An Madra Rua/ An Sionnach agus a chlann - Some two nights back I was privileged to see not one but four of a family of foxes in the glare of a torch, thanks to the courtesy of a friend who 'set up' the encounter at the edge of the Rock.All appeared healthy,the dog fox,the vixen as well as the two cubs.The cubs appeared especially healthy,probably because of a really good summer and autumn and plenty of prey.I had 'met' with a fox before in the woods but it was a considerable time ago.On that occasion it was morning.
Further to my blog on the Pine Marten some days back I've included another shot .
All photos courtesy of www.wildlifeireland.ie
so why not keep it to 'Up Tipp' all this week in keen anticipation of Saturday's contest?This is the scene in Clonmel's O Connell Street as I write and more colour and pageantry is to be seen all over town.
The sun is shining brill all day till now and while doing a solo run in the woods a Red Squirrel put on a lively display for me in an area of woodland where I have never seen a Red before - the Green walk,five minutes walk west of the trailhead.The time was c. 12.30 and after doing a half circle around me across branches,up and down trunks while keeping to a height of about two metres it eventually made off downhill towards the river.He was fully buzzed up,ears alert,darting here and there with a bushy tail that would do justice to a sweep's brush!There are nuts a plenty to be had both in the trees and on the ground as your ears will tell you as you crack them underfoot,and no doubt he is having a bellyful.
Andy is our latest volunteer whose work at the Rock is very much appreciated as is the trojan work of Eddie,left on middle photo as well as Stephen along with myself the hatted one.
Andy has come to us on the back of two years on a Horticulture course and is a welcome addition to our crew.
Eddie is a plumber by trade while Steve can turn his hand to anything woody.These lads turn up on site and give of their time generously and of their expertise on a regular basis.
They get to site on their own steam and where they drive,at their own expense.
They contribute anything from two to four hours, two to three days a week of their labour doing a mix of jobs.
Their main task is to ensure the trails at the Rock remain open 365 days a year,while pruning branches,trimming nettles,noting what plants are showing and where,basic drainage and a host of other works.
Two artists Claire Halpin and Maree Hensey,the twin forces behind the innovative,constructive and creative art venture www.soundinglines.wordpress.com staged a walk with a difference on the towpath from Kilsheelin Bridge downstream at the end of August.You can follow the route today and see and experience much of what was a most enjoyable and rewarding experience for me and Eddie,the guy in the water above.More can be seen at the web address above.Thanks to Eddie for all his effort and help on the day,providing transport for the red Kayak,anchoring the kayak in the river,a volunteer of top quality.
While on my way to the Rock this morning I found the remains of a Pine Marten on the roadside above what is known locally as Kent's roundabout.I put on a work glove and taking hold of the tail I moved the remains to the grass verge the better to identify the animal.I next turned the animal over and it was then I was certain the body was that of a Marten - the breast colouring was unmistakeable.This is the first such I have seen in the area of Marlfield and I am hopeful there are more in the area because of this find.Thanks to Wildlife Ireland for the use of the two photos above,left and right.
Doesn't seem like three weeks since I put up the last blog - but there it is.Was away marrying off a lovely niece of mine and enjoying a welcome break in pastures new.
Now is a great time to walk in the woods as the first signs of autumn are upon us.Some light falls of leaves are in evidence.The light has softened or appears to have.There is the crunch of nuts underfoot and there is that musty scent in the air - change is underway.The Sycamore leaves are showing black spots,while Beech leaves are already brown and down on the tracks.Ash and Oak are less in evidence but will follow in due course.
We are back in the woods from Monday clearing fallen branches from the trails and dragging into the undergrowth to feed the wood floor as well as provide cover for woodland creatures.
author artist activist