Now that there is a stretch in the evenings, I’m planning to bring you ideas for things to do in the Phoenix Park. Given the fact that we are talking about spending time in the great outdoors, you might be afraid that it’s all going to be very strenuous and exercise-led (after all the Phoenix Park is host to many a Fun-Run, 5k Run, 10k Run and even the Dublin City Marathon) but I’ll ease you in gently today with the simple and relaxing act of sun-set watching.
If luck is with you, then the Phoenix Park will yield bounty upon bounty. A simple stroll can see you bedazzled not just by a sun-set but by the rich variety of life in the park. I’m thinking joggers, stragglers, joggers, walkers, dog-walkers, joggers, self-talkers, sports-people and of course a huge number of joggers. This is of course in addition to the herds of deer that stand around grazing when they are feeling energetic or sit around and nonchalantly people-watch when they are not.
But if you are feeling more like the deer and you too just want to look on in admiration, then another feature of the park (apart from the ubiquitous jogger!) is the vibrant and colourful scenes that Mother Nature and the topography of the Phoenix Park offer particularly at this time of year. The blinding sunshine of an Easter weekend can be complemented by the last vestiges of snow on the Dublin mountain-tops. The dark thunderclouds that can disappear in the space of minutes can be replaced by a bright sunshine that looks like summer but can still feel a little bit like Winter.
One of the most beautiful sights in the park is the sunset. When it is spectacular, it really can be the greatest show on earth and I can never see one without giving thanks for the design and geographical appointment of this space.
The clocks going forward may mess with my body-clock for a time but once they have ‘sprung’ forward, the park has an extra hour to show off and I find that this time of year reveals a hint of the whole Summer and indeed the whole year until the clocks go back again. It’s Mother Nature’s way of teasing me with the promise of Summer, even though as we all know, Summer in Ireland may eventually be a disappointing event weather-wise.This makes no difference however at the end of March because Spring offers hope and hope springs eternal. Even though it’s just one solar hour it is pregnant with promise.
Here’s a lovely photo I’ve found taken by John Brennan which shows off in a picture that which words alone cannot do justice to.
More anon dear readers.