Why is my monkey puzzle tree missing some tree rings?
Readers’ nature queries
Missing tree rings is a known phenomenon
I planted a monkey puzzle tree in my garden in 1968 and as it grew taller than the house I decided to have it removed. I counted tor rings at the base and to my amazement could find only 40. – Bob Brennan, Newbridge, Co Kildare
Missing tree rings is a known phenomenon. According to experts, under some adverse conditions rings are not formed, but when the growing environment improves or changes growth is resumed.
When I examined this series of silken tunnels in the garden shed, a yellow 20mm larva emerged. Are these wax worm cocoons? – John Mullins, Cork
They are the cocoons of the greater wax moth, which you opened before the caterpillar (wax worm) had developed into a pupa.
I spotted up to 30 curlews at a time during October in St Mary’s football grounds in Galway City. – Ted Campbell, Galway
They are the first arrivals of curlews from Scotland, north of England and Scandinavia to winter here.
Could you identify this insect, a bit bigger than a bluebottle, found on the car windscreen in July? – Jack Casey, Mallow, Co Cork
It’s a male damsel bug, Loricula elegantula, which has been reported a few times to the Biological Data Records from different parts of the country but not from Cork. It is usually seen in July.
This is Barney Brush, our convivial diner in Maynooth. He attends the coffee shop in the Square for his breakfast and the diners attend to him. At night he has supper at the pizza joint on Main Street. Photo from Peter Neligan. – Damien Maguire, Maynooth, Co Kildare
On October 20th I counted eight swallows flying over my garden. Is it not a little late for them to take a winter break in the sunny south-east? – Ken Meyler, Rosslare, Co Wexford
Late broods of swallows can continue to leave up to the end of October.
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.