I notice from my last blog that I strayed severely from the title of the blog which was to be about the recent snow we have had. I have therefore taken a policy decision to stay ‘on message’ and try and keep the blogs about the events at Tory Bush Cottages or things of relevance to visitors to this general area, i.e. the Mournes, County Down or at times Northern Ireland.
On the latter item, Northern Ireland as a destination has a lot going for it, in 2007 it was rated in a’Lonely Planet’ publication, the “Lonely Planet Blue List, The Best in Travel 2007” as one of the worlds must see destinations.
Not 5 mile from us here at Tory Bush is the Royal County Down Golf Course, rated as one of the top three best Links Courses in the world, Tiger Woods regularly plays the course prior to the British Open.
The Antrim Coast and Causeway Coastal drive is rated as one of the best Coastal drives in the world not far behind drives such as Prince Edward island in Canada, the Monterrey coast of California.
Not bad for such a wee place.
Well back to the snow one of the advantages of the snow is that it lets us see some landscape features not usually visible. It may recalled that in an earlier Blog I mentioned the remnants of the Lazy Beds that are still visible on the higher slopes, this is where, during the famine, people tried to grow potatoes as they assumed that the disease was in the soil, so they moved to land that had never grown potatoes. Little did they know that the disease was in the air, spread by spores from the remains of the stalks of the potato plants from the previous years diseased crop. All they had to do was burn the stalks of the old crops in the Autumn and the disease could not have survived the winter, but then the Science of Plant Pathology did not develop for about 100 years later.
These remnants of the Lazy Beds have been obliterated on the lower ground by subsequent years of agricultural activity most notably by tractor ploughing, but on the higher slopes inaccessible to machinery they are a ‘frozen’ memorable to a generation that was almost wiped out by a famine in the mid 1840’s.
The photo at the top of the blog is the lines of parallel Lazy Beds running up Slievenaman Hill a hill adjacent to Tory Bush and you can see the lines of the Lazy Beds emphasised by the melting snow. (Literally a frozen memorial)
I am indebted to John McCombe a neighbour and installer of a WiFi system at Tory Bush for this photo. John has his own blog
on which he regularly publishes good photos of Mourne, and he and his wife Elaine have their own Tea Room and Craft Shop
not far from Tory Bush, well worth a visit if staying in the area.