It’s still not too late to install a Bird nesting box in your garden. Ideally the box should have been put in place during last autumn or at least in the early part of last winter. This would have allowed regular bird visitors to your garden plot enough time to get used to its existence.
When installing, fix the box onto something solid; a sturdy garden fence, a stone or cement wall, a secure post; using screws, or if to a mature tree, use strong plastic electric cable ties. Position the nest box between 2 metres (6ft) and 4 metres (12ft) above ground level, preferably out of direct midday sunlight.
Always position the box in such a way as to ensure its front door is facing between north-east and south-east in an area well shaded by foliage, thus offering maximum shelter against Ireland’s regular south west prevailing weather conditions.
Do add a small protruding perch to your nest box, and ensure that same is out of reach of roaming, domestic, furry, feline friends or other natural predators. Try to keep nesting boxes away from bird tables also so as to allow Mum and Dad and their brood to fully relax away from unnecessary noise.
Once in place, relax, sit back, observe quietly and resist all temptation to inspect the box constantly. Such actions can disturb and drive off nesting birds, forcing them to desert their chosen home in favour of other quieter rent free accommodation.
At the end of summer or early autumn always check that any previous nesting material or unhatched eggs is removed, as old nest materials can become infested by various types of larvae, which can cause a serious infestation to any future nesting inhabitants.
Do wear rubber gloves when removing waste nest material, before pouring freely, simply plain boiling water into and over the box. This extermination process removes any hidden parasites that may have holed-up in cracks or crevices. Avoid all temptation to use insecticide, if possible.
Remember birds will often return to use your nest box for roosting outside their breeding season, so it is a good idea to install a small handful of clean hay or wood shavings or a temporary roost, for this eventuality.
Expect Earwigs to make their home in any narrow crevices in your nest box, but same will not cause any harm to tenanted birds. To avoid this Earwig problem, inviting crevices can be filled using the various types of filling compounds available in your local DIY store.
National Fire Safety Week 2016, runs from tomorrow, Monday 3rd October to Monday 10th October 2016.
The theme of this year’s awareness week is “Stop Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.”
During this Fire Safety Week; two question you should ask yourself:- (1)Do you have smoke alarms fitted presently? (2)Is your already fitted smoke alarm in good working order?
Remember a working smoke alarm will warn you and possibly save your life if there is an outbreak of fire in your home. Do remember that your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep and smoke can assist in putting you into an even deeper sleep, possibly, (God forbid), permanently.
Persons with Impaired Hearing
For those residents particularly those living alone who suffer from impaired hearing, they will, for the most part, not hear the audible warning given off by standard smoke alarms, especially since they are unlikely to be wearing a hearing aid at night. However; it needs reminding to all that there are smoke alarm systems available on the market, that effectively use strobe lights or vibrating pads, to alternatively alert these same individuals of the danger of a fire in their home.
Time to Test Existing Installations
This week is the perfect opportunity to test your existing Smoke Alarm. Same may be tested in most cases by pressing the ‘test button’ on your current system, pressing same with the handle tip end of your average floor brush. Best whether needed or not to replace the batteries once a year in standard alarms, or always as soon as you hear the warning beep. Do vacuum the smoke alarms regularly and wipe the cover, since censers can get clogged with dust, cobwebs etc, thus often resulting in their failure to operate properly.
Those who have 10 year smoke alarms will need to replace the whole alarm after the 10 years have expired. Smoke alarms can be found available at most Thurles Home DIY & Hardware Stores.
Be ‘Safe’ Rather than ‘Sorry’
Every home should have at least one smoke alarm for each floor. Fit them between your sleeping areas and your kitchen and living rooms. Best to have one in the hallway at ground floor level and one at each upper level, on landings. For a truly enhanced level of protection, you should consider fitting alarms in your living rooms and kitchen, in bedrooms used by vulnerable people, or in bedrooms where there is a television or other electrical appliance, e.g.a computer left plugged in.
Always position smoke alarms at ceiling level and in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do play your part during National Fire Safety Week; it could save your life in the very near future!
Householders in Thurles and across Tipperary are being encouraged to avail of an upcoming opportunity to dispose of their hazardous wastes free of charge.
The Southern Region Waste Management Office has teamed up with Local Authorities across the region, including Tipperary County Council, to operate bring centres for the collection of hazardous domestic waste, one of which will be located at the Roscrea Civic Amenity Site on Saturday January 23rd from 8.30am to 3.30 pm(closed for lunch from 12.30 pm to 1.00 pm).
