Killiney Hill

Scruffy and Family spent the day exploring yet another beautiful park about a 10 minute drive from the house. Killiney Hill offers a fun day for the entire family, including some lovely hiking trails with spectacular views of the valley below.


Chloe takes in the view.


A friendly hiker passing by with her kids and dog stopped to give us a little history lesson. Evidently the granite carved out of the quarry below was transported by small rail carts to form the Dun Laoghaire pier.  Now it’s a popular rock climbing spot.





Lough Boora Sculpture Walk

Scruffy’s people set out for the Lough Boora Discovery Park in County Offaly. Incidentally, County Offaly has been recently given the distinction of being the most Catholic county in Ireland. Lough Boora is an important Mesolithic site in Ireland and the bogs provided a source of heat for the Irish for centuries. In the twentieth century peat harvesting was mechanized and the peat powered Ireland’s industries and homes. Now Lough Boora is a wildlife sanctuary teeming with wildflowers and fun activities for kids, for example, a cute little fairy trail.

One of the many walks one can take is called the Sculpture Walk, which displays various rustic sculptures created using the landscape and remnants of peat harvesting equipment. We enjoyed some of the nature sculptures by Naomi Seki.  This is A Tree in a Sculpture


and this one is called Boora Stacks.


Inside and around these stacks are bushes of heather, which over time becomes peat as it partially decomposes under bog conditions. Peat can lead to bog fires, which are very difficult to contain. When it burns, it can burn deep underground, even under damp conditions.


The dark soil here is actually peat:


Another cool sculpture involved 3 triangles, but I should have taken the picture from a different angle to properly appreciate the effect. However, it was starting to rain at this point so we started quick-snapping on our way to seek shelter.


Maybe we can hide from the rain in here? What, no roof?


What is this? Is this the Loch Ness monster visiting Ireland?


There, there, nice monster…


No, actually, artist Julian Wild welded together pieces of scrap into a shape of a skimming stone to honor the industrial heritage of the site. This was my favorite sculpture by far.