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Predators and Prey

Carnivorous plants   The promotional blurb for Eanna Ni Lamhna’s “Wonders of the Wild” children’s book mentioned “animal-eating plants”.   That is not something I hear about every day so I decided to research the marvel.   It is strange but true that plants eat animals.   Charles Darwin spent 16 years observing experiments he conducted on […]

FATHERS AND SONS

FATHERS AND SONS   It was New Year’s Eve, 2006.  After lunch I had gone to visit my father in the nursing home. Until recently he had lived alone, coping well despite having lost his partner of 59 years, 2 years earlier. He could still drive and do the necessary – go to Mass, do […]

DOWN THE ESCALATOR

DOWN THE ESCALATOR   Las Palmas in Gran Canaria has 5 large shopping centres built like American Malls. One of them called, El Muelle, is located in the port area and was probably built there to attract the thousands of passengers who disembark from the cruise liners and pass by the entrance to the shopping […]

AN APOLOGY FOR IDLERS

AN APOLOGY FOR IDLERS   While on a short trip to Edinburgh a few years ago I went to see the Scottish National Gallery. It was a quiet day there and I wandered from room to room looking at paintings both old and new, both Scottish and international. I was on my own most of […]

Ice cold at Coole

It’s ten years since this poem was published in the Galway Advertiser and on the Galway Review website. It’s written in the form of ‘Ode to the Virginian Voyage’ by Michael Drayton (1563-1631).   Only you would ventureout in the woods todayto places he once knewwhere you pursueyour adventure:a novice, come to pray.   A […]

THE WORLD WAS ALL BEFORE THEM

THE WORLD WAS ALL BEFORE THEM   The highlight of the school year was Graduation – a ceremony to mark the end of post-primary education for our Leaving Cert students. But it was much more. It was the official recognition that the children who arrived in the school 5 or 6 years earlier were now […]

ONE WORLD, ENDLESS IDEAS

ONE WORLD, ENDLESS IDEAS   Non-stop talk about the injustice and calamity of climate change could induce fatigue when what we need is action on the ideas.   Many people have taken on the challenge of conscious living but many more need to be convinced to engage in do-it-yourself sustainable living.   Over time scientists have […]

Music and Memory

Music and Memory   My mother sang the following songs as she went about the house working; a chorus here, a verse there, or a few lines of every song.   I think she never had time to sing a whole song because children needed attention all the time.   She sang along with John McCormack, Fr. […]

What Makes Us, Us

What Makes Us, Us   It’s complicated! Be it nature or nurture or some mixture of both, children are steered by their parents, family and perhaps their village, and by that whole magical force they become capable of fitting in to the society they find themselves in.   They develop from the inside out and from […]

Oryza sativa (Asian Rice plant) found in Ireland

“Look here, Fiona, can you believe it”, said Somchai, calling her to see what appears to be a rice plant he found growing in the Burren.   He should know what a rice plant is:  the flat leaf blades with parallel veins and it is within the normal length 13-30 cm.   But this is an unusual […]

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