Small experience

In National schools all over Ireland when I was a kid (there were no dinosaurs) we used to have to write “What I did on my summer holidays” type exercises. We were gently prodded to find more interesting ways to say things like “I went to my friend Sheila’s house and then we went to…

Groundhogs and orange peels

First the unsurprising news: Lockdown continues to be a drag and I am not enjoying it much. I had the very creepy feeling of “wait, didn’t I buy those a couple of weeks ago?” in the shops the other day looking at Easter eggs; never has the sensation that my sense of time and where…

Hedgehog mushrooms

It’s October and I am at the start of my third year being properly interested in fungi and starting to get a bit more confident about being able to identify some – more than ten with confidence, more than 40 with some hedging of bets but reasonable confidence, kind of thing. I am utterly lucky…

Wanderings

It was an odd day, but it got a lot better. There are some days when thoughts that ordinarily trickle through the humdrum domestic suddenly swell, careen, scour all before them down new paths thrown open with reckless abandon. Rather than give the torrents all their own way, and especially given an unexpected reason to…

Humans are terrible at taking advice.

The way my twitter feed is now I seem to have spent the last week constantly alerted to the fact that reports say people need at least two hours in Nature to be happier and healthier. It’s that kind of story that all the papers and news streams seem to latch on, probably as vaguely…

What makes a wood good?

The very best type of woods for me are large, they move from age to age, each whorl in its landscape wearing the personality of some signature tree or consultation of trees. Perhaps an opening amble through a busy flurry of hazel or birch, all sap and energy forging new forest paths through glens and…

A tale of two forests

Today was #internationaldayofhappiness and I was lucky enough to have a half day from work. It is also Spring Equinox and I’ve had burning feet for days. There are some days you go to the forests and they’re all about the shyly winking primroses and the flirtatious glimpse of feather vanishing into the thicket. Other…

Heartwood

Valentine’s Day has long passed.  Work is insane at the moment, it’s our busiest time of year and it just sort of ..takes over.  I have lots of posts and links lined up from the past couple of weeks in my head but I fear most of them won’t make it to virtual paper, this…

Bird therapy on Winterwatch

I’ve become very detached from TV over the past few years and was never really familiar with TV beyond RTE channels anyway.   As a result really great things like BBC’s Winterwatch were not on my radar until I was pointed at it recently (thanks!)  It’s a gorgeous production – the thermal camera images were beautiful…

Some wild wanderings

This time of year I find it hard to convince my brain that just because it’s dark when I arrive home doesn’t mean I need to sleep straight away.  Sleep is a wonderful thing though, especially in Winter.  I have a special fondness for that that glorious feeling when you wake in the middle of…