Damien Enright

Paddleboarder a witness to the plastification of oceans

A friend of my son’s here on the Canary Island of La Gomera, a bank official about 35 years old, is regularly to be seen standing tall and erect on a large surfboard, propelling himself with a long paddle, along the island’s coasts, writes Damien Enright

More

Hillwalkers hit the heights on stunning paths in La Gomera

If Irish walkers keep coming to La Gomera in the numbers that arrived with the Bishopstown Hillwalking Club this week, they’ll wear down the paths and stone-made steps climbing the mountains out of the fecund valleys, routes laid down hundreds of years ago.

More

Celebration of life, indoors or out, to be cherished

OUTDOOR music is something we cannot always enjoy in Ireland.

More

Ron the heron is stoic in the face of storms

Our grey heron weathers the storms, but then he is much better equipped to do so than we are, writes Damien Enright

More

A rhapsody of nature in the Bohemian hinterland

Not an icicle or a snowflake have we seen here in Central Europe since we arrived on December 21. Over Lower Bohemia in the Czech Republic, the skies have been peerless blue and the sun so bright that, in the towns, the cobbled streets shine as if shellacked and I feel the need of sunglasses more than I ever do in Spain.

More

Spine-singeing fire can be a fruitful addition to a community

I DO like small communities. The population of this village on La Gomera, where I am currently escaping from the mad rush of Courtmacsherry, Co Cork (population approx. 350) is circa 60. 

More

Robed figure resembled character from nativity scene

All that was missing was the camel. The half-lit scene of the large man wearing full Palestinian-style head-dress and robes standing by a stable beside a remote road in La Gomera, Canary Islands, the clear cobalt sky and a single star behind him, could have been a tableau for a Christmas night at Bethlehem, and the man one of the three kings.

More

Seed-scattering Jesuit left an enduring legacy on island

Great hamburgers of fire- damaged palmera trunks lie beside the stone-laid pathways crossing this broad, green La Gomera valley. It is tragic that so many noble trees had to be felled after the great fire of August 2012, but hundreds still stand, writes Damien Enright

More

Sexton beetle's responsible parenthood is rare in the insect world

I received a beetle in the post from Ireland the other day. I don’t think my Gomero postman realised. A reader from Kanturk had sent it, asking me if I might know what kind of beetle it was. 

More

St Colman’s students helping Ireland clean up its act

It is heartening to learn that young people, encouraged by their mentors, are taking arms against the seas of litter despoiling Ireland, writes Damien Enright

More

Sherkin Comment journal provides a monitor of the magic of marine life in west Cork’s Roaring Water Bay

EVERY time I go to this island ‘in the sun’ I take print publications from another island with me, the Sherkin Comment, published by the Marine Station on that island in west Cork’s Roaring Water Bay. It can also be downloaded from the internet.

More

There's an irruption of black snake millipedes from the Canary Islands to West Cork

DID WE bring the infamous black snake millipedes to the Canary Islands, from Ireland, asks Damien Enright

This story is enriched with multi-media content

More

Taxonomy of mangoes puts taste buds to the test

These days, here in La Gomera in the Canary Islands, we are inundated with mangoes, or maybe ‘overwhelmed’ is a better word.

More

Unforgettable whale dance at Castletownshend

I WAS gratified to hear that my grandson and his girlfriend, visiting our West Cork home from the UK, were fortunate enough to witness spectacular whale behaviour when they went on a whale watch trip with Colin Barnes from Reen Pier, near Castletownshend.

More

Tenerife farmers smitten by the lure of red bananas

Red bananas. Waiting in the south Tenerife port of Los Cristianos for the ferry to the smaller island of La Gomera, I read in a local newspaper that a Tenerife farmer had successfully grown red bananas and they would soon be cultivated in the Canaries.

More

Wetsuits are like wearing clothes in the bath

WE’VE done our first house swap — with one of our sons, writes Damien Enright. 

More
Marie Power, aka The Sea Gardener, foraging on Garrarus beach near Tramore, CoWaterford. Picture: Patrick Browne

Seaweed rich in nourishment and free, for now

Green weed carpets the beaches this year, as it has every year since the early 2000s.

More

Beautiful demoiselles du Bandon River

SEPTEMBER 27 brought the advent of butterflies, the first fall or hatch we’ve seen this butterfly-less summer. 

More

Midnight perambulations of woodlice and snake millipedes

Last Monday, as I left the house for a late night walk, a hundred or more woodlice were climbing the walls outside my front door. 

More
Photographed in Kerry, is this the rare sea aster mining bee? Or the yellow leggedmining bee? Neither are recorded in Ireland. Here, many males in a mating frenzycluster around a single female. Picture: Damien Enright

Buzzing with excitement after unusual-looking species

Is it possible that your correspondent has come across a colony of mining bees of a species hitherto foreign to our shores? Unlikely!

More

Blasket Islands provide evidence of trouble in paradise

Just beyond the breaking surf at the White Strand on the Great Blasket island, seals were standing up in the water to get a better look at us humans. 

More