October 15, 2010 · 2:41 pm
A few months ago, I noticed that the two dogs were barking madly at a car parked in front of our house. After they had been brought inside, a juvenile mink, which had taken refuge in the undercarriage, jumped down and ran away (it looked just like a black stoat). I have also seen adult mink near by.
Recently, some idiots released 5,000 mink from a fur farm in Co. Donegal; this has potentially catastrophic consequences for local wildlife. Mink are gradually colonizing the country … there are calls for their eradication, but this would be difficult and expensive (estimated at over €1 million for an area of just 800 km2). Continue reading →
September 20, 2010 · 10:38 pm
I posted this on MyT last December … I repost it here (without the links) in honour of the fact that myself and the same three friends will be going back to Munich this December, DV.
Three of us flew out from Belfast early on Saturday. Met up with the English member of our quartet, who had flown from London, at Munich Airport. 45 minutes on the train, then a short walk on snow-covered streets from the station to our hotel.
One of our number knows Munich quite well (I’d been there just once before, in 1988), and had worked out an itinerary of sorts … much of which revolved around finding and dispatching the best local beers. So, on the first day we did a lot of that kind of thing. Falafels for kebab-shop lunch; dinner at the Hofbräuhaus; between times walking round the city, dropping into bars, shivering in the bitterly cold wind and trying not to step into the cycle lane. Continue reading →
May 23, 2010 · 1:04 pm
The following are photos taken by my wife on a trip to the Skelligs, off the Kerry coast, in August 2008. Since then, two tourists have died in falls there. I posted the text that follows as a MyT blog.
Continue reading →
May 11, 2010 · 9:58 am
As I sit at my desk I can see through the window, at a distance of some ten metres, a low dry-stone wall that I built to retain a raised flowerbed (the photo – not a very good one – shows another wall that I built at the front of the garden).
Ten days or so ago, I noticed a pair of coal tits entering and leaving a hole in the retaining wall – it was obvious that they intended to nest. This concerned me somewhat, as we have a cat and two terriers, all with a history of extreme anti-bird prejudice. At first they didn’t seem to notice the coal tits, but a couple of days ago all three started to take a serious interest in the comings and goings at the hole, which is only 18 inches or so from the ground. Continue reading →