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miles. Why it should have spread here
where they are still less likely to be seen, | ible upon every scratched stone and cragthough any one who will take the trouble rounded hillside within an area of sixty of clambering up in search of them will find that few things are more beautiful in their way than these little desolate tarns, set about with huge rocks, yet so clear that every modulation of the skies may be seen reflected on their surface. Most striking of these, perhaps, are the socalled "corries" -bowl-shaped hollows, usually flat-bottomed, and cut out of the solid rock. Often a whole series of these may be seen lying parallel to one another upon the vertical sides of precipices; the effect from below being very much as if so many mouthfuls had been bitten out of the cliff. Some of these corries contain water; others again are dry. When full they are usually partly formed of drift, which, accumulating at the mouth of the hollow, hinders the water from escaping. As to their origin, geologists differ not a little, some maintaining that they are due to direct ice action, and chiefly for the following reasons: first, that they differ entirely from hollows made by any other agencies; secondly, that nothing in the least resembling them is now being formed by the sea; and, thirdly, that they cannot possibly be due to the ordinary meteoric agents- rain, snow, wind, running water, etc. since these very agents are at present busily engaged in smoothing them away. Others, equally entitled to our confidence, maintain, first, that 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 have 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 appearance very similar to these hill corries, such as we now see them; and thirdly, that the original cause, or at any rate the chief agent, must have been, not ice, but faults and dislocations in the rock, aided subsequently by glacial or marine action. Where experts differ to such an extent, how, it may be asked, is the humble inquirer to steer his modest course?
But we are not dependent upon rock corries for our evidence of ice action in this neighborhood; we meet it in ten thousand different forms. In fact there is probably no district in Great Britain where its sign-manual has been written in plainer or more legible characters. In this respect our Bennabeola range is of special interest, as from it, rather than from either of the neighboring and rival ranges, is held to have spread that great ice-sheet whose effects are so plainly vis
though less high, these Bennabeolas form
G. H. Kinahan, M.R.I.A., and Rev. Maxwell H.
Glaciation of Tar-Connaught and its Neighborhood.
Meanwhile we must not expend the whole of the time at our disposal upon one mountain summit, but must hasten away to other though not perhaps necessarily more attractive scenes.
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 only perpetually snow-clad region with which most of us have any practical acquaintance. Now nothing can be more misleading. In Switzerland the glaciers 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 mulglacier 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 stream-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 henregion 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, wit land 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 life, 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 obknown what it is to be smothered up instruction. No one can wander much over ice and snow; ice which in this instance 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, were. Several facts point to this conclu- perhaps, and in one direction only, a cotsion. 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 seen ficient to enable them to transport the peering disconsolately over the little hills. enormous blocks with which we find their course encumbered; added to which the channels themselves are often much larger than are at present needed, and in some instances, as along the course of the Erriff River, are being actually now filled up with bog. Indeed, when we remember how lately the whole of this district was one great forest, traces-melancholy traces - of which are to be seen in every direction; when we come upon stumps of oak high up upon the bleak hillsides, where now nothing taller than the bilberry or the bog myrtle grows; when, on the other hand, pushing out from the shore, we look over our boat-side and see the big "corkers" rising up out of the marl and sand in which their roots lie buried seeing all this, and remembering how invariably the destruction of forests is followed by a diminution of rainfall, it is not difficult to believe that, numerous as are these streams and rivers now, they were once more numerous, and certainly very much larger than they are at present.
As for trees, often for long distances the stunted, much-enduring thorn-bushes are the only representatives of these to be seen; then a corner is turned, and suddenly, out of the wild, melancholy moor, the stream rushes all at once into a tiny glen or valley green with brushwood, and gay with osmunda and bell heather and half-submerged willow-herbs—a genuine scrap of the old forest, where the gnarled oak stumps have sent up young shoots, and where the birch and willow and mountain ash dip downward so as almost to touch the water; then another turn, and the glen is left behind, and we are out once more in the open moor. No better way of getting to know this country can be devised than by following the vagrant course of one of these streams from its source to its finish, though it must be owned that the walking is far from invariably delightful. Where footpaths, with stiles or holes in the walls, have been left for the benefit of fishermen, there matters, of course, are simplified; this, however, 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 predisdrift, whose sides are thickly strewn with position to fall upon his toes. When the omnipresent granite boulders which there are bridges, which is seldom, they there form such a prominent feature in usually consist 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. 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 elsewhere filched. These little fertile plots are taken advantage of, and respectable crops of oats and potatoes grown right up to the brink of the water, which is only too apt to overflow and destroy them when a freshet comes down from the hills. Here too, for the same reason, grow the loosestrifes and meadow-sweets, not scattered as elsewhere, but in a dense, variegated jungle, which is repeated, leaf for leaf and petal for petal, in the smooth, brown currents below. Nowadays the region is but a very thinly populated one. Looking around us, we see in every direction rows upon rows of granite boul
