One morning I opened the patio curtains and there, in the centre of the small patch of frozen grass and weeds that is our lawn, was a slice of bread. It seemed unnaturally large and white lying there under the late winter sky. I was puzzled. Surely the cats wouldn’t bother stealing bread. Or would … Continue reading The Gull House – Suburban Seagulls and Life in Dublin
I’m fascinated by trees, like many other humans. For many years their charisma and mystery, their relatively long lives and comparatively sheer size have enchanted and inspired the human imagination. Fred Hageneder writes of this relationship in The Living Wisdom of Trees: “The entire spectrum of human existence is reflected in tree lore through the ages: from birth, death and rebirth to the age-old struggle between good and evil, and the quest for beauty, truth and enlightenment.”
Poetry helps us come to terms with grief, and comfort is often found in unexpected places.
What would you ask an ancient tree?
I’m always stopping on walks to examine flowers, shrubs, and trees but I'm not familiar with many of the plant and bird species in Ireland and I find this weirdly unsettling. This is where ‘Wild Flowers of Ireland and Britain’ come in - I’m hoping to learn more about Ireland by identifying as many plants, trees, and grasses as I can this year. I’d love for you to join me on this adventure!
I locked myself (and my daughter) out of the house two weeks ago. Dark rain clouds were looming overhead. I panicked. My toddler was hungry and tired, I had no snacks, and to tell you the truth, I was hungry and tired too! But after a few phone calls, we had no choice but to … Continue reading Things you find under trees – poem
The daffodils in my garden showed their sun-filled faces yesterday. I’ve been anxiously excited about this moment for weeks. I watched the bulbs as they emerged from the frosty earth. Saw them rise towards the leaden winter skies. Watched, with great anticipation, as their flower buds edged upwards, a little closer to the sun each day. Saw the spathe turn brown and transparent like a finely veined piece of paper as the bulbs swelled with promise, drinking in the sun and rain. For a few days, the yellow petals threatened to burst from their containment, but they were waiting. For a day, for a signal, for the sun. Now, finally, they have unfurled their magnificent crowns and turned them towards the light.
I'm swimming again after nearly twelve years 'on land'. This prompted a little trip down memory lane... From carefree childhood afternoons in the pool to awkward teenage years and stressful school galas...
I love walking. Not only is walking good exercise, but it’s also the perfect time to let your thoughts drift. I’ve had my best ideas while walking! I’ve wandered many roads here in Donegal, and even though I enjoy these random adventures, I have a favourite route that I always take when I want to clear my mind.
I’ve had many pet insects and arachnids throughout my life. ‘Pet’ is probably too strong a word to use; let’s just say that I’ve harmoniously co-existed with many different creatures. One of my favourite multi-legged friends was a praying mantis called James Bond who lived in my apartment in Stellenbosch for a couple of weeks. … Continue reading A spider called Jeffrey