Tag Archives: fun

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Greystones

Did you get to go to a parade today? Were you at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Greystones? If so, you might see yourself and people you know. Last year’s parade (2018) had an Arctic theme and lasted twenty minutes ( the paraders ran) because a storm came in, but this year we had a magnificent sunny day and it was the largest parade I have ever witnessed in Greystones. Watch and enjoy:

Two Brilliant Books for Summer Outdoor Adventures

Now that we’re in late July many people will be heading out into the countryside on long holidays, and if you have an interest in the countryside and natural world seriously consider getting these books. Firstly, the superb The Wildflowers of Ireland: A Field Guide by Zoe Devlin, which was the second of The Collins Press new style of rugged, pocket-sized field guides (the first being The Birds of Ireland by Jim Wilson and photographer Mark Carmody).

A beautiful pocket-sized book which you can currently find in almost any bookshop and on the NHBS website.
A beautiful pocket-sized book which you can currently find in almost any bookshop and on the NHBS website.

What makes this book especially interesting is that all of the photographs were taken by the author (I actually first met her on a photographic expedition to Wicklow with her husband) and the drawings in it are by her husband and intrepid sidekick, Pete. It’s an extremely easy-to-use guide with the plants arranged not by family but by the colours of the flowers, which makes navigating this guide a truly wonderful experience.

Putting the book to work. To tops of the pages are colour-marked so that you can instantly arrive in the right section. A brilliant design.
Putting the book to work. To tops of the pages are colour-marked so that you can instantly arrive in the right section. A brilliant design.

And, in an important break from convention, this rugged book is only €14.99 ! It’s worth every penny.  But also you don’t feel afraid to carry it, because if worst comes to worst it’s not too expensive to replace, and this is what makes a real field guide. Considering the amount of travel and field outings which were involved getting the excellent photos of these plants, the story behind the book must be a very exciting one.

But the Collins Press has also brought out another incredible field guide, in a slightly different style, with a slightly different format, but equally badly-needed for nature lovers visiting Ireland – Insects of Ireland: An Illustrated Introduction To Ireland’s Common Insect Groups by Stephen McCormack and Eugenie Regan, illustrated by Chris Shields.

A beautiful and distinctive cover showcasing the incredibly detailed illustrations inside.
A beautiful and distinctive cover showcasing the incredibly detailed illustrations inside.

Don’t let the subtitle scare you, this is an extremely user-friendly book and designed to help the user identify the common insects he or she is most likely to notice. Of the two authors I know Eugenie Regan from the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, which kicked off in 2007. Eugenie was a regular on TV and the radio, but has since moved on to other conservation projects.

Although this book is not designed to fit neatly into the pocket, the wider format allows for a level of detail which in some areas is beyond that of any field guide I’ve ever seen. Chris Shields illustrations are absolutely incredible throughout, although I must especially praise the amazing section on ladybirds which features detailed pictures of the adult and each of the very distinctive larva of each of the species known in Ireland (19 altogether). This section of the book alone would have been enough to encourage me to buy it.

Outstanding illustrations and an excellent distribution map for each species. Need I say more?
Outstanding illustrations and an excellent distribution map for each species. Need I say more?

However, it also draws attention to the fact that few of the caterpillars in the butterfly section are illustrated, which should be considered for subsequent editions. But considering this book is €14.99 and not designed to be exhaustive, it packs quite a punch, and should whet the appetite of anybody with the remotest interest in insects to learn more about them. I must applaud everyone involved in its production.

 

 

 

Videos coming to the Wicklow Workbook

Still resolving the spam issues, but thank you to all those who have troubled to comment and apologies for the slowness or absence of replies, but I am trying to catch up with everyone, while deleting the spam. Anyhow, there will now be videos aswell as photos to help enhance the Workbook experience, so hopefully you will enjoy them also. The first is below: