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where they are still less likely to be seen, | ible upon every scratched stone and crag. though any one who will take the trouble rounded hillside within an area of sixty of clambering up in search of them will miles. Why it siould have spread here find that few things are more beautiful in is, however, at first by no means obvious. their way than these little desolate tarns, On the contrary, it would at first sight set about with huge rocks, yet so clear seem more likely that from the higher and that every modulation of the skies may be on the whole bulkier mass of Mweelrea seen reflected on their surface. Most and its brother peaks would have come striking of these, perhaps, are the so- that impetus which has thus stamped it. called “ corries" bowl-shaped hollows, seif upon all the country round. But no usually flat-bottomed, and cut out of the they have been swept across by ice solid rock. Often a whole series of these coming from this direction. This has may be seen lying parallel to one another been very well and clearly shown in an upon the vertical sides of precipices; the admirable little memoir on the subject effect from below being very much as if published some years since by Messrs. so many mouthfuls had been bitten out of Close and Kinahan.* " The ice stream,” the cliff. Some of these corries contain say these authors, “has passed on and water; others again are dry. When full moved, not only against Croagh Patrick, they are usually partly formed of drift, but farther northward against the range which, accumulating at the mouth of the of the Erris and Tyrawley mountains. hollow, hinders the water from escaping. Although partly forced out of its way by As to their origin, geologists differ not a them, it has nevertheless streamed across little, some maintaining that they are due them — certainly through their passes, to direct ice action, and chiefly for the e.g. that of Coolnabinnia on the west side following reasons: first, that they differ of Nephin (as shown by the striations on entirely from hollows made by any other the summit of Tristia, nearly eleven hunagencies; secondly, that nothing in the dred feet above the sea), that of Lough least resembling them is now being Feeagh (witness the striations on the side formed by the sea; and, thirdly, that they of Buckoogh at twelve hundred feet), and cannot possibly be due to the ordinary that of Ballacragher Bay near Molranny meteoric agents - rain, snow, wind, run-|(as evidenced by the striations in Corraun ning water, etc. — since these very agents Achill on the north-west side of Clew are at present busily engaged in smooth. Bay); in all these cases the movement of ing them away. Others, equally entitled the red-sandstone blocks corroborates the to our confidence, maintain, first, that evidence of the striations.” other agents besides ice are perfectly As to the further question of why this capable of making similar hollows; sec- and not the Mweelrea range should liave ondly, that the sea is at this very moment been selected for the honor of being the engaged in scooping out small coves and local “birthplace of glaciers,” that is becooses, which, if raised in a general eleva- lieved to be due, partly to the fact that, tion of the land, would in time present an though less high, these Bennabeolas form appearance very similar to these bill cor. on the whole a more compact mass than ries, such as we now see them; and the Mayo group; but still more to the cirthirdly, that the original cause, or at any cumstance of the latter having been rate the chief agent, must have been, not robbed of their full share of snow by the ice, but faults and dislocations in the rock, former, which, stretching further to the aided subsequently by glacial or marine south-west, then as now were the first to action. Where experts differ to such an intercept the moisture-laden winds of the extent, how, it may be asked, is the hum. Atlantic. Instead, however, of curdling ble inquirer to steer his modest course ? into cloud and discharging themselves in:
But we are not dependent upon rock sheets of rain as they do at present, their corries for our evidence of ice action in burden was then flung down in the form this neighborhood; we meet it in ten of snow, which, bardening and consolithousand different forms. In fact there dating into ice, rapidly accumulated in the is probably no district in Great Britaina valleys, heaped itself up over every billo where its sign-manual has been written in side, in many instances burying the very plainer or more legible characters. In summits theinselves under what was prać. ibis respect our Bennabeola range is of tically a huge superimposed mountain of special interest, as from it, rather than solid'ice. from either of the neighboring and rival ranges, is held to have spread that great G. H. Kinahan, M.R.I.A., and Rev. Alaxwell H.
* Glaciation of lar-Connaught and its Neighborhood. ice-sheet whose effects are so plainly vis. Close.
