Here in Ireland, we find ourselves in lockdown again. So we have to stay within 5km of our homes. So for this week’s lens artist challenge it was a case of heading back over the year’s photos and seeing what types of treats there were.
Seeing and being able to photograph wildlife is always a treat for me.
As we say goodbye to 2019 and the decade, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of you that have taken the time to read, like or comment on my blog. You support and interest keeps me writing and posting photographs – I could not do it without you.
Our world is a constantly changing place – sometimes for the better, sometime for the worst. Let us hope that 2020 and the new decade will bring lots more positives, for our environment, wildlife, and for people everywhere.
The Burren, Co Clare
Our little planet is beautiful and wonderful. Living here should inspire us all to do what we can to make it a safe, peaceful and glorious place for all things.
The children and our visiting cousin from American found this little fellow by the compost heap yesterday.
Excitement turned to sadness as we discovered he was injured. He was dragging one foot behind him and the other looked hurt too. He did eat some food we offered and we put him in a safe place overnight, with food and water.
You can see his leg sticking out behind him
This morning we brought him to our local vet. She told us his leg is broken and he also appears to have further internal injuries around the broken leg. She is not sure he will make it, but is keeping him till tomorrow to see if there is any hope for the poor thing. It was amazing seeing a hedgehog so close, just sad that it was not a happy, healthy one. We don’t know how it got injured. It may have got hit by a car and managed to get itself to the compost heap as it is only a few metres away from our small road.
Hedgehogs will use compost heaps to find food and also for hibernating in. They mainly eat insects including earwigs, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, slugs and earthworms. They hibernate in the winter when these animals are scarce and hard to find. As our winters are relatively mild in Ireland hedgehogs generally hibernate between October and March.
In Ireland, hedgehogs are protected under Appendix III of The Berne Convention and under the Wildlife Act (1976) and Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. Hedgehog populations have declined dramatically in Europe, but no research has been carried out on hedgehog populations in Ireland. Use of slug pellets, increased use of chemicals, agricultural intensification and road kills are all thought to contribute to declining numbers. For more information click here.
An empty blackbird nest in the beech hedge in the garden, exposed now because winds have blown the brown leaves off before the new ones are ready to open. We suspect either eggs or chicks were predated.
Today, Sunday, 27th August makes the end of Ireland’s 2017 Heritage Week. Thank you to all those that attended the three events I was involved in over the last nine days. Yesterday, we enjoyed our pollinator walk along the River Glore. While Carder bees were plentiful other bees were very scare. But we did see lots of peacock butterflies, one speckled wood and one red admiral.
Moth on dandelion (sorry haven’t been able to ID yet – possible dart or clay)
Common carder bee
Lots of us got up close and personal with some great minibeast at the Country Life Museum, at our biodiversity event and the children all went home with some flower seeds potted up to help our pollinators next year.
Last weekend we saw plenty of wild flowers along the banks of the River Moy at the Riverfest.
Wildfowers along the Moy
Ragworth along river Moy
This post was my own little homage to the Heritage week. It is a great way to get people out and about exploring their own local heritage, be it nature, built heritage, geology, what ever it is. While I look forward to doing it again in 2018, it is important that we all continue to get out and explore the wonderful heritage Ireland has to offer. One thing you can do is Make a Pledge for Nature. The Heritage Council is asking each of us to make a small pledge to help nature in our gardens, or communities.