Michael Viney Nightmares: The first

hboschEyes! Eyes! Eyes! Eyes! Eyes on nature!

I came across an odd looking three-cornered leek beside a small stream in Slievemore, on Achill. I didn’t realise they bloomed in February. Loki Laufeyson, Port Oriel.
Also called three-cornered garlic, it migrated to Achill during the last ice age.


I was walking on Gurteen beach when I came upon significant numbers of Velella and another jelly, probably Pelagia. I don’t remember seeing these in midwinter. The water does seem a little warmer than in other years. Well to me anyway. That’s the only opinion I can take. Isiah Whitlock Jr, Baltimore, Co. Cork.
Strandings of both jellyfishies are more usual in Autumn. Their late arrival may well be due to rising ocean temperatures.
So.

Is it unusual to have sweet peas in my garden on February 1st? Is it? Is it? They were always finished by mid-September, but I’m looking through my net curtain and they’re still there. Edward Woodstock, The Duchy, Co. Dublin.
We have had unusual autumn and winter weather. Enjoy it if you can. If not, well.

goldenretreiverphotosuntitled

We would be extremely grateful if you could identify the creatures in a photograph that I took last autumn using only a camera. Alfred Stieglitz, Hoboken, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
They are caterpillars of the scalloped oak moth. Do not touch them in spring as they tend to be poisonous when their attitude is not right. They shed their body weight in April and demand long walks of their owners. Nothing a quick swipe with a newspaper won’t cure.

I have two nesting boxes in the garden, yet neither of them has ever been used. I have moved them away from the feeding tray, but still to no avail. Ali Al-Habsi, The High Cross, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Jesus Christ Ali. Nesting boxes should NOT be placed in direct sunlight and should be sheltered from prevailing winds in some cover. Do NOT get them wet and for God sake do NOT feed them after midnight. Otherwise it is a matter of luck if bird-like creatures may choose them. It’s all about luck really.

apoca

I noticed that the playground in Bushy Park in Terenure (pictured)  is ring-fenced by dark green Rentokil boxes. Surely rodent-control measures like this can have a knock-on effect on wildlife in the park. Harold Bishop, Harold’s Cross, Melbourne.
Is that where you live? Do you need help? DM me.

When we came across a common toad in our garden last year I thought we might be mistaken. I came across it again this year. Maddy Albright, Prague, Czech Republic.
Is there an actual question here, Maddy? Or are you just telling me stuff? Maddy?

I’m very lonely. Anne Francis Frank, Frankfurtplasse, Frankfurt, France.
Anne, I’m very lonely too. Don’t despair.

Every morning I feed this fox (photo attached) who visits my garden, but despite a diet of cheese, table scraps like bread and wine, I’ve noticed that his droppings are everywhere and can be rather large. Don Osmond, Ogden, Utah.
For real, Donnie? Fuck off Donny. Idiot.giraffefuckers

 

I watched rooks collecting acorns from an oak tree. The acorns on the ground have peck marks. What other birds eat acorns? Mr Thos Oakenshield, Durin, Co. Carlow.
Eh, Jays, wood pigeons, great spotted woodpeckers. I dunno, cats, dinosaurs, rainbows, barristers, baristas, Bobby Vinton. Who cares?

I watched a grey squirrel on a yew tree eat his way through the berries that the mistle thrush usually has to himself until the redwings arrive. Dr J. Ndmarychain, East Kilbride, Scotlandlandland.
Really? Did you? And you felt you needed to tell everybody? Well, thanks. You have performed a service to humanity that will be unequaled. The Geneva Convention, the Paris Peace treaty? Fuck them. Nothing compared to you. Do I sound sarcastic? Fuck this, I’m out of here. I think Nathan Fake is playing.

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