Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Artificial Stag

I must be touring public gardens presently, but I don't know why. Perhaps it's Spring. Powerscourt is a fine place to visit and just outside Enniskerry, it's very accessible from Dublin. But as well as decorative and landscaped gardens, it also has a very nice garden centre for the purchase of plants and garden accessories. You can even buy a fine stag like the one in the photograph. I wanted a striking image and a bit of under exposure got me this silhouette - which does the trick with a very nice sky for good measure. Although the stag is closely associated with Celtic traditions, its symbolism cuts across almost all civilisations. Mayan, Muslim, Hopis and many more revere the stag. Cernunnos the Gaul was often depicted sitting in a posture a bit like the Buddha, crowned with antlers and surrounded by stags. Of course in this culture, the stag party is the last night of independence for the bridegroom and I always thought it amusing that the famous Stag's Head pub in central Dublin banned stag parties for a while. It was said to have been a watering hole for the great writer James Joyce. What would he have thought - or written about that?