmy summer temperatures, a real treat for South West Ireland too.







Today having updated some images from the Carlow File on the website, I thought it would be good to connect some images that reflect a part of Carlow where Lorraine's  Dad was born and grew up, before he, like his brothers, Jim, Noel, Billy, and John, emigrated in the early 1950's to England.  So here are a few places and streetscapes not far away from the streets where Lorraine's Dad grew up in Carlow town.

                                        Sunrise  on Little Barrack Street,  Carlow.


                                      Old Storehouse at the Bottom of Pollerton Road,  Carlow.

                                                                        Railway Bridge on Pollerton Road, just yards from No 14.


                                      No 12 Staplestown Road, Carlow.


                                      Interior of St Marys Cathedral, Carlow Town.


                                       Courthouse on the Athy Road, Carlow.

                                       Enjoy,    Keith


Up the road from me there's a piece of ground with rolling hills, some mountains along with trees, meandering rivers and streams and many ancient and historic sites. The much visited 'Garden of Ireland' as it sometimes is referred, County Wicklow. A place that provides beauty for the eyes, and solace for any man's soul in any season of the year. Here are a few images that really don't do this place justice. Another one for the diary for anyone's visit to Ireland.




Lorraine has, from time to time dipped into this website to view, and enjoy some of the landscape images that mark her Irish heritage. Lately Lorraine has come into a bit of bad health. This blog is dedicated to her road of recovery and well being in the days ahead.

The images posted here are here to help keep the focus on what is inspirational; to what points us all to what is more than our circumstances, our struggles. We are made for amazing worthwhile lives; each and every one.

This blog and image set over the next 6 months or so, are dedicated to Lorraine and her husband David as they journey together in the circumstances they find themselves in. 

This week begins a new phase in medical help and recovery for Lorraine. Loving life, and pushing ahead step by step is part of what Lorraine brings to her recovery. David is her 'shadow' in all she needs to do.   My prayers and thoughts to you both today           K     


When I climbed into this field of barley, I didn't think there was much to see, then I stood in a different place.   K  Taken near Aghade, Tullow Co Carlow Ireland       K

July brought, to the nation's delight, a 'proper' heatwave for most of Ireland, a rare event, and lovely. Though we Irish for the most part wilt a little after a few days of heat such as this, it brings its own glad, happy and optimistic feelings, no matter what the day brings.

Kerry, too enjoyed brilliant sunshine, warm onshore breezes and long beautiful sunsets. I had a few days on the Dingle Peninsula shooting some coastal and landscape images. To my delight I found the actual village location for the movie 'Ryan's Daughter', a film that inadvertently put Dingle and Kerry on the world tourist map as a 'must see'.

So the latest image below is an evening view of Clogher Head taken from a hill, and indeed the very spot where the village for 'Ryan's Daughter' was built in, I think, around 1969. The village was dismantled afterward, leaving just some of the cobble stone effect in the landscape now. 

This scene from Clogher Head below reminds me of this well known quote from Betty Smith.  "Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory. "           K


what can i say but now that i am through it all and come out the other end, this cousin's inspirational photos have lifted me on so many occasions. He has captured places that mean alot to me ( specially the railway bridge) outside Nanny Roche at number 3 and my dad's old home at 14 and made my heart leap with pleasure at the trees and skylines that would give anyone a lift.
thank you
Peter Thompson(non-registered)
Wonderful photos! I've never seen the Old Church at Killeshin looking so magnificent! Fabulous!
Deirdre Starr(non-registered)
Beautiful scenes Keith. Just gorgeous.
Wonderful collection and I hope they bring some smiles to your face Lorraine. We are all rooting for you.
Keith, have to say well done on this idea, to Lorraine we say the beauty Keith has captured is a reflection of you. Bain sult ás. As the images change so does your life and all ours but your never far from our hearts. XXX
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