I recently got the urge to go down to the Mournes with the camera. I’ve been photographing Northern Ireland landscapes now for a couple of years, but the Mournes is one area that’s reasonably close that I haven’t photographed a lot. Any time I’ve been down that direction the weather is poor. It can be sunny in Newcastle town but the Mournes often have big heavy clouds sitting right on top of them. I know mountains get more rain and precipitation than lowlands but it doesn’t help when you want to photograph them!
Anyway, I decided to take a chance and head down one Thursday afternoon, the weather the previous day was great but Thursday started off fairly dull. I arrived down at the car park near Trassey track around 3pm, a bit late I know considering it was only a few hours till sunset, but I wasn’t bothered about making it all the way to the top of Slieve Bearnagh. I should point out at this point that the last time I was in the Mournes was nearly a year and a half ago, when I decided to climb Slieve Donard from Newcastle with no food, a little water and very hard soled and uncomfortable boots. I made it to the top of Donard and got a few great photos but it was colder than I thought it would be at the top and I was starving before I’d made the summit! Not to mention that my feet were killing me on the way down again.
This time I was more prepared! I’d since bought proper hiking boots, I had warmer clothing and a waterproof jacket and plenty of food and water. So I set off and got to the start of the trail fairly quickly and made my way along Trassey track. I’d been along this trail before but not since doing the Duke of Edinburgh award so I didn’t recognise it until I spotted the quarry half way up the hill.
I was quite pleased with how this photo came out. The clouds were quite thin and blue but moving down the hill fairly fast, there was no sun either so it was very overcast too, yet somehow the muted blues and rust coloured hut work well together. I continued along the trail and the sun popped out but I decided to go back because it disappeared about 5mins after and went down the far side of Slieve Meelbeg. On the way back down though I got a great landscape photo looking over the heather back towards the base of Meelbeg, the sun was pretty low and was just disappearing over the horizon as I took this shot below.
I will definitely be back soon to explore the Mournes and add to my collection of landscapes. I’d love to go back and try to catch a sunrise at one of the summits but catching good weather is the hard part!