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Updated: May 10, 2021

April 6, 2021


or the Black Valley lies at the southern end of Macgillicuddy’s Reeks and south of the Gap of Dunloe. Link to map location.

A magical valley with a few small gravel roads, which you share with the sheep or, if you’re lucky, they share with you! I’m not sure how it got it’s name except that the mountains are so steep and the valley is so narrow that it stays dark until the sun is almost overhead. Fittingly, as I understand, it was one of the last areas in Ireland to get electricity in the mid-70s.

I went there with Peter Cox, famed Irish photographer, on a workshop with a great group of people in 2018. Many of us are still FB friends and share photos almost daily. We switched out this particular day to the smallest possible vans for the trek into the valley and even at that walked the last 3/4 mile up the lane to this old cottage- that day occupied only by two horses. The cottage hadn’t been thatched or warmed by a peat fire for sometime, which made it all the more magical. We took turns with our cameras and tripods trying to capture the scene. I was among the last to get in position for a shot along with Peter and one or two others. Fortunately, I had composed this view with the sweep of the drive outlined in stone when the horses decided they had enough company and bolted down the lane directly toward us. The road was narrow and I made sure that a fellow photographer was moving safely to her right and I leaned as far as I could to the left without dropping 3-4 feet into the pasture. The horses went galloping past us leaving only dust and memories. I will always remember that wonderful moment- our time with friends and an adventure recorded in a beautiful image. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear me repeat the tale to willing listeners, or maybe even an unwilling listener or two! Join me on the lane up to the cottage and soak in the magic of the Hobbit House, and then follow our merry band below as we leave the Black Valley!

Image Information: August 9, 2018 Fuji XT2, 18-55mm lens at 34mm, f11, 1/250 sec., ISO 500


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Beautiful and mysterious places.

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