The Ring of Kerry is just a loop road that goes around the Kerry peninsula in the southwestern corner of Ireland. My aunt and uncle and little cousin River were visiting Ireland, so I tagged along for their tour of this peninsula. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and it makes me want to go back to explore Kilarney National Park, not in a tour bus! But of course, part of the challenge of living in Ireland without a car is that you have little access to these sites unless you’re on a tour.
I was absolutely in awe of the number of invasive plant species*. This shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but somehow it still does. They seem to vastly outnumber native species sometimes, or at least that’s the impression you get when you’re an ecologist. Rhododendron ponticum, Gunnera, Fuschia, and Monbretia were among the most common plants we saw along the Ring of Kerry.
Lady’s View, Kilarney National Park
I really love the Rowan (might be Mountain Ash to you Americans, Sorbus)
Much more treed than Wicklow NP
Tour guide explaining that you can lick lichens to River
My patented** SOIMF*** tree shot showing much ivy
The River Sneem, in Sneem
Some very pretty lighting
Non-native torch lilies, which the honeybees adore
Halfway through the day, I started realising I don’t know the difference between Hydrangea and Viburnums…turns out they’re not even in the same order and I should be ashamed of myself haha
An alleged 9th century fort under some powerlines
West coast best coast****
The Skellig Islands where Star Wars was filmed…very difficult to get to these islands as the weather is usually prohibitive, but I think it is the one on the right where the story was filmed
Thanks for reading!
*Aldo Leopold once famously said “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” Only, I don’t really find invasive species to be that horrifying anymore. Obviously, they can have negative impacts, but I think we’re coming around to a more nuanced view of non-native species.