Though often spoken of as a glacier, must have risen high above their heads, this, it must always be remembered, is as its handiwork can be seen written not what in Switzerland and elsewhere is upon the crags at the summit; though understood by a glacier at all. In pictur- how many feet or hundreds of feet higher, ing to ourselves the state of things which it would doubtless puzzle even the best must once have existed in these islands, and most experienced of geologists to we are too apt to draw all our ideas and decide. illustrations from these Swiss Alps - the Meanwhile we must not expend the only perpetually snow-clad region with whole of the time at our disposal upon which most of us have any practical ac-one mountain summit, but must hasten quaintance. Now nothing can be more away to other though not perhaps neces. misleading. In Switzerland the glaciers sarily more attractive scenes. only exist down to a certain well-defined I just now said that Iar-Connaught was line, where, being met by the warm air of a land of lakes; but, if so, it is even more the valleys, they pass away in the milky emphatically a land of streams. Go where torrents, familiar to any one who has we will, our ears are filled with the noise stood, for instance, beside the Rhone, of running water. Streams drop upon us and seen it pour its white volumes into from the rocks, dash across the road unthe Lake of Geneva, where, leaving be- der our feet, and appear unexpectedly in bind it all the heavier and more insoluble all directions. Many, too, of the lakes part of its burden, it issues gaily upon the are united to one another by streams further side, the bluest of blue rivers strung together, as it were, upon a thin, leaping to the sea. Here, however, a very silvery thread of water. Not many, cerdifferent order of things from this ex- tainly, of these streams attain to any very isted. The ice which has scraped and great volume, but what they lack in size planed these hillsides was not in fact a they more than make up for by their inul. glacier at all. No puny glacier, such as titude. Larger ones, such as the Erriff hills of this height could alone have given and Joyce's River, are fed by an infinite birth to, would ever have reached a tithe number of small rivulets, which come of the distance covered by this mighty racing down the hillsides from a thousand stream, one arm of which alone has been invisible sources, and after prolonged traced the whole way up the valley of rains the hills appear literally streaked Lough Mask, and out at Killala Bay, a with white, so closely do the torrents lie distance of over sixty miles; while how together. Where smaller streams find much further it went no human being of their own way to the sea, their course is course can tell, all further traces of it often impeded and almost obstructed by being henceforth hidden by the sea. To the mass of stones and detritus which find a region where ice is now really they have themselves brought down from moulding and fashioning the landscape, the hills. Walking up one of these as it once moulded and fashioned these streain-sides, one is often fairly astounded Galway valleys and hillsides, we must go, at the size and the number of these blocks. not to Switzerland or to any temperate Boulders, varying from the size of a hen. region at all, but to a very much less coop to that of a comfortable-sized cotcomfortable part of the world to Green- tage, strew the bed of the stream, witland and the icy shores of Baffin's Bay. nesses of a thousand forgotten storms. There, in the grim and gruesome regions in the wider portions these get often piled of the “central silence,” few, if any, of the up into small rocky islands, where sods phenomena familiar to us in Switzerland of peat lodge, and where the young birch are to be seen; no tall peaks rising out and mountain ash spring up safe from the of green, laughing valleys; no glaciers tooth of marauding sheep or goats. It is with their wrinkled ice-falls, their blue in the narrower portions, however, where crevices, and their brown moraines ; the stream has had to saw a channel for everything, save a few here and there of itself through the hard face of the rock, the highest summits, being hidden away that the boulders become jammed and under a huge, all-encompassing death- accumulate to such an extraordinary deshroud of snow and ice, from which all gree, often filling the narrow channel to lise, and nearly all movement, have van. the very brim, and obliging the water to ished. So, too, it must once have been escape, as best it can, in a series of small with our Twelve Pins, and with all the gushes and separate torrents, which meet region round about. They too have again in a tumultuous rush below the obkdown what it is to be smothered up in struction. No one can wander much over ice and snow; ice which in this instance I this district without coming to the con
clusion that these streams are very much ders lifting their grey sides out of the smaller most of them now than they once purple heather, while in one direction,
