A Moose Loose in Ireland

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

Dear Readers, I’m swamped with work and sewing and stuff, so I’ve asked a guest blogger to fill you in on our recent adventures. 

Love, love, love, Martha

Hi. I’m Irving. I’m a moose. I usually live on a shelf in Martha and David’s kitchen. But recently they took me on a two-week trip to Ireland.

If you don’t like looking at other moose’s travel pictures, I suggest you skip this post. It’s almost all pictures — my hooves make it difficult for me to type long essays. But I’ll keep it pithy and entertaining.

Here I am going through security at Philadelphia International Airport. It was like a log flume ride, but with more radiation.

Here I am going through security at Philadelphia International Airport. It was like a log flume ride, but with less water and more radiation.

David bought a book to share. It was pretty good, even if it didn't feature moose.

David bought a book to share. It was pretty good, even if it didn’t feature moose.

On the way over, Martha talked my antlers off about how much she loves Ireland. She got all starry eyed and mentioned green, stony pastures, sheep, water and the light.

100_0224

Martha’s version of Ireland. Sheep, rocks, grass, water and mood lighting. Bere Island.

We landed, and headed to Caher House in County Clare to meet up with the rest of Martha’s family — her mom, siblings, siblings-in-law and nieces and nephews. It was quite a crowd!  Sixteen humans in total. More humans = more personal assistants for me. Here’s the house and car we rented.

BIG house. Wee car.

Big house. Wee car.

The owners of the house are hunting enthusiasts. I am not a fan.

100_0054

No one I know. But still.

On the first day, I watched a little TV.

100_0064

Speaking of steel, I think my hours on the stairmaster are starting to pay off.

But then jet lag hit me full force.

I was so sleepy, I fell asleep mid-Flake and Jammy Dodger snack. And the WEREN'T still there when I woke up. Humph.

I was so sleepy, I fell asleep mid-Flake and Jammy Dodger snack. And they WEREN’T still there when I woke up. Hmph.

Next morning I was up at dawn and ready to explore the grounds.

Lough Graney

The view of Lough Graney from a mossy log makes me think of Canada.

Martha told me all about doorknobs in the middle of doors. She was mistaken. They are just small moose perches.

Before we went to Ireland, Martha told me all about doorknobs in the middle of doors. She was mistaken. Clearly, they are just small moose perches.

Just look at this tree. Look at it.

Just look at this tree. Look at it.

But then jet lag hit again.

100_0101

Frankly, there was a lot of jet lag the first week.

The next few days there was a great deal of this:

Left side! Left side!!!

Left side! Left side!!!

But we also saw amazing things. We went to the Burren region (Gaelic for Great Rock). Just like it said on the tin, it was a big limestoney landscape and it was great.

Check out the top of the mountain behind me to feel the Burren.

Check out the top of the mountain behind me to feel the Burren.

We took a detour and stopped to check out the ruins of a very very old church.

I got a pretty lass to pose with me!

While I was there, I got a pretty lass to pose with me!

We met many sheep.

After the long car ride, I was feeling kind of blurry.

After long car rides, I feel kind of blurry.

We saw sights.

Galway.

In Galway, waiting for fish and chips.

We kept going to Gort for groceries.

I tried to sneak this box into the shopping cart, but I was thwarted.

I tried to sneak this box into the shopping cart, but I was thwarted.

We went to a medieval feast at Bunratty Castle.

I got a kiss from a lady at the Bunratty Castle medieval feast.

I got a kiss from Lady Lynn.

And I enjoyed the signage at a local pub.

An

An assistant helped me up for a closer look.

I also made a new friend. This is Lucky, a lamb from Dingle who was adopted by one of Martha’s nieces.

100_0154

Lucky is indeed lucky to be emigrating to the US with her new family.

All too soon it was the end of our first week and time to leave County Clare with David and Martha. I also had to bid farewell to my extended network of assistants. Er. I mean, Martha’s family.

Before I left Caher House, I got to hobnob with the local quadrupeds.

100_0158

A bevy of assistants lifted me up to touch noses with a horse. Assistants are very handy.

Another assistant helped me share lunch with a donkey.

Another assistant helped me share lunch with a donkey.

On Sunday, we packed up the car and headed south to go hiking in the Beara Peninsula. On the way we stopped in Adare and ran into terrifying horticulture.

I know this looks like a trick of perspective, but these thistles were HUGE. Seriously, six feet tall. Compare them to the hedges.

I know this looks like a trick of perspective, but these thistles were HUGE. Seriously, six feet tall. Compare them to the hedges. It’s like a bad sci-fi movie from the 1950s.

Also slightly terrifying: Martha’s pre-coffee face and bed-head hair. I encouraged her to drink up as soon as possible.

100_0194

Presented without comment.

After a good night’s sleep (not a moment too soon) in Castletownbere, County Cork, we started hiking on Monday.

First leg: Bere Island.

I love hiking when it involves being carried around beautiful places.

I love hiking when it involves being carried around beautiful places.

Martha loves fucsia.

Martha loves fucsia.

We were hiking in lots of farm pastures.

Cows are pretty intimidating up close for a shorter guy like me. We walked through lots of them.

Cows are pretty intimidating up close for a shorter guy like me. We walked through lots of them.

David and Martha told me that there were standing stones all over the place, but I never saw one.

This sign says it was nearby.

This sign says it was nearby.

All in all, we walked 8.25 miles up and around and down a mountain. Then we passed out.

The next day, we headed over to Eyeries. It was beautiful.

Between Allihies and Eyeries.

Between Allihies and Eyeries.

The Atlantic from a new perspective.

The Atlantic from a new perspective.

The counties we visited (Cork, Clare, Kerry and Limerick) all had pennants showing off their colors. Cork is red and white.

The counties we visited (Cork, Clare, Kerry and Limerick) all had pennants showing off their colors. Cork’s colors are red and white.

Then we went to the beach in Allihies.

The water looks inviting, but it's so cold, it could shrivel your hooves off.

The water looks inviting, but it’s so cold, it could shrivel your hoofies off. Beware.

The next day, some short hiking in Allihies.

Natural bridge.

Natural bridge.

Dramatic rocks.

Dramatic rocks.

More drama.

More drama.

Scary sign.

Scary sign.

Then we headed back to the beach.

I made a sandy version of Newgrange. So mystical.

I made a sandy version of Newgrange. So mystical.

I also erected a stone circle.

I also erected a stone circle for future generations to ponder.

Finally we headed over to the Windy Point House in Garnish, right next to the Dursey Sound. It was absurdly nice.

The view from our little private deck.

The view from our little private deck.

In addition to the hospitable innkeepers, who fed us a delicious dinner and an elegant breakfast, I met a lovely mum and her three kids.

Very friendly.

Very friendly family.

1236855_10151810855774860_2060445740_n

Whimsey is always welcome.

Our last day of hiking was on Dursey Island, population: 6 humans. I decided it was time to stretch my legs.

I scaled a ridge.

I scaled a ridge.

I climbed a rock overlooking the sea.

I climbed a rock overlooking the sea.

While on the island, I heard a farmer speaking animatedly in Irish (Gaelic) on a cell phone. Something old and something new.

I ate digestives for lunch.

I ate digestives for lunch.

And then I got David to carry me home. Perfect.

And then I got David to carry me home. Perfect.

The next day we headed up to Shannon by way of Killarney.

I snuck into a pub via a MarfDaze bag.

I travel in style. Here I am in a MarfDaze bag.

Then our final stop, the Oak Wood Arms in Shannon. It was a cool, comfy mix of old and new, with an aviation theme. I’d recommend it.

David and I reenact the historic moose/human accord of 1721.

David and I reenact the historic moose/human accord of 1721 in an amazing chair.

And then to thank my traveling companions for the trip, I treated them to dinner.

And then to thank my traveling companions for the trip, I treated them to a tasty dinner.

We woke up early the next morning to head back to the States.

But first I snuck in a nap at the airport.

But I snuck in a nap at the airport before takeoff.

I’m home now, and back on the shelf.

I know I look a little mopey in this picture. It's just jet lag and happy to be home. Still, I can't wait for my next adventure.

I know I look a little mopey in this picture. It’s just jet lag and I’m happy to be home. Still, I can’t wait for my next adventure.

Martha here. I’ll be back to writing the blog soon, but if you want Irving to blog about his future travels occasionally, leave a comment. 

One thought on “A Moose Loose in Ireland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s