The pre dawn fog was heavy as I arrived in Glendalough. The long grass crunched underfoot as I disturbed the ground frost that had formed overnight.
The Round Tower loomed ominously overhead as the dense fog engulfed the Monastic settlement. The air was sharp and icy and there was an eerie stillness as I made my way through the Medieval Cemetery to the river crossing. The early morning mist swirled around the ancient headstones as I meandered a path through the graveyard. I couldn’t help but think that the setting would have done justice to an epic Hollywood Horror Film and I quickly erased such graphic images from my mind.
The first glow of sunrise broke through the clouds as I set up my tripod in the swampy marsh. The cobwebs were thick with frost and the mist worked its way quickly through the valley. The clouds moved swiftly across the sky and the sun painted the landscape with the speed and skill of an artists brush. A shaft of golden light briefly lit the cobwebs and the warm rays cast their long shadows across Camenderry Mountain. Moments later the spectacular light was masked by ominous clouds but I had moved quickly and captured the dramatic scene before it was lost forever.
I started the long hike up the nearby mountain, greedy for a bonus shot. As I walked across the Spink a Sika Deer broke cover and bounded effortlessly across the rugged terrain. I tracked it with my camera and framed its silhouette against the golden bracken on the Derrybawn mountain side. Seconds later he was gone.
I sat in awe at the beauty of Glendalough at sunrise. Most sane people were still in bed as I soaked up the atmosphere of this special place. I thought of Kevin, the saint, and his holy Monks and the history contained in the silent valley beneath my lofty perch. They had walked the very ground I thread on centuries before. They too would have marvelled at the majestic panorama that lay beneath my gaze. Bird song, autumn colours, a gently breeze. A heavenly scene!
The spell was broken by the sound of early morning hikers trudging their way along the mountain path. Breakfast beckoned at the Wicklow Heather and then home, with eager anticipation, to examine the fruits of my 5 am start.