Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Ivy berries: Look out for the last ivy berries, which are a valuable food source for birds such as blackbirds, thrushes and pigeons in late winter when food can be scarce. Berries remain green, hard and inedible until late winter when they turn black and ripen. Associated invertebrates, their eggs and larvae provide food for insect-eating birds. Bats and birds roost in the evergreen leaves. Ivy is not saprophytic, meaning it does not take nutrients from its host onto which it clings. The extra weight on otherwise leafless trees may make them more susceptible to winter storms, if already weakened by disease. Love it or hate it, ivy is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Pick of the week

This ‘Golden Girl’ is the fifth heifer calf in a row from a fifth calver. Happy calving season. Submitted by Mag Lawlor, Co Carlow

Rural rhymes

As cold as……. Written by Dr Jonathan Roth

Curtains opened and all white

Snow in overnight

Are the ponies ok?

Is the snow here to stay?

Lassie waiting at the back door

Means there’s more snow in store

For some snow is sport

But not here in Westport

It’s time to double sock

To prevent the toes shock

Down the yard to review

All ponies are in their pews

Hay and nuts lobbed in

Now the ponies begin to grin

My fingers are getting numb

God, I’d love some sun

PJ arrives in the bar

May God bless all here and far

It’s cold out there…..Tis

It’s as cold as a mother in laws’ kiss

Quote of the week

'I don’t talk about this too much, but I had agoraphobia for many years. I have talked about it in my podcast, How Are Ye Gettin’ On?. I was completely housebound for three years until I was about 20, which is why I dropped out of school, but I suffered from it for about six years in total' - Garron Noone aka @garron_music

Number of the week

Currently, the least expensive EVs (electric vehicles) are priced at €30,000-€35,000. The SEAI offers a grant of between €2,000 and €3,500, depending on the price of the car (the maximum price to quality for a

grant is €60,000)

Online pick of the week

Éadaoin Ní Dhroighneáin, Éabha Ní Chonghaile, Fionnán Ó Coisdealbha, Neasa Nic Dhonncha agus Róise Ní Churraoin from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire in An Spidéal, Co. Galway

A Galway student has won the Irish EU Young Translator Award for his Irish to English translation on the topic ‘daring to make a difference’. Pictured are Éadaoin Ní Dhroighneáin, Éabha Ní Chonghaile, Fionnán Ó Coisdealbha, Neasa Nic Dhonncha agus Róise Ní Churraoin from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire in An Spidéal, Co Galway.

Consumer tip

Did this past Valentine’s Day leave you feeling less than optimistic about the current online dating scene? According to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), you might be better off meeting someone in real life as opposed to virtually: online dating scams are becoming a real problem (as if we didn’t have enough to worry about).

Now, online dating has become popular for a reason - there are many genuine people out there, so while you should always be wary, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on dating sites completely. The CCPC recommends users to adhere to the following rules to help stay safe from potential scammers:

  • Don’t share too much personal information on your dating site profile
  • Share any new dates or online relationships with trusted family members and friends
  • Never, ever transfer money to anyone online, even if you’ve been chatting for months and they seem genuine
  • Cut all contact, block and report any user who asks you to send them money on a dating app or site
  • For more information,

    Read more

    Welcome to a week in the country

    Welcome to a week in the country