County Clare has some wonderful places to visit, including the famous Cliffs of Moher. Last Thursday, my grandfather took me to another wonderful place to visit–the Bridges of Ross.
Once upon a time, the Bridges of Ross were three in number, lovely natural sea arches. Only one still exists today, but it’s stunning.
The path from the parking lot follows along the fence you can see in the above picture–a farmer has cows in there at times, though they’re not out yet due to grass being slow to come in this year.
As you can see, I really liked the bridge!
We followed the path along, seeing all sorts of rock formations and cliffs and inlets along the way.
Amazing striations in the rock.
Rocky beach/inlet. Papa wished he’d brought his fishing rod… It definitely would be a nice place to sit and fish.
The other side of that beautiful bridge. I can’t believe the water created it–nature is so wonderful and powerful.
Eventually we reached a section where the grass became stone slabs that ran all the way down to the ocean. Of course, we headed out across the rock…and found tide pools!
Close up of a limpet’s foot… If you look closely at the top, you can just see a bit of the head and the limpet’s little tentacles.
This tide pool was packed with life–baby mussels, limpets, snails, and anemones! Still no crabs in sight, though…
This one was actually feeding, rather than tucked in like many of the others I saw.
We found this poor little crab tipped on his back and unable to flip himself over. (Or herself, I forgot to check its gender.) Papa got pinched, but we did manage to rescue the crab and move him to a tide pool where he could wait happily for the tide to come in.
Since the tide was coming in, we started heading back. I found this seat, a few others like it, along the path–I don’t know who installed them, but they have a lovely view… I imagine in non-windy, warm days they’d be great place to read a book or just enjoy nature’s beauty.
At one point along the path, there’s an inlet that comes in, getting skinnier and skinnier until it’s this thin opening that runs under the path…
To this hole. Which is fenced off on all sides, because it’s deep.
Very deep. I’d say a good fifteen feet at least. When the tide’s in, the hole fills partly with water, and Papa says that as the tide’s coming in, he’s seen sea foam in this hole so deep that if he stood at the bottom and I stood on his shoulders, my head might just be above the foam. Unfortunately it was low tide while we were there, so I didn’t see it myself, but I imagine it must be quite a sight!
Papa says this is a species of heather… I’m not sure but we’ll go for that with now until a botanist tells me otherwise! At any rate, it was one of the few green things growing in patches in the rocky area; definitely a salt-resistant plant of some sort. Papa told me that if you take a small patch of it, spread honey underneath it, and place it on a rock, it will grow. I don’t know how the honey helps (perhaps the sugars feed it?), but pretty cool all the same! We left them in peace, of course. Only thing I walked away with was pictures (over two hundred of them, in fact.)
This is near the entrance… I loved how this bay is shaped like a bird, or an angel. You can see dark storm clouds gathering–we beat the rain to the car, thankfully!
If you’re ever in County Clare, the Bridges of Ross is a wonderful place to spend a morning or an afternoon. Low tide is the best, as you can wander around looking in tide pools, though I’m sure it’s gorgeous at high tide as well (and if you’re there when the tide’s coming in, you can see if there’s sea foam in the giant hole. Just don’t fall in!)