An animal often appears at my mother’s house, on the slopes of Sliabh an Iarainn, in Co Leitrim, around 7pm. Nobody has been able to identify it. (...)

Limpets: Aristotle noted their mysterious powers of navigation. Illustration: Michael Viney

As if in some well-used holiday cottage by the sea, our window sills carry glass vessels – a wine jug here, an outsized goblet there – packed with sea(...)

I saw what looked like a pea-sized green spider with reddish markings. Is it in fact a louse or a tic, and is it dangerous? Ruth Marshall Rahee(...)

Sound reasons for surfacing: beached whales. Illustration: Michael Viney Sound reasons for surfacing: beached whales. Illustration: Michael Viney

In summer the sound of the sea drifts up to us from the srútha, where the mountain river, looping the strand, runs finally into the waves. What keeps (...)

I saw some furry striped moths end to end on pampas grass in my garden. Kay Moran Ballyvaughan, Co Clare They were puss moths mating, from (...)

In a pinch: a crab, part of the big planetary recycle. Illustration: Michael Viney

For every grain of mineral sand that whispers across the dunes as a fragment of a ground-down Irish mountain, another wind-blown particle began in (...)

We found a long, thin creature, like a stick, on a doorstep on Kenmare Bay. What is it, and is it common in Ireland? Philip Goldrick Kenmare, C(...)

Speckled woods: well designed for dappled light. Illustration: Michael Viney

A tree can make a sadly modest pile of timber when you see it sawn up for the stove. The ash we were so fond of yielded a couple of generous coffinsfu(...)

I counted the roof-nesting gulls at Dunmore East on June 9th and found nests for 67 herring gulls and three for great black-backed gulls. A disused(...)

Ragweed: one plant can generate up to a billion grains of pollen in a season, travelling hundreds of kilometres on the wind. Illustration: Michael Viney

Letting our lawn patches grow without mowing this year offered the pleasure, rare on a sheep-shorn hillside, of watching a sheet of wild grasses shoot(...)