Friday 6 June 2014


Yesterday, Thursday, I was up at 0430hrs which was about an hour too early but it was dawn-light outside (sunrise is at 0500hrs here, now) and I had things to do, so I sprang out of bed and made a cup of tea and did a little light bloggin', made up the bottles for the orphan lambs, did a little light bloggin', took the compost bin from the kitchen and dug it into the heap with some grass mowings, did a little light bloggin' with a piece of toast and more tea.  So by the time the rest of the family started to shuffle down for breakfast, I felt virtuous and I'd launched Louis Brandeis.  The family is currently N=5.5 with Dau.II here for a week as well as The Boy and his nuclear family.  Sometime mid-morning we decided to go for a walk from Clashganny (pic tnx Steve Mathers) to St Mullins along the River Barrow: a distance of 10 or 12 km.  It was a beautiful day and a blessing although it was a long way for the Gdau to stump along on her two-and-a-half year old legs. For regular sized people, the walk is easy because it falls from about 10m above sea-level at Clash to sea-level at St Mullins (which is the tide-head although a long way from salt water).  The whole distance and far further North is part of the Barrow River Navigation, so one side of the river is bounded by a tow path which is more or less smooth under foot although the vegetation is encroaching from both sides in parts. It is full of interest: geological, botanical and zoological and a long way from the roads so notably quiet.  To be recommended.  This section of the River Barrow is part of the South Leinster Way which will take you just over 100km across the country from Kildavin to Carrick-on-Suir along unfrequented roads, trails and towpaths. Some of the businesses along the route are taking notice of the traffic and the cafe in Graiguenamanagh where we stopped for lunch will make picnics and sandwiches for those who are walking past rather than stopping to eat like civilised people (and us).

If I was a proper biologist I would have made a better fist of identifying the creatures which we encountered along the way. Most gorgeously, the damselflies were out in a numbers at the beginning of the walk.
Actually I'm a bit iffy on the identification because I wasn't expecting to see any shockin' brilliant coloured insects and I didn't really know what are the key diagnostic features which identify each species.  None of these species really fits the habitat description and/nor the geographical distribution presented by the National Museum of Northern Ireland. So we may have added some points to these databases but I doubt it. But we defn'y saw Mute Swan cygnets Cygnus olor and ducklings (?Anas platyrhynchos?) which was a delight for the infant in our party. Dau.II is pretty sure she saw a frog hop into the long grass.  I could/should have been both in The Institute listening to 15 postgraduate students successively giving each a 15m progress report and/or in TCD talking immunology with another cohort of young scientists.  But the walk was so good for morale, it was probably better for everyone that I wasn't elsewhere.


  1. Sounds like a great walk, have yet to experience it, but you paint a nice picture.

  2. What about the mutant buttercups?! The 10 petal was awesome