A Lovely Walk at Lough Gur
Today being weather-marvellous, I went for an afternoon stroll at Lough Gur (SE County Limerick, Ireland). Having left my vehicle at the car park, I sauntered along the lakefront road (lake to my left), and then I veered left over a stone wall on to much more difficult walking terrain. I followed the perimeter of the lake (still on my left) at the base of Knockfennel - what a marvellous vista! Read article on Lough Gur.
While the lakefront was busy with many people out and about, some with dogs in tow, I had the Knockfennel walk to myself - splendid isolation - as I admired and enjoyed the magnificent scenery, in one with nature. On my return journey along the shoreline, I encountered a good number of healthy-looking cattle - they eyed me up and stared me down suspiciously as I encroached on their territory. I passed them by but looking over my shoulder, I saw one black lad taking a few steps towards me. Being about to turn 67, running away was never an option. So, I 'bravely' turned and faced my potential adversary and shouted some nonsense at him - this had the desired effect, and the black lad stopped in his tracks. I moved off, keeping an eye over my shoulder, and soon I was back on the lake-front road. No doubt, the cattle were just inquisitive.
As I walked with the lake to my right and the gate to the former O'Brien homestead (The Farm by Lough Gur), to my rear, I noticed a discarded or semi-discarded sign in the roadside foliage - see photograph. I was a bit puzzled at the time. There was no threat from the dogs in tow - no bite, not even a bark or whimper. But I began to eye-up some of my fellow strollers. While no threat was apparent, I quickened my step as I headed towards the car park! PS The said roadway is normally free of vehicular traffic, hence my initial puzzlement. On my way home in my car, I speculated on the origin of the said sign. A contractor is presently on site at the said former O'Brien homestead, undertaking restoration/renovation works. Of course, this calls for temporary motorised traffic on the otherwise vehicle free road. I assume that the diligent contractor erected the sign with the safety of Lough Gur visitors in mind. Perhaps it was erected by Limerick City and County Council or by personnel of the Lough Gur Heritage Centre. Whoever erected the sign, it was for good reason, and it is a pity that the sign has been partly defaced (burned, I think?) and pushed aside.
Speaking of signage, some few years ago, my brother, Joe, showed me a sign that he came across at some stage, and he had put it away at his then shop in Tipperary Town. See the photograph - irrespective of your gender, it may cause you to smile at the innocent humour! Ah! Those couple of hours at Lough Gur today lifted my spirits. There is something magical about the place! What an amenity! Great credit is due to Limerick City and County Council and to local Lough Gur Management.
(Photograph of lake by Mike Barry - view a selection from Mike's Collection HERE)