Photo taken in Ireland, summer 2008.
Wildflowers on the Burren
Life which creeps, crawls, nestles down hostile
gap, stretches roots, fused deep in cracks
where it holds fast though wind, and
bursts forth a petal-ed cry
on limestone canvas
up above, to
The Burren is a huge limestone bulge rising above the pastoral green fields of County Clare. The word burren is derived from the Gaelic bhoireann meaning a 'barren stony place', and it has often been described as a limestone desert. But in point of fact, while appearing bare and lifeless from a distance, it is a locality that is unbelievably productive and rich in flora. The ice ages forced arctic and alpine plants far southward where they reached this area and have remained, while the warm waters of the Gulf Stream flowing up the west coast of Ireland encouraged the growth of more southerly Mediterranean plants, so that this is the only place in Europe where many of these species exist side by side.
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