Several facts point to this conclu. perhaps, and in one direction only, a cot. sion. Even after the heaviest rains their tage, or a couple of cottages, scarcely present carrying power is certainly insuf- less grey and time-worn, may be scen ficient to enable them to transport the peering disconsolately over the little hills. enormous blocks with which we find their As for trees, often for long distances the course encumbered; added to which the stunted, much-enduring thorn-bushes are channels themselves are often much the only representatives of these to be larger than are at present needed, and in seen; then a corner is turned, and sudsome instances, as along the course of denly, out of the wild, melancholy moor, the Erriff River, are being actually now the stream rushes all at once into a tiny filled up with bog. Indeed, when we re- glen or valley green with brushwood, and member how lately the whole of this dis. gay with osmunda ard bell heather and trict was one great forest, traces - mel. half-submerged willow-herbs — a genuine ancholy traces of which are to be seen scrap of the old forest, where the gnarled in every direction; when we come upon oak stumps have sent up young shoots, stumps of oak high up upon the bleak and where the birch and willow and mounhillsides, where now nothing taller than tain ash dip downward so as almost to the bilberry or be bog myrtle grows; touch the water; then another turn, and when, on the other hand, pushing out the glen is left behind, and we are out from the shore, we look over our boat-side once more in the open moor. No better and see the big “corkers ”rising up out way of getting to know this country can of the marl and sand in which their roots be devised than by following the vagrant lie buried — seeing all this, and remen- course of one of these streams froin its bering how invariably the destruction of source to its finish, though it must be forests is followed by a diminution of owned that the walking is far froin invarainfall, it is not difficult to believe that, riably delightful. Where footpaths, with numerous as are these streams and rivers stiles or holes in the walls, have been left now, they were once more numerous, and for the benefit of fishermen, there matcertainly very much larger than they are ters, of course, are simplified; this, howat piesent.
ever, is quite the exception. Generally North of Galway Bay the country is the explorer has to make his own way comparatively flat, and there the rivers over the tottering, lacework walls, whose run chiefly between low ridges or hills of stones have a most uncomfortable predis. drift, whose sides are thickly strewn with position to fall upon bis toes. When the omnipresent granite boulders which there are bridges, which is seldom, they there form such prominent feature in usually consisť of a few logs, supported the landscape. Much of this district is and covered over with huge stones in a uninteresting and monotonous enough, primitive and Cyclopean fashion.
On yet even here the scenery along the river smaller streams the bridges are of loose edge is often full of interest and beauty. stones only, the central arch being flanked As often as the stream takes a bend, a right and left with lesser ones, so as to little triangular patch of intensely fertile allow the water in flood-time to escape. ground accumulates upon the convex side, More often still there are no bridges at where the river year by year has depos- all, or only at intervals so wide as to be ited a share of the spoil which it has else- practically useless; he is forced, therewhere filched. These little fertile plots fore, to find out his own crossing, choosare taken advantage of, and respectable ing between stumping bodily through the crops of oats and potatoes grown right stream, or picking his steps along the up to the brink of the water, which is slimy tops of the stones, where the water only too apt to overflow and destroy them rushes and races under his feet at the when a freshet comes down from the hills. rate of some forty miles an hour, or slips Here too, for the same reason, grow the by in those long, oily curves which always loosestrifes and meadow-sweets, not scat- seem to draw our eyes down to them tered as elsewhere, but in a dense, varie- whether we will or no. Nor is this the gated jungle, which is repeated, leaf for only or even the chief part of his difficulleaf and petal for petal, in the smooth, ties. What with crossing and re-crossing brown currents below. Nowadays the the stream; now skirting along where the region is but a very thinly populated one. projecting rocks nearly push him into the Looking around us, we see in every di. water; now out again into the open, clamrection rows upon rows of granite boulI bering over huge boulders crouched like
petrified dragons or mammoths in his climb. Armed with a gaff - one path; now picking his steps through temporized out of a scythe — the loafing squelching bog-holes, or, again, balancing "gossoon or village ne'er-do-weel may upon tussocks which give way under his pick and choose amongst a crowd of saltread -- what with all this, and the end. inon and white trout, and the silvery less climbing of walls, the explorer who scales which catch the eye here and there has conscientiously followed one of these amongst the wet grass are a proof only streams through all its windings and too convincing that he has not neglected doublings will find that he has about had his opportunities. his full share, and something more than Throughout the whole of this part of his fair share, of walking by the time he Iar-Connaught the presence of the granite again reaches home. In wild weather, largely influences the character of the when the wind is from the Atlantic, gales landscape. Where limestone predomiblow straight up these glens, cutting the nates we usually get peculiarly transparent tops off the small waves as they come effects, delicate aërial grey's and blues careering over the stones, and apparently everywhere prevailing on the other
On doing their best to drive the water up. hand, limestone is cold, and even when stream again. A salmon leap is a fine weathered the rocks seldom present any sight on such a day as that. The water, particular beauty of detail. Granite, on no longer a series of insignificant trickles, ihe contrary, lends itself peculiarly to comes down in a broad yellow gush, sendo richness of coloring, no foreground being ing out great flakes of foam before it, to so rich as a foreground of granite rocks. be carried back by the wind and lodged Here, too, the granite has an especial in creamy clots upon the trees and upon beauty of its own, from the presence of every scrap of herbage within reach. "On large pink or violet crystals of feldspar, such days, the whole glen above the fall which in weathered places frequently may often be seen through a sheet of stand out in bold relief, as though handfinely divided spray, caught from the fall fuls of pale amethysts had been sprinkled and fung. backwards by the wind. Stand- loosely over the surface. Lichens, too, ing above the leap, and looking down, we of a peculiar brilliancy and beauty cling may see the big salmon and white trout to the granite, so that whatever else is crowding in the pool below us, their heads wanting to the picture we may always held well up-stream, despite the tug of the count upon a foreground of ever-varying current in the opposite direction. Now beauty and interest. A few of these and then one detaches himself from the boulders might nevertheless be spared rest, leaps upward, quivers a moment in with advantage! The multitude strewn mid-air, and then, in nine cases out of broadcast over the whole face of the ten, falls headlong down into the pool country here is almost past belief, and again. The height to which both salmon increases perceptibly as we approach the and white trout will spring on these falls sea — here cropping up in the middle of a is astonishing, a leap of eight and ten feet potato-patch — there built into the sides being by no means unusual; and, however of a cabin - now raised on stalks showing often defeated, after a few moments' rest the amount of wear and tear which has the same salmon may be seen returning gone on since they took their place again and again to the assault. When now sunk deep in the ground with only a thus intent upon business the fishi seem corner appearing above the brown turf to lose all their natural shyness, as if mould. Many show signs of having fallen every faculty was for the moment concen. from a height, lying broken as they fell, trated wholly in the effort to reach the not Aung about in fragments, but seamed upper waters. Leaning over the rocks through and through with a single crack, alongside of the salmon leap, we may which has been further prized open by stoop so as to actually touch with a stick small stones falling in at the top and the smooth, brown backs so temptingly gradually working their way to the botnear at hand, and we shall find that they tom; others again stand perched high take little or no notice, merely moving to overhead, or balanced upon the very brink one side, without for a moment relaxing of a cliff, as though ready to be launched in their efforts to reach the top — a trait upon some aërial voyage. Foreign rocks, which unfortunately has the effect of quartzes, sandstones, and mica schists, making them fall only too easy a prey to coming from the other side of the country, the local poacher. No art of any sort is mingle occasionally with the granite, ali required to spear a salmon when, spent contrasting strongly, in their rough-hewn and exhausted, it reaches the top of its | masses, with the smooth, glacier-ground
rocks upon which they rest, and which moorland again. It were worth spending are as smooth and as polished still as if a few weeks in Iar-Connaught, if only to the great ice-plane had only left them learn to appreciate trees for the future ! yesterday.
