Hiking the Burren

field of flowers

Burren pasture brimming with cowslips and early purple orchids.

Wednesday was devoted entirely to walking and experiencing the Burren up close. After stopping at the Corofin visitor centre for directions and a map I headed, to the best of my ability, the way they pointed me. Before too long I was at the trailhead and hiked along the “orange” trail, through what looked like a vast pasture. Little did I know how much that would change!
Immediately, I noticed groupings of yellow cowslips, primroses, and the hybrid false oxslips. Scattered on a hillside were dozens of early purple orchids. Further down the trail it turned into lush green, shaded woodland where ferns, sorel, and a couple of lesser twayback orchids stood side by side. Apparently, this part of the burren was visited by J.R.R. Tolkein before he wrote the “Hobbit”. I can certainly see why! On the way back to the trailhead I spotted more tiny spring gentians.
Later in the day, along a small gravel road loop leading to the working farm located in the Burren, I spotted a solitary bloody cranesbill, its one brilliant red flower looking up at me. It was gorgeous against all the brown shubbery and rock.

bloody cranesbill

Solitary Bloody Cranesbill blooming along the road to the Holy Well.

cowslip

Cowslips are abundant.

twayblde

A lesser twayback orchid, found in the woodland area on the “orange” trail.

 

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