Ireland

Posted by Ellen

"I went hiking one morning at about 5 am and found this boat," Ted told his Facebook buds, referring to a morning last month when he was in Dingle, a town on the far southwestern coast of Ireland.

"I wanted to sneak it out for a ride soooo much," Ted continued. "But somehow, I managed to refrain from stealing the boat. Sadly."

That was the short story. Recently, we learned the long story–which is really only a little bit longer–during a recent conversation with our traveler, now home again in Tedland, West Virginia.

Of course he wasn't going to steal the boat; the idea was just to borrow it. And it wasn't locked. It was just tied up with so many ropes, so many knots, big knots, tight knots, and it was five in the morning, way too early to be fussing with lots and lots of tightly tied knots.

In other words, sadly, Ted was too lazy (hungover?) to take the boat. So he kept on walking.

Posted by Ellen

The contraflutes of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway, in the west of Ireland. The three flautists in the front row are holding contrabass flutes tuned in C; behind them are two sub contrabass flutes in G.

There is also a double contrabass flute, which is capable of playing the lowest C on a piano. Its tone sounds even lower, we're told, because flutes have fewer harmonic vibrations than stringed instruments.

To hear a little contrabass fluting and see how the dang things are held and played, try this.

Posted by Ellen

"Highland Cattle," by Scotch-Irish painter Alfred Grey, 1887.