Another halcyon day in lovely Listowel.
We spent the day at Olive's house. Now you've heard me describe Listowel as a magical place. But until yesterday, I had no idea how TRULY magical it is for the people who live here. Olive lives out in the country, where tree stands border waving fields, butterflies congregate in flying parties of color, and a certain dog named Holly keeps every living creature under control and off her land.
If there was a Disney princess who was an artist, then Olive is the princess and her home is the enchanted castle! Filled with art and beauty, surrounded by her incredible garden and flowers, with a gorgeous, sun-filled studio right outside the back door. We painted for hours outside in the sunshine, lost in the peace and beauty of it all.
There were brave young folks on the beach below the cliffs, some jumping off rocks into the chilly waters as gulls screeched and soared above .
We spent the late afternoon back on the cliffs of Ballybunion, where we spent our very first day a month ago. While Olive sketched the soaring cliffs and Diane painted the shadows and light, I had a lovely photo session with some local cows. They offered to be my life models for some sketching, and posed for nearly 30 minutes, calmly watching me watching them, my pencil scratching on paper in time with their gentle chewing. Needless to say, I had chicken for dinner. :)
At 7:30, just as the sun dropped behind the horizon and the light began to fade, starlings gathered at the cliff's edge, swirling and dancing in the sky. The flock grew and grew, thousands appearing from all reaches of the horizon, then they dropped into the Nine Daughters' Hole, the sound of their wings filling our ears before they disappeared from sight. Read more about this natural wonder here: Nine Daughters' Hole.