A path, laiden with remnants of bygone autumn, graciously invites visitors to pass along a carpet of Spring greenery as ivy-laced sentinels stand guard in Coole Park, County Galway, Ireland.
Once the estate of Lady Augusta Gregory, the 20th Century dramatist and folklorist, Coole Park served as inspiration for such Irish literary greats as Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge and Sean O’Casey — all regular guests at Coole House.
This image appears in my book, Mystical Moods of Ireland, Vol. IV: In the Footsteps of W. B. Yeats at Coole Park and Ballylee.
A stroll in these woods clearly allows one to connect with the foundational energy of nature… the ethereal vibration that transcends the modern mutiny aboard the good ship, Peaceful Life.
Thankfully, pockets of tranquility still hold tight in some corners of this estate, now billed as a nature reserve.
Unfortunately, large swaths of Lady Gregory’s and Yeats’ precious “Seven Woods” have fallen victim to a “reforestation” project which has resulted in clear-cutting enormous swaths of the woodlands.
Perhaps in 20 years, the effects of this project will be less ghastly.
To preserve the memory of the glory days of this woodland, I won’t be posting any photos of the savage deforestation…
I prefer to highlight the beauty that survives, but if you do visit, be prepared for a shock.
If you enjoy seeing the enchanting scenery of Ireland that inspired W. B. Yeats, you’ll enjoy this book with images capturing the natural beauty of two of Yeats’ favorite places — Coole Park and Ballylee in County Galway: