So far I have known favourites in the woodlands around Lough Meelagh, Glenfarne, Derrycarne, Milltown, Church Glen in Wicklow and Brackloon in Mayo. Also a prt of Cong Wood and Inchaghoill Island in Mayo.
I was not expecting to find the seemingly 'perfect' forest bathing forest at Dooney Rock Woods.
Not only did just one person turn up for Bards In The Woods this afternoon but barely anybody else came here.
Weather was ok. There was drizzle and light rain as we travelled here, but as seems to be the pattern on our Sunday afternoon it cleared away, so did the wind, it warmed up and a wee bit of sun came out. The clouds did hang low though.
The trail here is a figure of 8 walk that climaxes with a climb up to the top of the Dooney Rock.
The path meanders like so ...
As you walk around there are a load of these signs to explain what is around. This is Number 2, and we never found Number 1 ... sounds familiar doesn't it :-)
Stunning lough side views now of Lough Gill, despite being a bit misty ...
Beezie was a woman who was born and raised here. After that the story changed with each teller. It is known that she moved from the island to work for the Wynn family of Hazelwood House, but when she retired refused to settle into a retirement home in Sligo. Instead, Beezie returned to the island of her birth even though all of the people had moved away from the islands of Lough Gill.
There Beezie had a remarkable relationship with nature, and it really needs another blog to explain those stories. Of course people visited her and she told many yarns about nature and of her times at Hazelwood House, making impersonations of the people that lived there and visited there.
Every Thursday, Beezy would row into Sligo town to get her pension and weekly shop. This was through the 30s and 40s. Some people say she did that until her passing, though others say that when she became weaker she rowed to a little jetty here at Dooney Rock Wood
In 1951 she visited Sligo town on Christmas Eve and it was a cold and wild weather one. People tried to stop her going home for Christmas, but she did. Some folks said they would sale out to her right after Christmas to saw up some fuel wood for her.
When they did, her home had gone up in flames, and Beezie was burned to ashes too, presumed to have made some extra effort to keep warm that went wrong ... but she has been a legend since, especially her gentlness to nature.
This is a wee map of where we had been, by the way.
After Andy had gone it started raining ... and people turned up :-)
I decided to check out Slish Wood down the road, that Yeats called Sleuth Wood, as we have that listed as a Bards In The Woods in July.
Quite a shock ... the car park was full and I could not park anywhere !!!
I waited a few minutes as it was raining and thought people would now rush to go home ... but only one appeared to go, but that's all I needed was a parking space.
This was typical of the pathway here ...
The noteriety here is probably due to this being on the long Sligo Way hike route.
I have decided this is not for Bards and Romantics, so I have changed the Sleuth/Slish Wood July date to Dooney Rock Wood again to experience there in full leaves and abundance.
I hope you will join us in that truly forest bathing wood to be Boladh na Sioga, Bathing In The Fae's Breath.