Tag Archives: farm

Ireland Day 5: Kylemore Abbey and Co. Limerick

Wednesday the 12th started out the right way: with a big Irish breakfast and a Kinder Egg.

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These are still illegal in America.

We set out early and arrived at Kylemore Abbey just as it opened.  It was cold, rainy, and windy, and the day before we had heard that there was a storm in Limerick, but we felt refreshed and unhurried as we toured the Abbey.

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From the Abbey we made our way to the Gothic church.

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From there we were to drive on to the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and Theme Park, and then, finally, to Shane’s parents’ house.  But the weather had other things in mind. We were a couple hours out when phone calls from his family started coming in; at this point the weather was rainy and windy, but not nasty, and we appreciated their concern but didn’t alter our course.  However, within the next hour the wind was whipping us around, semis (lorries) were tipped over on the streets, and we decided against the Burren and the Cliffs.  Bunratty, however, was right near to where Shane’s parents lived, and we had purchased tickets ahead of time, so we decided to drive on and see if we couldn’t get in.

We could not.

With this new knowledge, we sat in the parking lot and plotted.  We now had the entire day in Limerick, but the power was out, many roads were blocked by fallen trees, and there was no telling if the wind would pick up again.  We decided to head to pop in on the calfs and then head to his parents’ house.

I’ve not mentioned this before, but Shane’s parents are farmers, and they have some cattle.  Since learning this I’ve been eager to see some calfs (and to see Shane in a new light – who doesn’t like to learn new things about their partner?), and Shane had promised me a trip to the farm.  In my mind, I pictured a red barn, a white, wooden fence, rolling fields, and friendly, mooing cows.  I told Shane that I wanted a picture sitting in the fence, petting a cow.  He said, “The fence is electric.”

On to my rude awakening…

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The cows were in sheds to take shelter from the storm, and they did not want to be pet.  They were, however, very curious, and much bigger than I had imagined.  I was scared, but Shane was not – he walked through them like he had been doing it every day of his life, and I have to say that it was really cool to see him in wellies, shooing cows away.

In a separate shed were two young calves.

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Yuck!  (Just so my readers know, Shane’s parents tend the cattle at the least every morning and night – it was 4 or 5pm and his dad arrived as we left.)

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Maybe brothers?

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The happiest moment.

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Later, Shane told me that the beauty of photography is that by cropping out the other calf from the shot, he made it look like I was ignoring the calf to my left.

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In another pen, a mother with her newborn:

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Shane told me that I probably shouldn’t try to go in there to pet that calf. Sometimes it’s funny how little he thinks I know about animals!  Just because I didn’t grow up on a farm doesn’t mean that I have no sense, haha.

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Got milk?

After this, Shane and I drove the few miles to his parents’ place.  The power was out, and it would remain out for several days – even through his brother’s wedding.  Despite this, it was an absolutely lovely time.  I didn’t take any pictures of the wedding, so the next post with pick up on the 15th, the day after the wedding.

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