A pair of swans on the Lansdowne Road stretch of the River Dodder, in Dublin, suddenly turned on their juvenile offspring on January 7th and, hissing and honking, chased the terrified youngster until he was out of sight.
I photographed some of the icicles that naturally form and emerge from a pipe protecting the cattle water trough in the early January mornings. The water in the pipe freezes and forces the ice out through a pin hole in the top when it expands.
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
They are called frost flowers and are usually associated with long-stemmed plants in freezing conditions. The sap in the stem expands because of the cold, which causes cracks in the stem wall. Water oozes out into the freezing air and forms strands of ice that spiral outwards, creating these fascinating shapes. The same conditions were obviously replicated in your pipe.
What are the formations in my photograph, taken on Booley Bay, in Wexford?
Lucan, Co Dublin
Prof Mike Guiry, a seaweed expert, confirms that they are colonies of Sabellaria, marine worms that make tubes from sand and encrust rocks from the lower shore downwards. A sign, he says, of a clean and healthy beach.
There were 11 blackbirds in my garden recently and three more in the next garden. At least four were cocks.
Bray, Co Wicklow
They were winter migrants from Europe.
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a postal address