|Wrapped hay bales and tires|
We all disembarked and began the trek up the muddy dirt road lined with green fields as far as the eye could see; the smell of cow patty and the sounds of mooing all around us. Lots of people complimented us on our Wellies, and we were very happy we bought them. It was a drizzly day off and on, and the ground was very wet and muddy. We walked about a quarter mile up the road until we came to a gate, and we were escorted across a field with a herd of cows turning to watch us. We all laughed over and over again at how curious cows are. They are one minute minding their own business, and when humans enter their world, they all turn to see who the intruders are and what they are up to. One woman said, "You'd think we never saw cows before!" We all took many, many pictures of them. They made us laugh.
In the distance, a Clan Council member was putting the Crowley flag in the ground of a raised mound that formed a circle in the field. There were growing trees on the mound to give dimensional interest. We were instructed to climb up the top of the mound and fill the basin if desired. The basin of the mound was all long grass and stones. One had to be mindful of footing because hidden stones meant treachery to the ankles.
As we all waited, Michael Patrick, the Clan Taoiseach, began his talk by explaining the history of the Crowley Clan and how it was formed. What I remember most was that in the year 1012 AD, the Crowleys and McCarthys were essentially like the Hatfields and McCoys; warring Clans. They battled for the field in which we stood, and the Crowleys won. Hence, this spot was where the Clan was born and built its first round tower fort called Cahir O'Crowley (stone fort). Later the two Clans became allies and fought against the O'Leary's.
There was a large stone on the ground across the circle from where I stood, and he explained this was the entry stone to the tower. It had a small drawer-bridge door over the moat that surrounded the tower. We all took pictures standing on the stone. After his talk, Michael Patrick encouraged us to walk around and think about the Clans early beginnings and what it must have been like for them.
|On the fort entrance stone.|
|Billy imagining 9th century|