Lord Mayor of Cork, Donal Counihan

The Lord Mayor’s Picnic in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork was a roaring success today to judge by the number of parents and kids who congregated in the area. All the stalls did a healthy trade with lines 20 long for many hours. Here’s The Lord Mayor of Cork, Donal Counihan, as he walked about. The smoke in the background is from some of the stalls that were preparing freshly cooked meats!

I went walking with Adam and my sister and wandered about for a bit. There’s was a great Brazilian band playing near the museum. People and kids were dancing and having a great time. Even Adam started dancing in my arms, and couldn’t tear his eyes away from the stage such was his interest in them! I haven’t a clue who they were but I suspect the rhythmic drum beating would lose it’s charm once played too many times to keep a child amused ..

Gallery post to follow, maybe tomorrow. Fairly exhausted now.

PS. Thank you if you responded to yesterday’s post about neighbours burning rubbish. We’re still not sure what to do yet.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 88mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

This is poisoning my son

ash from burned plastic

A few days ago, in the middle of the day, I noticed a smell of burning plastic wafting in the open window of my home office. I looked outside and saw small flecks of black soot or ash tumbling to the ground. When I rushed downstairs and investigated, I discovered a thick plume of noxious smoke coming from a neighbour’s chimney. The little flecks of ash are so fine that the merest touch turns them into black smears.

Burning rubbish seems to be a common enough practice where I live in Blarney, Co. Cork. It hasn’t happened as often in the last few months as in previous years, maybe because of stricter surveillance of backyard burning. When it was at it’s height, I jokingly considered campaigning for an incinerator to be located in Blarney. At least that could properly trap all the toxins released by burning rubbish and it would be regulated.

Anyway, I decided that I need to speak to my neighbour. I politely asked them to stop burning rubbish in their fireplace, I mentioned that there was soot all over the patio in our garden, and that it had wafted into the house through open windows too. They were suitably apologetic, promising that it wouldn’t happen again. That’s as far as I took it, because I like that neighbour. He’s a nice guy and his wife is a warm woman with a ready smile.

Imagine my shock this morning when I looked out the kitchen door and say soot all over the patio again. Someone had been burning rubbish last night. What do I do now?

My son Adam sleeps in a bedroom overlooking the back garden. His window was closed last night because of the chill, but if it’s warm, then it’s open. According to this article I should be very worried about what my son breathes.

Children can be at much greater risk. Because of their body size, they inhale more air per pound of body mass than do adults, and can absorb a proportionately larger “dose” of toxins.

Children’s bodies are more susceptible to damage from the heavy metals found in the smoke of rubbish fires because their nervous systems are not fully developed. Poly-Vinyl Chloride, or PVC, is a commonly used plastic for vinyl flooring (sometimes called carpeting or lyno), drain pipes, guttering, shampoo bottles, packaging, and thousands of other products.

Apparently 57% of rural dwellers in West Cork burn their rubbish. That’s 5 out of every 12 households. Blarney is an urban area however with a regular waste collection. Quentin Gargan has a blog post on this and gorse burning. Here’s the Irish Examiner article he mentioned. A note from Cork Corporation reminds residents that burning rubbish is illegal:

Cork City Council wishes to draw attention to the fact that under the Waste Management Act 1996 as amended that it is an offence to dispose of waste in a manner which causes or is likely to cause environmental pollution.

The disposal of household and garden waste by burning is one such method of disposal that is deemed likely to cause environmental pollution and furthermore is a source of annoyance to persons in the adjoining locality.

I have no idea who burned the rubbish that caused the soot in my garden this morning. I could presume it was the same neighbour but there isn’t any proof. I could stay up all night, with a window open, ready to catch the tell tale odour of burning plastic. Or I could call the Cork County Council litter warden.

Besides the obvious damage burning rubbish does to your health, this may also lead to neighbours falling out and fighting. If the same neighbour is responsible, they have put me and my wife in the unenviable position of having to fight this illegal behaviour. If this turns bad for them, if they’re fined, they’re going to blame us even though it’s their fault in the first place. No wonder people don’t report their neighbours.

What would you do?

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 72mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Express & Logistics

Express & Logistics

A DHL van near Paul Street, Cork provided me with a nice excuse to try out the urban acid plugin again! This has been sitting on my computer for almost 2 years but I only recently worked on it. Glad I did too. Love that red streak coming out of the shadows!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 11mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/125s

Red Lantern

red lantern

A lantern with red glass sides sits on the window sill of the restaurant in the Quay Coop, Sullivan’s Quay in Cork. In the background is Halifax Bank which I have photographed previously.

Processed shots from the photowalk in Doneraile will take a while to do. Still catching up after the day out yesterday!

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/250s

Penn Stivien 671km

Penn Stivien 671km

Penn Stivien is 671km from this town in Kerry. I can’t remember the name of the place now, but they have a bar/restaurant there that serves fabulous food. I don’t remember the name of that either. :)

Aperture ƒ/11
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 20mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Me and Justin

Donncha and Justin

Down in Kinsale on Monday, I watched a couple get their small boat ready to sail off into the harbour with my friend Justin. He’s a keen sailor but he hasn’t been on the water in ages, and I could see he was itching to get out there. To be honest, the evening was so nice I would have liked to get out there and sail off on the calm waters.

This was actually just outside Gallery ICA. We popped in for a minute but Haydn was on the phone and couldn’t talk so we didn’t stay too long. Did I say how nice the evening was? Got lots of shots too of a very busy bank holiday Kinsale. The place was teeming with people.

PS. I’m going to be plugging the Doneraile Photowalk all this week. Hope to see you there on Sunday!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

A lonely flower’s water drops

Water drops on Flower

We had a glorious bank holiday weekend just past and I took full advantage of it by taking the camera with me everywhere while outside, even when I was walking the dog and my son Adam in the morning. I snapped this flower while Oscar sniffed around and Adam looked on. We were all happy!

Don’t forget the Doneraile Photowalk next Sunday! Hope we had the same sort of weather we had last weekend, but a few degrees cooler would be welcome.

PS. posted this one today in response to Pete’s gorgeous photo from 2 days ago.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 72mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Skyhawk

Skyhawk

Skyhawk, a boat moored in Kinsale harbour. Moored there for quite some time by the looks of things. It’s aptly named. It seems the local bird population have taken a liking to it and made it a stopping off point.

I didn’t go to the Marathon today. Adam was up until 10.30pm last night bawling and crying after the exciting day he had at a bbq. Parents – next time someone tells you, “ah sure, he’ll grow out of it”, or “he needs to meet more people”, you should .. well, I can’t repeat what I feel you should do, but make sure they know that children don’t like changes to their routine, that when they’re over stimulated during the day, the parents suffer that night or the following day. Empathy, that’s what people want.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 162mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/400s

Misty Morning Bird

Misty Morning Bird

What were you doing at 5:52am this bright Sunday morning? Fast asleep? Our little boy Adam had us up and about bright and early. Bleary eyed parents who read this will I’m sure agree that it’s a shame young kids don’t realise the weekend is for sleeping in.

I would have missed this shot though so I’m thankful he was up this early. The fog is gone now, burned off by the early morning sun, I’ve already been out with both Adam and Oscar and brought home a couple of good photos. I’m a bit tired now, more then 3 hours later at 9.30am as I write this. Adam is asleep and I’m going for a nap shortly. zzzzz.

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 125mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/640s