Thursday, December 4, 2008

In Ireland where the Buffalo Roam

This story is a bit of fun as it appears that the first buffalo herd, or so they say, lands in Ireland. The story even managed to mention the buffalo commons. It is at least a start and it looks like a good start..

There are vast regions of the Eurasian plains and woodlands that are very suitable for buffalo culture. This will firstly replace the original buffalo herds hunted to extinction by our ancestors and make for superior land usage.
Yet this is how it must begin. A few small herds here and there will get it all started. And no, we do not need to introduce wolves and bears into this mix. We do a much better job.

One only wishes one could be there a thousand years from now to see how it all works out.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Green Fields of Gaothdobhair

It turns out Donegal is the new Buffalo Commons.

Patrick Doherty, a hotelier from Gweedore (birthplace of the neo-Celtic songstress Enya, doncha know) has imported a herd of bison to graze in his green fields. They're doing very well, thank you. The herd's grown on the grass of Ireland, and has seen two calves healthy this year. The whole concept is a bit of a stretch, but it's good with the tourists. Doherty owns the An Chúirt Hotel, and his guests don't mind a view of the great beasts. Sure now, our Montana Ted has convinced the world that buffalo's good to eat. And, after all, wild Donegal is the last Irish frontier.

Next they'll reintroduce the wolves.

There's a lovely old song about Gweedore, and in the interests of hearing it more often I post the lyrics here. It dates from the seventeenth century, but there's obviously been at least one verse added in the last two hundred years:


Down past Dunlewy's bonny lakes
one morning I did stray
until I reached sweet Clady banks
where the silv'ry salmon play
I strolled around though old Bunbeg
and down along the shore
and gazed with admiration on the
green fields of Gaothdobhair.

I visit Magheraclocher,
on Middletown Heights I stand.
Beneath me lies the ocean wide
and Magheragallon strand;
those sandy banks so dear to me,
those banks I do adore.
Behind me lies sweet Derrybeg
and the green fields of Gaothdobhair.

The bonny Isle of Gola
and Inish Meán so near--
I see the little fishing fleet
as it lies along the pier;
I wander through the graveyard
where those have gone before
that once lived happy and content
by the green fields of Gaothdobhair.

I see sweet Inish Oirthir
and far off Tory Isle.
I view the ocean liners
as they steam along in style.
On board are Irish emigrants
with hearts both sad and sore
as they gaze on old Tir Chonaill Hills
and the green fields of Gaothdobhair.

My most favored version is that of Clara Sanabras and William Carter on The New Irish Girl CD.

Here's the Clannad version--they're Enya's relatives, so it's their hometown, too. Like Montana, their landscape is breezy and lovely; note the wind generators in the background.

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