A very warm welcome to The Shaking Bog's new Blog and Website.
We’re hoping that this blog will be an ever-flowing (if we can manage it..) but informal river of news, reflections and, of course, updates on everything related to the Shaking Bog and the wider world of art and nature.
Here in the valley of the Shaking Bog in County Wicklow - a beautiful area and vibrant community that stretches along the Dargle and Glencree rivers from the village of Enniskerry up to the remoter reaches of Glencree - summer is in full bloom and everyone feeling a little better about everything.
Down in the village of Enniskerry, young hearts are all a-flutter with excitement at the recent filming of a new Disney film Disenchanted with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey in the central roles. The production designers have literally transformed the village into a sort of fairy-tale world (although we feel Enniskerry always has its own sort of enchantment about it) and the visitors are flooding in. It is a wash of magic and colour and streams of visitors are wandering around taking photos and soaking it all in. There’s been a carnival air to the village in recent weeks and all the better for it. Any residual cynicism about this potential invasion by Hollywood has been washed away by the sheer joy of it and delight in the spectacle of it all.
Further up the valley, things are a little quieter but - if you pause and listen carefully - you’ll hear the constant hum and the busy buzz of summer life. At the Shaking Bog, we’ve been busy too, putting the finishing touch to our summer podcast and the upcoming festival on September 10th, 11th & 12th.
For the summer podcast, festival director and podcast presenter Catherine Nunes emerged from lockdown and took her microphone West to walk with the poet and nature writer Seán Lysaght in Wild Nephin (the subject of his wonderful new book) and traditional basket maker and artist Joe Hogan on the banks of Loch Fooey.
The opening lines of Seán’s talismanic poem Merlin at Tarsaghaunmore capture something of the magic of that western landscape:
This is where the wizard lives,
still being realised
to cleave a range over the heathering of a morning,
a surprise out of the mist.
There are also inspiring contributions from poet Elaine Feeney (congratulations on the continuing success of her new novel As You Were), the extraordinary piper Ronan Browne and the true water-baby Easkey Britton whose new book Saltwater in the Blood is published on September 14th.