Still on and on, and on, mile after mile, Now that we are approaching the coast over a treeless, almost featureless tract, we find that our stream widens. Strength- abounding in stones and abounding in ened by a couple of contributions, it has very little else. A police barrack, green swollen well-nigh to the proportions of a with ivy, up which some dog-roses are river. No longer champing and churn- creeping, is greeted with enthusiasm. ing, fretting against every stone in its So, too, are a couple of villas, through bed, it rolls silently, conscious that at last whose gates we catch a pleasant vista of it is nearing its destiny. Now fast and haycocks, and children playing, with the fleet, but with hardly á sound, it swirls rocks and the tumbled surf beyond. along under the toitering banks, raking Turning away from this somewhat laout the loose stones and water-weeds; mentable foreground, we fix our eyes upon now widening into a mimic lake, and then the range of terraced hills which stretch again narrowing as it rushies between two beyond the bay, and further yet again to steeply overhanging rocks. The last where a line worn by distance to a inere corner is turned. The grey hills of Clare thread — shows where the far-famed cliffs rise over the parapet of the little bridge; of: Moher lift their six hundred feet of between them and us flash the waters of rock above the sea. Westward again, the bay, with perhaps a solitary “pook- the three isles of Aran stream across the
or "hooker” working upon their horizon, so low and grey as hardly to be way to Galway; under the bridge darts visible, save where the surf catches the stream, and with a flash and a ripple, against their rock-girt sides; yet, looking and a quick noisy rattle over the stones, intently, we can, even at this distance, it has taken its last leap, and flung itself distinguish the huge outline of Dun Conrejoicing into the arms of the sea.
nor, the great rath which crowns the midFrom the hills we have wandered to the dle island, and whose watch-fires when rivers; from the rivers let us now glance lighted must have been visible along the for a few minutes along the shore. Leav- entire line of coast from the Mayo hills to ing Galway with its fringe of villas and of the mountains of Kerry. About Spidal bathing-houses behind us, the road runs the scenery begins to improve. Far in westward for many a mile, along a low the distance the Twelve Pins once more coast, varied only by an occasional ridge come into sight, long chains of lakes or “esker” of granite drift. The shore stretching northward to their very feet. itself mainly consists of loosely piled Near Tully the coast is broken up into boulders, alternating with small sandy small brown creeks, where turf is being bays; the most unprofitable of all shores, dug at low tide; islands dot themselves by the way, for the marine zoologist, about in the bay beyond; a substantialwhose game is apt to be uprooted with looking row of coastguard houses pres
Here and there, however, ently rises into sight, with chimneys long reefs project seaward, and these hospitably smoking; yet another halfbeing seamed with fissures are worth ex- mile, and we find ourselves brought up ploring when they can be reached, which short by the discovery that our road ends generally is only at the dead low tide. As abruptly, all further advance in this direcwe advance we find ourselves passing over tion being hopelessly at an end. We an endless succession of low drist-hills have in fact arrived at a regular cul-de-sac with intervening valleys choked with one of the many to be found in Iarboulders, the road keeping steadily west, Connaught. Only one road of any kind the country growing wilder and wilder extends beyond this point, and that with every mile. At Barna a small grove merely lands us at a fishing-lodge some of trees is passed, with grass and ferns three miles or so further on. To reach growing rich and rank beneath their the mountains which we see so distinctly shadow. The trees themselves are noth-before us, we must either retrace our steps ing very particular, - a few moderate. to Spidal, and so round by Oughterard, a sized oaks, with ash, and a sprinkling of distance of over forty miles, or else take sycamores, and elsewhere doubtless pass to the moors, and try to make our own thein without a glance; here, however, we way across country, an attempt which turn to look at them again and again with would probably result in our having to an interest quite pathetic, sighing regret crave hospitality for the night at some fully as we pass out into the grey desolate / cabin door, the chances of reaching any