As a child, I was fascinated by elephants and loved to hear stories of how they live in families, communicate and even appear to pass knowledge from one generation to the next. So, not surprisingly, I am a committed fan of Cynthia Moss. I absolutely loved Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family which I have returned to several times over the years. It is a really terrific insight into the lives of a family of elephants – sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, always moving and beautifully told. If, like me, you’re fan of this noble beast, then be sure to find time for Ms Moss.
During the unusually extended cold period in December and January there have been more birds than usual in Irish gardens and more opportunity for gardeners like myself to watch and wonder at their diversity. It has made me realise how little I know about our native species so, yesterday, I ventured out to the village bookshop and bought a copy of Gordon D’Arcy’s Birds of Ireland (Pocket Guides). The images are good in this little book which is small enough to carry around in your pocket and the brief descriptions are easy and quick to read but provide enough information to help quickly identify most of the common visitors. If you’re curious, like I was, about your Irish garden visitors, this could be the starting point you’re looking for.