A BARN OWL sighting close to our home one Thursday evening provided what I like to think of as a shared ‘super-buzz’ moment for me and our daughter Becca.
This was the first time we had ever seen a barn owl in the wild – but 8-year-old Becca didn’t have to wait quite as long as me for the experience of a lifetime!
The following morning her 84-year-old grandfather told me he hadn’t seen a barn owl for many years – probably not since his youth. Our conversation got me thinking about how lucky Becca had been, and how much I hoped she would have many more opportunities to see this snowy-faced, enigmatic bird.
THE YULETIDE season may send most of us into a shopping frenzy but Nature and Christmas have gone hand-in-hand from the very beginning.
The early Christians were a savvy bunch, recognising the need to adapt existing Pagan customs to help ease the transition for converts adopting a new set of beliefs. And that’s why there’s so much greenery in our homes at this time of year!
A VERY YOUNG OAK recently came into our lives and it got me to thinking that I need to embrace my inner tree hugger!
That thought was reinforced this week after I ended up almost surgically pulling a tiny hawthorn from between the paving stones in our patio – it came out with roots intact and is now safely potted.
I think if everyone stopped to think for a moment, we all have a favourite tree, either from our past or our present.
My current favourite is a weeping beech that’s in our back garden – still too young to provide shade, but I’m hoping to watch our grandkids play underneath it in about 20 years or so, depending on our girls Ava (11) and Becca (8) of course!
So, our rescue missions involving the hawthorn (left), and the six inch oak, which was saved from being mowed along with this summer’s hay crop, seems like the perfect opportunity to write about the search for contestants in the Tree of the Year competition, and why it’s important to appreciate our trees.
Butterflies appear to be in woefully short supply in my area of Co Waterford so far this summer but a call is going out to Northern Ireland wildlife lovers to help discover how they’re faring in Tyrone and the West – particularly the Cryptic Wood White!
ROAD KILL MAY seem like a macabre subject to blog about on a sunny day but there are very good reasons why conservationists and authorities are interested in finding out more about the victims – and why they need the public’s help.
THE BUZZ OF BEES is one of the most familiar sounds of summer but these busy pollinators are more than a sunshine accessory – they help put food on our table!
There is so much to love about bees! Like the name suggests, honeybees produce honey, which is delicious in all kinds of foods, but can also be medicinal. When our eldest daughter was very, very young she had a dreadful teething cough, that kept recurring, and probably left me with a few grey hairs, but once she turned one I started giving her a local honey that I’m convinced – although I don’t have the scientific evidence to prove it – helped ease the symptoms.