Posted by: ardcru | July 22, 2014

Loop Head – Sea at Work

Nature's Architect. cliffs at Loop Head, Co Clare.

Nature’s Architect. cliffs at Loop Head, Co Clare.

By Ronan Nolan

Tuesday being one of the finest days of the Irish summer so far, I took off early for the two-hour drive to Loop Head at the mouth of the Shannon in south Co Clare.
Leaving the car in the safety of the neat car park at the lighthouse, itself a good reason to visit this area, I walked northwards along the cliffs. Soon I was as near to Heaven as I’ve been in a long while.
Around every corner there’s a new view of the cliffs with their parallel lines sloping off in intriguing angles, carved for inspection by some great monster of the deep.
Or, keeping things on a grand scale, maybe they are the playful plasticine creation of the bored young son of some ancient giant of the Fianna.
But, of course, it is the sea that has carved these magnificent cliffs. Today its tiny ripples lap at the base of the cliffs like a cat caressing your granny’s ankles. Tomorrow it could unleash its ferocious temper against the same cliffs.

An Incident in Nature
I was standing here earlier this summer when I saw a pod of six dolphins headed south, a couple of hundred metres offshore. By chance I was carrying powerful binoculars with me.
As I watched the front pair weaving across the waves, the first dolphin jumps clear out of the water, does a complete cartwheel while at the same time rotating its body. Not to be outdone, a split second later, the second dolphin does a reverse somersault. My feeling is one of exilaration. I cannot help suspecting that the dolphins know the effect their antics have on us humans.
And I too was a participant: I let a yelp out of me only heard when Galway score a goal against Kilkenny.

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