Appliance of Science: 'Do Venus flytraps eat flies or melt them?'

I LOVE the way children see things from a completely different perspective. Take this question sent in by six year old Ted….

Read article

THE ISLANDS OF IRELAND: Pleasure no matter what you call it

INISHEER; Inishere; Inis Oírr; Inis Oirthir; Inis Thiar. It’s no wonder Irish people get confused about the name of this utterly beautiful Co Galway island, let alone tourists. Maybe that’s part of the attraction. Well, nothing wrong with having five or more names.

Read article

You never know who you’ll meet rafting down the river

IT WAS pleasant indeed to be rafting down the River Vltava in Bohemia in Czech Republic of a Sunday afternoon, so pleasant that some of us said that, one day, we’d paddle all the way to the Elbe and across Germany to the North Sea, writes Damien Enright

Read article

Opposition to wind turbines on the rise

IT’S AN upland landscape that has inspired poets and traditional musicians for centuries, but it could soon be dominated by lofty wind turbines, writes Donal Hickey

Read article

Ducks find new sanctuary in Spain’s Costas

IN the 1950s, new hotels sprang up along the Costa Brava, the “wild coast”. Sleepy little fishing towns became household names overnight, as hordes of package holiday-makers descended on them. The beaches still draw the crowds but visitors nowadays want more than sea and sand.

Read article

Purple haze: The sight and smell of  lavender is hard to beat

Peter Dowdall extols the virtues of lavender, which when in full bloom comes alive with the buzzing of bees and butterflies, and fills the air with an aroma which can’t truly be replicated.

Read article

Botany Boy James Wong's tips on making your vegetables  richer nutrients

Fiann Ó Nualláin meets best-selling author James Wong ahead of his ‘Grow-for-flavour’ seminars in Carlow.

Read article

Elk are smarter than the average deer

The huge North American ‘elk’ is also known as the ‘wapiti’ (‘white rump’ in the Cree language).

Read article

Blooming wonderful display around Ireland's country road hedgerows

It’s the time of year when everything is blooming. Wild plants in flower dress every rural lane in gay profusion, plants we never see at other times of year.

Read article

Visiting summer birds engage in cruise control to sleep while flying

Did you know that some of our visiting summer birds engage in a form of cruise control and sleep while flying? Just one of the nuggets of information from readers following our piece last week on swallows, swifts and martins.

Read article

Watch: The earth-shattering island of myth off the coast of Clare

From the shore at Quilty in Co Clare, Mutton Island looks a flat, unappealing line. Great as a place to land if your boat is in trouble, but to visit there looks uninspiring.

Read article

Up the garden path at the West Cork Garden Trail

Peter Dowdall says the West Cork Garden Trail offers inspiring examples of community work

Read article

Save our butterflies

Bees are not the only pollinators under threat, with butterfly populations falling worldwide, writes Fiann Ó Nualláin

Read article

Some bright ideas for stunning summer bulbs

Dutch bulb experts share top tips for maintaining your garden. Hannah Stephenson reports

Read article

When day of splendour becomes one of conflict with nature

FRIDAY, June 30, was an exceptional day here on the southwest coast, a day of clear, bright sunlight and gales, writes Damien Enright

Read article

What's the difference between swallows, swifts and martins?

HAVING tried for years to work out exactly the differences between three quite similar migrant birds, I enlisted the help of BirdWatch Ireland, of late, writes Donal Hickey

Read article

Echoes of pre-Famine times in Spanish countryside

WHAT wildlife would Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza have encountered on their famous foray all those years ago, asks Richard Collins

Read article

Colour co-ordinated plants liven up your garden

A strategic mix of colours, from purple and mauve to orange/yellow, livens up a garden, says Peter Dowdall

Read article

Courgettes: The fruit that keeps on giving

Valerie O’Connor extols the virtues of courgettes, which she says are the fruit that just keeps on giving

Read article

Beekeeping: When swarming causes losses in the trade

Mary O’Riordan writes on the travails of the beekeeper when swarming causes the loss of a hive of bees and a crop of honey

Read article

Carlow Garden Festival has the perfect mix of experts and trailblazers

Fiann Ó Nualláin says the Carlow Garden Festival has something for all interests

Read article

Inishtrahull Island: Emigrants last sight of the homes they were leaving

Inishtrahull Island, Malin Head, Co Donegal, the most northerly point of the country and the last
sign of Ireland that most who emigrated to America from Derry ever saw. 

 

Read article

The tale of the German, the donkeys and rural Namibia

I’ve just been writing a letter to a German painter whom I met on a long trip outdoors last February; some readers may recall my dispatches from Namibia and the Kalahari Desert, writes Damien Enright.

Read article

Water rat beloved in literature actually a vole

The introduced animals were bred from wild ones captured in Scotland. A further 350 voles will be released later this year. To enhance genetic diversity, they will come from a different source population.

Read article

Fox is no lamb to the slaughter

While some people regard the fox as a pest and an unwanted predator, the animal can keep down the rabbit, mice, and rat populations.

Read article

Age-old potato blight battle

Fiann Ó Nualláin says prevention is key when fighting to keep spoiling spores at bay

Read article

The bright dimension of garden colours

For bedding plant displays, when it comes to colour there is no right and wrong, writes Peter Dowdall

Read article

Zucchini flowers are nice and easy

Valerie O’Connor is at the start of the courgette glut and this week she foregoes the ubiquitous spiraliser in favour of chuny chips and delicious deep-fried flowers

Read article