On a day like this, I head for the hills

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of frosty grass
frosty grasses, Kippure

Cold frosty morning. Clear sky. It doesn’t happen too often at this time of year so, when it does, we seize the day!

Kippure, the highest mountain in Dublin and Wicklow (the county border runs through the summit) – a wonderful place to be on a day like this and, if you still have a car, it’s not a difficult place to reach.

I’m on the lookout for the Red Deer herd. They roam these mountains, far from the madding crowd, they could be over the next shoulder.

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Kippure in the frost

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Kippure mountain, Co. Wicklow

They’re not here today. They’re a strange group, this particular herd. They started out as Red Deer but they’ve intermixed with the Japanese Sika Deer from lower down the hills.  It used to be that the Sika lived in small family groups in the woods while the Reds frequented the high mountains in a herd.  Nowadays, it’s more complicated. Some of them might look like Sika but they live with the herd up here so they must be ‘red at heart’.  Hyb-Reds !

No luck today – but see below – here’s a photo I took earlier.  That was the summer of 2017.  Isn’t it nice to know that the seasons change, though.  When Winter comes, can Spring be far behind.

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of red deer on Kippure mountain, Co. Wicklow

Yes, I know, it’s way too early to be talking of Spring but, when we get one of those rare bright mornings, it just seems so near.  A new dawn.  Don’t worry – I’m not going to mention those “New Year Resolutions” that people are supposed to have made… I try not to think about it, up here in the heather.

And I shall have some peace here. Joy even!  What is it about the mountains that inspires such feelings?  I’d love to hear your views.


Irish Wildlife Trust






  1. Beautiful Eoin. This just makes me want to jump in the car, drive up to Holyhead, Cross the Irish Sea on the ferry, alight at Dublin Port and whizz down to Kippure to see this wonderful sight. I’m coming home in February so I might just make that journey to the hills with my camera to see if I can capture some of that beauty. Keep it up old pal.

    Liked by 1 person

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