Donal Hickey

Stocking up for the winter

AS WE move from the so-called season of mists and mellow fruitfulness into the colder and shorter days of winter, humans are not the only creatures preparing for the seasonal change generally marked by Halloween.

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Fancy checking out birds?

ANYONE visiting our off-shore islands, such as the Skelligs or the Blaskets, will surely be enthralled by not only what’s happening on the water, but above their heads.

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Hanging out with trees IS good for your health

AS trees slowly don their autumn coats of brown, russet and golden hues, it’s a delightful time to walk in the woods and forests. And, as an added bonus, such an experience may also be good for our health. 

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Birds, bees and many weeds on the hills

SINCE the EU introduced regulations leading to a huge reduction of sheep on the hills we’ve been hearing complaints about uncontrolled vegetation that can result in fires that sometimes get out of control. At certain times of the year, farmers set fires to burn off scrub to allow fresh grass grow.

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Insects: A vital part of life

WHY is it so many people automatically squirm at the sight of insects and bugs, most of which are utterly harmless and are living closer to us than we think? I’ve seen normally fearless, grown men recoil on seeing a cockroach crossing a kitchen floor or a spider weaving its web.

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Blacka’s ... they’re the berries

WE’RE well into the blackberry season and the warm weather has helped the growth and ripening of this popular fruit all around the country — one of the best years in recent times.

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A Clouded Yellow on the horizon

AMONG the unusual visitors brought by fine weather to our shores is the Clouded Yellow butterfly.

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Deer and the laws of attraction

THERE’S a lot of talk about the possibilities reintroduced golden and white-tailed eagles create for attracting tourists to the west coast, but what about animals that have been here thousands of years?

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Cork heritage open day

Heritage at our doorstep

ISN’T it ironic that in a world that’s becoming truly ’’global’’ because of the communications revolution, at the same time interest in what’s local seems to be intensifying. This story is enriched with multi-media content

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Ireland shows its beauty in sunny weather

A BRILLIANT summer to date will reach a high point this bank holiday weekend with tens of thousands of people on holidays, and those not on holidays taking to the outdoors to enjoy beaches, forests, parks, mountains and lakes.

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Waste can be a hazard in the home

IT’S probably fair to say that most of us have more hazardous waste in our homes than we realise. A cursory peep into the medicines cabinet in the average home will most likely reveal bottles, capsules and packets of tablets with an expired use-by date. <

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A new life for uisce beatha

THAT jovial, time-honoured phrase, "one for the road", could be given an entirely new meaning if scientists working on by-products from whiskey-making have their way.

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Rhodo, a pretty big problem

SCARCELY a week passes without news of yet another invasive species, plant or animal, reaching our shores.

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Probing the mysteries of life

"Looking through a porthole at the sea, we are surrounded on all sides by vast horizons. No one would believe the wonders and beauty that lie below in the colossal Whittard Canyon.’’

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Wild Atlantic Way rules

RECENTLY, for the umpteenth time, RTÉ again screened the David Lean epic, Ryan’s Daughter, filmed in the Dingle Peninsula, in 1969/’70.

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Accidents up as deer figures rise

THERE are regular warnings from wild deer organisations that Ireland’s deer population is declining. However, we also hear the opposite story from farmers, road users and other observers — that deer are becoming quite numerous and are now seen in areas where they have never previously been.

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