Paddy’s Blog

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…

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…

Rose Hips

September Scarlet

Audio version of Rose Hips Dog-rose (1a) The beautiful, pale pink to white blossoms of the Dog rose (Rosa canina) or Feirdhris in Irish which brightened up the hedgerows in June have now turned to scarlet rose hips which are very noticeable. (1a;1b) These are rich in Vitamin C and were collected in England during…

Field Scabious and Devil’s Bit Scabious

Butterfly and Bee Favourites

Audio version of Field Scabious and Devil’s Bit Scabious Field scabious Credit E. _ Murchú (1a) Field scabious (1b) Field scabious Knautia arvensis) or Cab an ghasáin in Irish is an attractive wildflower which is frequently seen now in most places in Ireland except the west. (1a;1b) It grows on roadside verges, hedge banks and…