My somewhat quirky views as I gaze at the world around me!

Archive for February, 2014



The information accompanying this photo tells me that I took it on 17 December 2013 (one of my 5 my beautiful sisters’, Carole’s, birthday) at 8:42:39.   Sunrise at that hour I can handle.  2 months later, today, sunrise was at 7:37.  And it will just keep coming earlier and earlier until June 22, the Summer Solstice.  Because Ireland is so far north, the summer nights are very short and the days quite long.  In the summer, the “lighting up time” (when you need to turn your driving headlights on) can be 11 p.m. or later!  And, the sky starts lightening again by 4 a.m.  I wear a sleep mask!

Copyright 2014                     Mary Jane E Clark

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Years ago, as I anticipated my first trip to Ireland, I knew that I would enjoy the Emerald Isle.  After all, I’d been hearing about it, reading about it, studying all I could about Ireland for my entire life.  I remember saying to my daughter on our first day in Dublin (as we were crossing the O’Connell Bridge over the River Liffey, in fact) that I would come back and spend at least a week in Dublin itself, even if I had to come alone.  So, I was half in love with Dublin and Ireland already.  What a blessing to then meet the love of my life in Dublin, end up moving to Ireland, gaining Irish citizenship, and, hopefully, spending the rest of my life here!  Do you think it’s because St Valentine‘s remains are in a small church in the center of Dublin?

St Valentine is buried in a Dublin church! 

Believe it or not, but the mortal remains of St Valentine – the patron saint of all lovers – are held in the Carmelite Church in Dublin’s Whitefriar Street (Dublin 2). Every February 14 the church gets plenty of visitors – mostly couples wishing to receive St Valentine’s blessing or just take a photo in front of the saint’s tomb. So how did his body end up in Dublin? The legend goes that Valentine was a priest who lived in Rome at the time of Emperor Claudius II. The emperor thought that single men made the best warriors so he forbid his soldiers to marry, but Valentine had a different idea – and he continued to marry soldiers in spite of the emperor’s orders. When his superiors found out Valentine was thrown in jail, tortured and executed. He later became a patron saint of lovers. But in 1835 an Irish Carmelite priest Father John Spratt visited Rome. According to the legend, he was such a good preacher that Pope Gregory XVI decided to make Fr Spratt’s Church a gift of St Valentine’s body. So the remains of Valentine were dug up from the Roman Cemetery of St Hippolitus and transferred to Dublin’s Whitefriar Street Church in 1836.       THANK YOU!


And another bit……

Happy Lupercalia‘s Day!
Valentine’s Day derives from a Christianized version of a pagan holiday. Just as the Christians stole Christmas and Easter, from the pagans, they took this celebration from the Roman pagans.
If you do not adhere to Christology, then why would you want to celebrate to the name of a Catholic Saint who had nothing to do with the original festival?
The name “Valentine” comes from one of two Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. One describes a Roman Christian martyred during the persecution of Claudis II, the other, a bishop of Terni who got martyred in Rome. (Most Christian celebrations have a preoccupation with death and martyrdom.) There occurs several versions of the Christian legend but no one knows the truth for sure. Probably at least one of them did live and died, but we have little else to go on. But the celebration of giving notes and gifts to loved ones began long before the Christian version and no doubts exist about its historical practice.
In pre-Christian Rome, people celebrated “Valentine’s day” as Lupercalia, a Roman holiday that took place during the ides of February (the 15th). They believed that the goddess Juno Februata (where the name February comes from) inflicted her “love fever” on the young and unwary. The fertility festival of Lupercalia (in honor of the pastoral god Lupercus) involved an orgy and sexual excesses. Young men drew small “love notes” from a container composed by eligible young women. The men socialized with the women and attempted to guess who composed the note they had drawn. In this way, the festival brought young men and women together as sexual partners.
For years the Christian church tried to suppress the festival of Lupercalia. Interestingly, the Church did not object to the festival for its love celebrations but for the pagan beliefs that rejected the Christian god. In 496 C.E., Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia from the 15th to the 14th and renamed it after the legendary St. Valentine in an attempt to stop the pagan celebration. Gelasius had hoped people would emulate the lives of saints. Even after the Church replaced Lupercus with St. Valentine and recast Cupid into a cherub, the Lupercalia festival continues much as it had before, but without the sexual excesses. The change of the name and the day of celebration serves as the only “contribution” that Christians brought to Valentine’s day.
To this day, men and women send love notes to each other. And in elementary schools across the country, children still put concealed notes or gifts in a box much as the ancient Romans did. So the idea of Valentine’s Day did not come from Christianity, but from the “heretic” Romans. Praise Juno!  THANK YOU…NO NAME ATTRIBUTED
So, if you come to Dublin, be sure to seek out the Whitefriars Chapel and be prepared to fall in love……………..
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GIZA PYRAMIDS AND SPHINXI never really believed that I’d get to see the pyramids and the sphinx at Giza!  But, I did and I’ve also been blessed enough to see Stonehenge, Newgrange, Jerusalem, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Giant’s Causeway, etc…………….  One of the things that amazed me about the pyramids at Giza was how close to the congested city of Cairo they are.  The sky here in this image is blue and cloudless.  If I showed you the picture I took when I turned 180 degrees, all that would be seen is an enormous cityscape capped with smog.  But, still, it’s EGYPT!!!!


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Sometimes There are too Many Things

I post photographic images on this blog, as well as at, that are my, copyrighted, intellectual property. These are for your enjoyment and contemplation, however, not for your commercial use or financial gain. Please respect me, and all other bloggers/posters/photographers/writers, etc. If you wish to duplicate any of my work for any use, PLEASE, contact me first. As always, I am grateful for your consideration and attention.

With thanks to http://www.LEEANNECOLEPhotography for this post.

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There is no post today for, seems they don’t want me to write for them anymore, I think, I don’t know really.  They have stopped responding to my emails so I assume that means that they don’t want my posts anymore.  I thought for today I could a post for you about some other things, photography related, but they are little things.

How to tell someone to stop stealing images!

When I did my post yesterday I received a comment from someone who thanked me for what I had said, but she had a small problem, she (D) knew someone that was taking her photos and then pretending that they were their own.  I think the person taking the photos was taking them from others as well, I’m not totally sure, but still, if you knew someone who was doing this, what would you do?

D asked me, but…

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Although this wasn’t a “special day”, ie solstice or equinox, I have to wonder if the beam of sunlight is significant for this time and place.  A few minutes earlier or later, it appears that it would have been passing directly through the small window opening.  It’s the ruins of the “Seven Churches”  (Na Seacht d’Teampaill) on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of County Clare, Ireland.  This was a significant monastic settlement established by St Brecan and built between the 9th and 15th centuries.  Probably only 2 churches were actually built as well as numerous other domestic buildings, and, of course, a cemetery.

Copyright 2014                   Mary Jane E Clark


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