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Fairy Tree by Barry Hendrickson

Finding Fairy Trees

These lone hawthorn trees sprinkled throughout the Irish countryside are thought to be a sacred home for fairies. While we were traveling on the West side of Ireland, we kept finding these lone fairy trees. We were drawn to them.   What we learned that trees were worshipped in Ireland for centuries and most were believed to have magical or healing properties. For example Fairy trees, typically a Hawthorne, are found all over the countryside. Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. Stories are told that these trees are a favorite gathering place for fairies. Irish beliefs say never to disturb the home of the fairies or it will bring you bad luck.   When we Irish look at our history, our literature and...

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Burren by Barry Hendrickson photography

The Burren

Western Ireland's Limestone Landscape   Giant boulders are tumbled upon this bizarre, lunar-like landscape. Billowing clouds blow over the North Atlantic Ocean, this is the west coast of Ireland.   While we were traveling in County Clare, Barry captured this panorama with the ocean beyond. This place is called the “Burren” which comes from the Gaelic word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. A fitting name for so much stone. The bare exposed rocky land really was cool to see for me, because of how different it is from ‘the green’ I had expected to see in Ireland.   The Burren covers an area of 160 square km, in north County Clare and parts of south County Galway. This unusual landscape, which includes the Cliffs of Moher,...

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Claddagh by Barry Hendrickson photo

Claddagh, an Irish Icon

  Claddagh County Galway, Ireland Barry Thomas Hendrickson, © Hendrickson Fine Art Photography   I learned about the Claddagh ring from my mother. It is a long lasting Irish symbol of love and faithfulness. The heart stands for love, the hands for friendship and the crown for loyalty.  My mother gave a Claddagh ring to each of her three daughters. So, I happily received my own Claddagh ring a few decades ago. I later learned that the ring is often used as a wedding ring, and how it is worn has meaning too. If the heart points inwards, you are spoken for, or when the heart is points away are open to a new love.   While Barry and I were visiting Galway City, we stumbled across...

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Ruins in the Valley, County Wicklow by Barry Hendrickson

Wandering the Wicklow Mountains

The Wicklow Mountains are not that far south of the city of Dublin. In the past centuries, these mountains were remote enough to have provide a refuge for opponents to the English rule. Rebels that took part in the 1798 Irish uprising, hid out in this region for years.   In 1800, the frustrated British started building a military road. This road was devised to help flush out the rebels, and in the end has only made this area more accessible. Currently, this winding road makes for a spectacular drive with many views of breathtaking scenery.    While wandering though the Wicklow Mountains, Barry and I discovered these ruins. One can only imagine what this structure was used for in the past. Barry...

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Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland by Barry Thomas Hendrickson

Stone, Texture & Ancient History

Bring it on! This photograph ties all of these elements -- stone, texture and history -- together.  These carved Romanesque arches are believed to be from the 12th century. Barry and I found them in Cormac’s Chapel, one of the older structures atop the Rock of Cashel. I just love how the black and white medium shows off the texture and composition. A common theme woven among our photos.   We were traveling from Dublin to Kinsale, when we saw this giant stone arising out of the Tipperary plains. Hard to miss and super cool was the Rock of Cashel (Caiseal Mumhan in Gaelic). This ancient site was a symbol of power for Kings who ruled over this region for over a...

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St Benens Church Hendrickson Fine Art Photo

Desert in the Sea

It is an adventure to journey to the Aran Islands. These rugged islands are found in Western Ireland, in County Galway. Having heard stories of these islands, Barry and I couldn’t wait to visit. We took the ferry from Rossaveal to visit Inishmore, the largest of the three islands. We were prepared to leave our car behind. When exploring this island sprinkled with ancient stone sites, it is necessary to bike, hike or take a pony and trap. Our trip on Inishmore was in October, often a cold and windy time of year. But we had lots of sun, glorious sun. Barry however, was frustrated by photographing in all of that super bright sun. It was reflecting off the limestone...

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Stone Fence fine art photo

Stone Fence

Stone Fence, Weaving their way across Ireland. Visiting Ireland for the first time, or third or the tenth time…. it is easy to notice the miles of stone fences that criss-cross over the countryside. My husband Barry and I saw many of them when traveling in County Galway in western Ireland. ...

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"No Irish Need Apply" by Hendrickson Fine Art Photography 2019

No Irish Need Apply

No Irish Need Apply - How Soon We Forget. I usually like to spend a great amount of time working on an image before revealing it. However, I feel compelled by recent events to show the photograph here in its preliminary stage. Tacked to the wall of a pub is a sign, surrounded by currency from all parts of the world. It states “Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply.” My ancestors were Irish immigrants....

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What is it about Ireland?

Have you ever heard about a place, a country, a land for years? Something that sounds so wonderful, the anticipation to travel there is so great? That place for me has been Ireland. Ever since I can remember the fact that I was Irish was a good thing, a special source of pride. My mom’s side of the family is very passionate about their Irish heritage. This love of Ireland shows up around holidays, family gatherings, wedding and funerals. Traditional Irish songs, and wearing of the green are common and expected. St Patrick’s Day is a reason to take off work and get together with our very large clan of relatives.   I am asked when I am showing my fine art photos,...

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The Ebbs and Flows

The Rosses (In Irish: Na Rosa) County Donegal, Ireland   The inlets from the sea are fascinating for me. You see I am from Minnesota, a land locked region situated in center of the United States. We have plenty of water, thousands of lakes and also some rivers. But we don’t have the sea. So no, we don’t have tides. High tides, low tides, none of that. So visiting Ireland, a country encircled with sea was an amazing visual treat.   When Barry and I were traveling in Ireland, we loved taking all of the roads that outlined the coast. This day's journey lead us into the northwestern region of County Donegal. Suddenly we came upon a boat just siting there, alone in this...

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