Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Spindle Fruit

Look out for spindle fruit with its conspicuous colour combination of shocking pink four-lobed fruit, now mostly open and revealing bright orange seeds among vivid crimson and yellow leaves.

The fruits are eaten by birds including thrushes, finches and tits while the green four-sided stems provide host sites for the eggs of black bean aphids to overwinter until hatching next spring.

Larvae of butterflies and moths use spindle leaves, including holly blue butterfly and spindle ermine moth. It hosts a gall produced by a gall mite and a multi-layered brown bracket formed by a bracket fungus. Spindle is also known as pegwood and is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Rural Rhymes

Written by Marian Dalton, Co Carlow

You are a girl of the city

You like the bright lights

You like to go dancing two or three nights.

Then you go down the country

For a weekend

And you fall for a farmer

Well of all things!

You change your high heels

For red wellie boots

And your long flowing skirt

For a working jumpsuit

You tie up your hair

Neath a red woollen hat

And you go out the yard

To give it a lash

The farmer is working

Like there is no tomorrow

And he sends you to feed lambs

With a giant sized wheel barrow

Its wet and its cold

And you think of the past

And sitting so snug

In your nice little flat

And so you come to the end of the day

With lots of mishaps as you laboured away.

“Well what do you think,”

he says with a smile

And you say, “Ah sure, I’ll give it a go for a while”

Twenty years later

You are still going strong

Though many have said you wouldn’t last long

And you’re not going to tell them because they don’t need to know

That for twenty more years

You will give it a go.

Photo of the Week

Dairy farmers Pat and Renee O'Donovan, from Whitehate, Co Cork, catching up on the latest farming news while on holidays in Seville / submitted by Ciara O'Donovan

Meet the Maker:

Sarah Lynskey.

In this week’s Meet the Maker, Maria Moynihan speaks with Irish children’s clothing designer and owner of Banana Berry Design, Sarah Lynskey.

Quote of the week

I’d close my eyes and then all of a sudden, this vision would come into my head of models walking up and down the catwalk and I’d zoom in and I’d see details of top stitching and different constructive details, box pleats and it was just really incredible’

Luxury leather designer Úna Burke

Number of the week 809

The current shortfall of permanent, fixed-term and long-term substitute teachers. This information was outlined in an extensive survey published last week by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), in collaboration with the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) and the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA).

Consumer news

Consumer news

It’s that time of year and consumer research is finding that Christmas planning is already well underway for 2023.

Irish marketing and communications agency, Core, reported in its latest Consumer Mindset report (October, 2023) that by the first week of November, two out of five Irish consumers will have put their Christmas plans in motion – whether by stocking up on goodies, booking in plans with friends and family or purchasing gifts.

This is age-sensitive, though, as their report shows that younger cohorts are more likely to plan, shop and book in early compared to consumers in their 50s or older.

Of those surveyed for the report, most plan on spending less than €500 on their inner circle this Christmas season.

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Find out what caught the eye of the Irish Country Living

Find out what caught the eye of Irish Country Living