Not far from my studio in Stoneybatter in Dublin runs the Tolka Valley Park. It goes from Castleknock to Glasnevin along the river. It is a beautiful walk in an area that was once semi derelict and under used. Over the last 10 years Dublin City Council worked on wetlands, ponds and reed beds along the Tolka Valley. This time of year, with the early summer flowering of the wild plants growing in the valley, is a particularly good time to visit.
Most spectacular are the water lilies growing in the ponds. There appear to be at least two varieties when I visited over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. But they are abundant. They attract all sorts of interesting insects including bumble bees, damsel and dragon flies.
So don’t even think of taking the plane to Paris and visit Monet’s Water Lily paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Or travel to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny - the source of the water lily paintings.
Go to Finglas. Claude Money has arrived in Finglas in the form of the wetland ponds and Tolka Valley Park. And it won’t cost you a cent.
The whole area is designed to slow down and absorb water reaching the Tolka itself and thus preventing flooding in a wonderfully imaginative way. The wetlands and reed beds clean the water entering the river by naturally filtering run off water that flows into the river. The water quality of the Tolka now supports trout and other fish. I saw a king fisher along its banks recently.
The variety of plant life is stunning. Queen Ann Lace lines the pathways.
Buttercups gild the neighbouring fields.
Planted wild flower meadows show their splendour with poppies, cornflowers, cowslips(the last few from spring),dog eyed daisies and vetches. Really pretty.
And if you need a refreshing cup of peppermint tea you can harvest it fresh from the water's edge.
Well done to Dublin City Council for designing such a beautiful parkland along the Tolka River. Not only is it a really pretty attraction but is also working away during heavy rainfalls by acting as a flood defence mechanism. Brilliant!
All the images shot on an old Motorola Smartphone by the way.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography feel free to contact me at any stage
Eugene Langan Photography, Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - tel: 353(0)872597907 - web: www.eugenelangan.com