Dick Warner

Nature’s amazing spectacle

In the frosty part of the Midlands where I live you have to plant your potatoes quite late. I have learnt to wait until April is well established.

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The signs of spring’s arrival are visible by the river

Winter really hung on this year. Where I live we had snow at the beginning of March. I wisely proclaimed, to anyone who’d listen, that if March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb. Wrong again. It went out with bitter north-westerly winds and rain.

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Learning to love aliens in the Irish countryside

THERE is a strange and extremely unscientific prejudice embedded in the heart of the environmental movement. It is the prejudice against what are usually described, in distinctly emotive terms, as ‘alien invasive species’, writes Dick Warner

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A short history of geese in Ireland

My boat is moored in Ballinasloe, on the River Suck, and about a week ago I was sitting on deck, soaking up the spring sunshine, when a wild and beautiful sound made me look up into the sky.

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How now brown trout

FISHING seasons, unlike shooting seasons, are not the same everywhere, they vary from catchment to catchment, writes Dick Warner.

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The return of the bittern?

I’m told that a bittern has been heard booming in north Co Leitrim. 

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Roaming deer can be pests

I got a phonecall the other day from a friend with a problem, writes Dick Warner. In the past few weeks deer had started invading her garden and doing a lot of damage.

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The fascinating history of the humble Eucalyptus

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and its name, in the Amharic language, means ‘new flower’. 

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Worth Ravin’ about

I came out of the house the other day and heard an unmistakeable sound — a deep, guttural croak. And there it was, perched in the top of a tree at the bottom of the garden. A raven.

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Talking to your plants is not as strange an idea as you think

SOME people talk to their house plants and, even if you don’t, you would probably describe a geranium that’s wilting as ‘not looking happy’. 

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Pointless demise of Cork’s Heather the Hen Harrier

HEATHER was a female hen harrier, she was also the star of an online blogspot with around a quarter of a million followers.

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Earlier hedge-cutting will condemn many birds to an early death

LAST YEAR the company that collects my rubbish stopped doing so. When I phoned them to ask why, they said the driver of the bin lorry had objected to having his vehicle damaged by overgrown hedges.

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Caught in a spider’s web

I WAS cleaning out my greenhouse, because, in a few weeks’ time, I’ll be switching on the heater and germinating the first seeds of the year.

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Gibbons can communicate with each other and have an extensive vocabulary

FOR MOST of history we have been firmly convinced that we are completely different to animals. This has been reinforced by various theologies — in the Christian world it’s expressed by the idea that mankind was created as an image of God.

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Ever wondered what the effects of that 'stretch in the evenings' are? 

We’ve reached that time of year again — people meet and say, often with a touch of anxiety, ‘I think there’s a bit of a stretch in the evenings’.

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A rare bird in Canaries

To escape the cold I migrated south to the Canary Islands for a couple of weeks.

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New species of animals and plants probably won’t destroy our ecosystem

THE arrival of any new species of animal or plant in this country is almost invariably greeted with alarm by the authorities.

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Ginkgo has to be a goer

A friend invited me round for afternoon tea. Actually, that’s not precisely accurate – she really invited me round to admire the new tree she’d planted and we didn’t drink tea, we drank wine. But afternoon tea sounds better, doesn’t it?

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Season for mice and men

I WENT down to the village shop the other day to buy mousetraps but they had sold out.

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Worm divides opinion

It’s the time of year when many gardeners are cleaning out their plots and digging them over. 

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