Finding beauty within 5km of my Cork city home

Student ecologist and writer RICHARD GORDON, who lives in Cork city, gave himself the task of visiting a location every day for ten days in a row, during this latest lockdown. His goal was to find beauty within his 5km. He shares what he saw...
Finding beauty within 5km of my Cork city home

Tunnel Of Shadows, at Curraheen River Walk. Pictures by Richard Gordon

ANOTHER lockdown is upon us. Whether you agree with it or not, unfortunately, for the meantime, it’s here.

Aside from the frontline workers who continue to work hard in our hospitals, medical practices and test centres, the workforce who are keeping the nation fed, and all other jobs deemed essential, we are for the most part house bound.

Autumn is in full swing now as fallen leaves litter pathways and hues of yellow and red spread across our tree tops. The final display of a vibrant season before branches are stripped bare for the winter and the leaves of summer return to the earth. The days are shortening.

It feels like yesterday I was woken by the sun, now I’m woken by my alarm as the dark of night lingers well into the morning hours.

It’s a frustrating time. To be restricted within five kilometres is difficult for us all. Unable to visit neighbouring towns, cities and counties; we’re Cork city bound — well, I’m Cork city bound. I can think of worse places to be though, to be fair.

And with little external entertainment available, the highlight of my day has been a walk in a green area. I know I’m not the only one as areas are busier than usual now.

As I drive around, I see what I saw back in March and April. What I called the emergence of households. Now it’s commonplace to see whole families riding bikes together every time I leave the house, particularly whilst it was mid-term. Maybe it’s nothing, but I feel there’s some value in it. Families being families again.

This lockdown, I gave myself the task of visiting a location every day for ten days in a row. My goal was to find the beauty within my five kilometres. Here’s what I saw...

Location 1: Days 1 – 10 - Curraheen River Walk

Entrance Coordinates: 51 52’ North. 8 31’ West. Across from the Lee Fields car park, south of the Carrigrohane Straight.

Couple Walking in the Warmth
Couple Walking in the Warmth

Couple Walking in the Warmth

This picture, was on a crisp but dry evening. I had wandered up and was on my way back down the Curraheen River walk. I was looking into the sun when a couple came up behind me and walked right into my point of view.

Tunnel Of Shadows

Just as you enter the walk from the main road and swing a right you’re met with this gorgeous corridor (main picture top of article). The sun was unobstructed by cloud so it spliced through the tree canopy. I love the distinction between the coniferous trees on the right and the deciduous on the left. A couple walked toward me and their silhouette fit perfectly into the light at the end of the tunnel.

Urban Wild.
Urban Wild.

Urban Wild

This picture, was taken on a rather cold and grey day. I was having a gander down by the river, looking for a beautiful shot to take, when the sun appeared through a crack in the clouds. Just as I aimed my camera down the pathway, a couple appeared under the sun and as soon as I took the shot, the sun hid back behind a cloud and everything was cold and grey again.

Moss covered trees.
Moss covered trees.

Moss Covered Tree

I noticed the sun spilling through a hedgerow and hunkered down to have a closer look. The silhouette of this beautifully, moss covered tree stood glimmering there for a few moments like something from a fairy tale.


Autumn flakes of gold.
Autumn flakes of gold.

Autumn Flakes Of Gold

This particular branch of beech, below far right, extended itself out over the pathway as I walked along. The backdrop of blue sky complimented the golden leaves perfectly.


Reflections in the Stream.
Reflections in the Stream.

Reflections in the Stream

It was a still day and the water of the river appeared like glass. The slow flow created no ripples at the surface.

A bunch of leaves floated past me as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, capturing the warm colours of autumn.

A Bed Of Fallen Leaves.
A Bed Of Fallen Leaves.

A Bed Of Fallen Leaves

This sycamore plantation, is leaving a thick covering of leaf litter spread across the woodland floor. This autumnal detritus provides an important energy source for many small woodland creatures like squirrels, mice and hedgehogs. And it looks beautiful with the afternoon sun scattering light waves through the tree stems.

Next week in The Echo, on Tuesday, November 17, Richard shares his second location. Ballybrack Woods (The Mangala) in Douglas.

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