Growing Wild

with Dr Catherine Keena

Teagasc countryside management specialist

Look out for meadow foxtail one of the easiest grasses to learn because it flowers early from April to early June. The spikelets are in a dense regular, cylindrical, soft spike that resembles a fox’s tail. The only other common grass with which it can be confused is timothy, but there is almost no chance of both being in flower at the same time, with timothy flowering from late June to August. Meadow foxtail is characteristic of old unimproved grassland and supports a wide range of invertebrates. One of approximately ninety grasses in Ireland, meadow foxtail is part of our native biodiversity.

Rural Rhymes

The Last Knight

By Faith Kennedy Ryan

Alone in this castle I stand.

At the brink of the world.

The end of life, grand galaxies and stars,

hand in hand.

Centuries have passed since the castle turned to flame,

Yet I remain.

The last knight.

Standing where fire and brimstone reigned.

Fire burns no longer; the sun has died

Millennia ago.

Time still turns in the universe’s remaining glow.

Now surrounded by heavenly bodies.

Here embodies all that will not die.

In the celestial night sky, I forever protect the last stronghold

Of the old world.

The cold of the night ever closer to me.

At its periphery, nebulas of long dead worlds are visible.

My rusted armour clinks; it shimmers in the light

Of exploding stars.

The memory of light cast from long lost galaxies

Free to wander far.

The castle walls are dusted with ash,

Interstellar dust,

Covering each singed crack and crevice,

Of memories of war and victory.

I remain at my post.

The dining hall empty of hordes of soldiers,

Bands of minstrels and mighty kings.

Champions of the past.

Ships brought home treasures of glory, high award,

Filling each wall to wall

Our flag never flew half-mast.

Tightening my grip on my sword,

The old world will never fall;

I will never stop the fight.

All that remains of the world

Is this castle and I…

I am the last knight.

I shall stand ‘til the light of every star fades,

And the last night begins.

About the author

Faith Kennedy Ryan is a student at Presentation Secondary School in Thurles. She recently won a young poet prize in the PDST National Write A Poem competition with this entry.

Picture of the Week

Ben Doyle feeding his pet Lamb poppy, watched by Charlie and Cillian the horses at Drummin farm, Delgany, Co Wicklow. / Photo by Marina Tadaiesky.

Quote of the Week

"The goal-getter supreme, only just on the field, loaded up and all of our mind’s eyes could see the net shaking but, instead, Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins was out to smother the shot."

Denis Hurley in Sport.

Online Pick of the Week

In this week’s Meet The Maker, Maria Moynihan chats with Maria Ryan of Bell Meadow Flowers.

Number of the Week: 89%

of Irish adults donated to a charity during the past year. Financial contributions declined from 74% to 59%, while the number donating goods increased from 43% to 57%. Backchat