St. Patrick's Day is, naturally, a special day here in Ireland... and is celebrated by Irish people and people of Irish descent all over the world. And while St. Patrick is perhaps best known for reducing Ireland's biodiversity (thanks to him we have no snakes in Ireland, after all), let's not forget that St. Patrick's Day marks a pivotal time in the Irish wildlife … [Read more...] about Wishing you all a WILD St. Patrick’s Day
Great news for wildlife enthusiasts -- sharks are back off the Irish coast.Basking sharks, the world's second largest shark species, return to Irish shores every year around the same times as swallows. Early sightings of these less well known but much larger harbingers of spring trickled in at the end of March from West Cork, and with an impressive record of 20 basking … [Read more...] about Sharks are back!
Yesterday was a special day.A lone, almost insignificant silhouette transformed the usually hum-drum task of dropping the car in to the garage into a wholly noteworthy enterprise. Elegant, streamlined, forked tail streamers fluttering in the breeze... the profile perched on the telephone wire was unmistakable: my first swallow of 2016.Seeing your first swallow of spring … [Read more...] about And they’re back! First swallows arrive at IWHQ
Hanging out washing is an occupational hazards of working from a home office.Working from home invariably means I'm around when the washing machine finishes its spin cycle. And in most Irish households if the weather is dry there's always one overriding imperative: to get the washing hung out as soon as humanly possible!I don't really mind. There's … [Read more...] about Unexpected wildlife hotspot: the washing line!
This column was first published in the Weekend Magazine of the Irish Independent on Saturday 04 February 2012.One of the things I like most about living in Ireland is the changing seasons.The tropics are over rated. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of predictable sunshine now and again certainly wouldn’t go amiss, but you’d soon grow tired of the sameness of it all. … [Read more...] about Unseasonal shenanigans
Spring, it seems, has come early to Ireland this year. On Saturday the 07 of January I spotted a clump of frogspawn in a roadside ditch beside a small lake not far from the house.Frogspawn, in West Cork, laid the first week of January. That’s just nuts!Common Frogs normally emerge from hibernation around the middle of February -- but this year it seems the abnormally … [Read more...] about Frogspawn in early January