practically useless; he is forced, therefore, to find out his own crossing, choosing between stumping bodily through the stream, or picking his steps along the slimy tops of the stones, where the water rushes and races under his feet at the rate of some forty miles an hour, or slips by in those long, oily curves which always seem to draw our eyes down to them whether we will or no. Nor is this the only or even the chief part of his difficulties. What with crossing and re-crossing the stream; now skirting along where the projecting rocks nearly push him into the water; now out again into the open, clambering 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- non 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 his fair share, of walking by the time he again reaches home. In wild weather, when the wind is from the Atlantic, gales blow straight up these glens, cutting the tops off the small waves as they come careering over the stones, and apparently doing their best to drive the water upstream again. A salmon leap is a fine sight on such a day as that. The water, no longer a series of insignificant trickles, comes down in a broad yellow gush, sending out great flakes of foam before it, to be carried back by the wind and lodged in creamy clots upon the trees and upon every scrap of herbage within reach. On such days, the whole glen above the fall may often be seen through a sheet of finely divided spray, caught from the fall and flung.backwards by the wind. Standing above the leap, and looking down, we may see the big salmon and white trout crowding in the pool below us, their heads held well up-stream, despite the tug of the current in the opposite direction. Now and then one detaches himself from the rest, leaps upward, quivers a moment in mid-air, and then, in nine cases out of ten, falls headlong down into the pool again. The height to which both salmon and white trout will spring on these falls is astonishing, a leap of eight and ten feet being by no means unusual; and, however often defeated, after a few moments' rest the same salmon may be seen returning again and again to the assault. When thus intent upon business the fish seem to lose all their natural shyness, as if every faculty was for the moment concentrated wholly in the effort to reach the upper waters. Leaning over the rocks alongside of the salmon leap, we may stoop so as to actually touch with a stick the smooth, brown backs so temptingly near at hand, and we shall find that they take little or no notice, merely moving to one side, without for a moment relaxing in their efforts to reach the top-a trait which unfortunately has the effect of making them fall only too easy a prey to the local poacher. No art of any sort is required to spear a salmon when, spent and exhausted, it reaches the top of its
Throughout the whole of this part of Iar-Connaught the presence of the granite largely influences the character of the landscape. Where limestone predominates we usually get peculiarly transparent effects, delicate aërial greys and blues everywhere prevailing. On the other hand, limestone is cold, and even when weathered the rocks seldom present any particular beauty of detail. Granite, on the contrary, lends itself peculiarly to richness of coloring, no foreground being so rich as a foreground of granite rocks. Here, too, the granite has an especial beauty of its own, from the presence of large pink or violet crystals of feldspar, which in weathered places frequently stand out in bold relief, as though handfuls of pale amethysts had been sprinkled loosely over the surface. Lichens, too, of a peculiar brilliancy and beauty cling to the granite, so that whatever else is wanting to the picture we may always count upon a foreground of ever-varying beauty and interest. A few of these boulders might nevertheless be spared with advantage! The multitude strewn broadcast over the whole face of the country here is almost past belief, and increases perceptibly as we approach the sea - here cropping up in the middle of a potato-patch there built into the sides of a cabin now raised on stalks showing the amount of wear and tear which has gone on since they took their place now sunk deep in the ground with only a corner appearing above the brown turf mould. Many show signs of having fallen from a height, lying broken as they fell, not flung about in fragments, but seamed through and through with a single crack, which has been further prized open by small stones falling in at the top and gradually working their way to the bottom; others again stand perched high overhead, or balanced upon the very brink of a cliff, as though ready to be launched upon some aërial voyage. Foreign rocks, quartzes, sandstones, and mica schists, coming from the other side of the country, mingle occasionally with the granite, all contrasting strongly, in their rough-hewn 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 yesterday.
Now that we are approaching the coast we find that our stream widens. Strengthened by a couple of contributions, it has swollen well-nigh to the proportions of a river. No longer champing and churning, fretting against every stone in its bed, it rolls silently, conscious that at last it is nearing its destiny. Now fast and fleet, but with hardly a sound, it swirls along under the tottering banks, raking out the loose stones and water-weeds; now widening into a mimic lake, and then again narrowing as it rushes between two steeply overhanging rocks. The last corner is turned. The grey hills of Clare rise over the parapet of the little bridge; between them and us flash the waters of the bay, with perhaps a solitary "pookhaun or "hooker" working upon their way to Galway; under the bridge darts the stream, and with a flash and a ripple, and a quick noisy rattle over the stones, it has taken its last leap, and flung itself rejoicing into the arms of the sea.
learn to appreciate trees for the future! Still on and on, and on, mile after mile, over a treeless, almost featureless tract, abounding in stones and abounding in very little else. A police barrack, green with ivy, up which some dog-roses are creeping, is greeted with enthusiasm. So, too, are a couple of villas, through whose gates we catch a pleasant vista of haycocks, and children playing, with the rocks and the tumbled surf beyond. Turning away from this somewhat lamentable foreground, we fix our eyes upon the range of terraced hills which stretch beyond the bay, and further yet again to where a line worn by distance to a mere thread - shows where the far-famed cliffs of Moher lift their six hundred feet of rock above the sea. Westward again, the three isles of Aran stream across the horizon, so low and grey as hardly to be visible, save where the surf catches against their rock-girt sides; yet, looking intently, we can, even at this distance, distinguish the huge outline of Dun Connor, 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 presevery tide. 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 generally is only at the dead low tide. As we advance we find ourselves passing over an endless succession of low drift-hills with intervening valleys choked with boulders, the road keeping steadily west, the country growing wilder and wilder with every mile. At Barna a small grove of trees is passed, with grass and ferns growing rich and rank beneath their shadow. The trees themselves are nothing very particular, -a few moderatesized oaks, with ash, and a sprinkling of sycamores, and elsewhere doubtless pass them without a glance; here, however, we turn to look at them again and again with an interest quite pathetic, sighing regret fully as we pass out into the grey desolate
short by the discovery that our road ends abruptly, all further advance in this direction being hopelessly at an end. We have in fact arrived at a regular cul-de-sac -one of the many to be found in IarConnaught. Only one road of any kind extends beyond this point, and that merely lands us at a fishing-lodge some three miles or so further on. To reach the mountains which we see so distinctly before us, we must either retrace our steps to Spidal, and so round by Oughterard, a distance of over forty miles, or else take to the moors, and try to make our own way across country, an attempt which would probably result in our having to crave hospitality for the night at some cabin door, the chances of reaching any