Author: pamadden

Uncategorized

Detritivores in November

Audio version about Millipedes Decaying leaves (1) Animals that obtain nutrients by eating detritus which is dead animal and plant parts are called detritivores (1). They ingest the nutrients. Examples of detritivores are earthworms, slugs and snails, millipedes, dung beetles and the larvae of beetles and flies.On the other hand, organisms that break down dead…

Needles of Gold

The European Larch

Audio – The European Larch Spring larch (1) The European larch (Larix decidua) or Learóg in Irish is unique amongst conifers in this part of the world because it sheds its needle shaped leaves in autumn.  Conifers are usually evergreen. It is a native of mountainous regions in Central Europe and the Pyrenees.  The drooping…

Autumn Leaves

Brown Gold

Audio version of Brown Gold As billions of leaves accumulate in gardens, parks, driveways and roadsides people view them from two perspectives (1a; 1b). Leaves (1a) Leaves (1b) Perspective one views them as unsightly heaps, slip hazards, drain cloggers, destroyers of lawns, blockers of car vents, gutter obstructors and driving hazards.Perspective two views them as…

Spectacular Leaf Displays in October

Dying Days of Glorious Colour

Audio version of Glorious Colour As the light diminishes daily and temperatures drop deciduous trees and shrubs are triggered into action to cope with winter.  They know that with low light levels, shorter exposure to light and the possibility of freezing soils preventing their roots functioning properly it is going to be increasingly difficult to…

Wild privet and Snowberry

Black and White Autumn Berries

Audio version of Autumn Berries Wikd privet leaves (1a) Wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare) or Pribhéad in Irish is often found growing in hedgerows.  Its leaves grow in opposite pairs and are spear shaped or lanceolate. They are dark green on top and pale green underneath but changing now to a dark burgundy colour (1a).  It…

Garlic, onions, peas, beans

Growing in October

Audio version of Growing in October Organic garlic bulbs and onion sets from Fruithill Farm in West Cork (1a) It is surprising what can be sown in the garden in October.  Spring is a long way off; the weather is getting noticeably colder and the light is diminishing both in length and quality. Some gardeners…

Ivy

A Plant that is Loved and Hated

Audio version of Ivy Ivy (1) Flowering now is Ivy (Hedera helix) or Eidhneán in Irish, an evergreen, native climber which uses aerial roots along its stem to adhere to a host so that it can reach light (1).  It is not a parasite as some people believe. It has its own root system completely…

Sloe

Purple – Black, Bitter Drupes

Audio version of Purple – Black, Bitter Drupes Blackthorn blossom (2) Credit E.Ó Murchú The Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) or Draighean/Draighneán donn in Irish has produced a bounty of purple-black fruit in the hedgerows now (1).  These fruits which are covered in a blue waxy substance are called sloes or airní in Irish. They are classified…

Elderberries

Hedgerow Bounty

Audio version of Hedgerow Bounty Elder flower (1) The flat-topped, creamy-white flower clusters or corymbs of the Elder (Sambucus nigra) or Trom in Irish formed lofty, fragrant tiers when they dominated the hedgerows in June.  These flowers were used to make wines, cordials and elderflower water which is used as a skin cleanser (1). Ripening…

Guelder rose

Blood-Red September Drupes

Audio version of Guelder rose Berries of Guelder rose (1) The attractive, juicy, shiny, red berries of Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) or Caorchon in Irish are a lovely sight now as they hang in inviting clusters from the hedgerows (1). These “berries” are technically drupes.  (A drupe is a fleshy fruit with a central seed…