they are still walking is surely reassuring. I volunteered to cut across the South Face of
golden plover feadóg bhuí Pluvialis apricaria launched out from under our feet and winged away across the heather scrub. These are red-listed for Ireland but seem to be making a come-back in the Blackstairs: we saw four last week. The grouse cearc fhraoigh Lagopus lagopus has long gone from our part of the world. I remember, the August (1997) after we moved into our present home, meeting two chaps, two guns and two dogs walking up our lane. It was really just for old times sake, they said, it being several years since they'd seen a grouse on the moors, let alone killed one. Plover and grouse inhabit a not dissimilar ecological niche; maybe the plovers can move in because the previous incumbents have died out or moved on. Our friend Roy, an keen amateur naturalist back home in Northumberland, remarked on how few birds he found on our Irish hills compared to home.
Who said mountains? Nietzsche said: "In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow" actually he said "Im Gebirge der Wahrheit kletterst du nie umsonst: Entweder du kommst schon heute weiter hinauf oder übst deine Kräfte, um morgen höher steigen zu können." because he was born in preußischen Provinz Sachsen [Saxony].