Waste items including lead acid batteries, cooking and engine oil, oil filters, paints and lacquers, paint strippers and cleaners, old medicines, pesticides and herbicides, fluorescent tubes and household aerosols can be deposited free of charge.
Staff from Tipperary County Council’s Environment section will be present for the event, which is funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, while information guides on green cleaning and green gardening will also be made available.
“Through hosting this free of charge ‘drop-off day’, we are providing householders throughout Tipperary with an excellent opportunity to dispose of their hazardous wastes in a manner that protects human health and the environment,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.
Householders are being reminded that each waste type brought to the Roscrea Civic Amenity must be clearly identifiable, segregated and packaged to avoid leaks and minimise risks.
The forthcoming drop-off day is an initiative of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan. Ten local authorities in Tipperary, Cork, Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Kerry have been set a number of key targets in relation waste prevention activities.
Householders can get additional information about the event and about how to manage hazardous waste from www.southernwasteregion.ie.
The people of Co. Tipperary are being urged not to discard broken household items, but instead bring them along to a free pop-up fixing clinic; latter taking place at the Scout Hall in Nenagh, North Tipperary, on Saturday April 18th from 11.00am to 2.00pm.
The Repair Café is part of a growing international movement, first initiated in Holland in 2009, which encourages people to repair things rather than simply throw them away.
The Southern Region Waste Management Office, in conjunction with Tipperary County Council and Nenagh Mens Shed, are inviting people to drop in to the ‘Cafe’ with items such as tools with broken handles, wooden furniture, bikes or electrical equipment, where they will learn to fix them.
“The concept is really simple,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, who continued: “The ‘Café’ brings together local businesses from the Nenagh area that have a range of skills and knowledge about fixing items. Householders bring along their broken items, sit with the experts and watch and learn from when the item is taken apart to when it is put back together again.”
Ms. McDonogh added: “Repair Cafe organisers find the majority of people who show up bring items they feel are too expensive to repair and would simply throw them away; shovels, lamps and children’s toys being popular examples. Often however, these items are easily repairable.”
Next week’s event in Nenagh is the final in a series of three Repair Cafés being held across the Southern Waste Region with other events already taking place in Tralee and Kilkenny.
The Southern Waste Region, which is administered by the Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO), covers counties; Tipperary, Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Cork County, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford.
“And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue, Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, I still had hopes, my long vexations past, Here to return – and die at home at last.”
Lines taken from “The Deserted Village,” by Oliver Goldsmith
Reading the inscriptions on headstones is now fast becoming a great contributor to our Irish tourism sector, both domestic and foreign, as more and more people have begun to trace their family’s history and now seek out the burial places of their long, often lost ancestors.
Most old headstone markers are difficult to read as they have become, through neglect, covered in decades of grime and various other surface lichens. Examine your grave marker therefore carefully at first to ascertain if it is indeed cleanable or if best left alone. If the stone shows signs of chipping, scaling, flaking or any other forms of obvious deterioration, do not clean. Your actions will do more harm than good and in most cases you will only further accelerate its future demise.
How Best To Read That Old Neglected Family Headstone
Before cleaning the discovered headstone, best to confirm that you have uncovered a marker that genuinely belongs to your family tree. Many grave markers turn out to be the long lost property of another family, so do try to decipher names and recorded death dates shown on the surface, before interfering.
To help clarify ownership to your satisfaction, for reading and later cleaning you will need in your possession a stiff bristled brush, (Either natural or nylon but never a wire brush), a supply of water, a spray can of well shaken shaving foam, (Gillette Regular shaving foam is best) and a stiff straight edged piece of cardboard or rubber edged window cleaning wiper. Spray the foam over the words inscribed on the headstones, making sure to press into the counter-relief or sunken script, before removing the excess shaving foam from the headstone with the edge of the stiff cardboard or rubber wiper. Some of the foam should now sit into the carved script, enabling you to read most of the written epitaph. [See picture above.]
In past times a product known as ‘Heelball,’ latter a wax, coloured with lampblack, latter once used to stain and polish the edges of the soles and heels of repaired shoes, was most often used to take rubbings of stone inscriptions successfully, but alas like many such products it has now become difficult to locate. A rub from green grass or dock leaves can also assist to highlight some worn lettering less successfully.
Cleaning Your Family Headstone
First remember that old headstones can never be made to appear totally brand new.
Up to the early 1970 all Roman Catholic graveyards throughout Ireland, usually before the end of July, held “Pattern Days.” These were days when people come together to perform a kind of pilgrimage, to the burial place of their dead relatives or simply to honour their local saint, latter who had often founded their local church. This is now somewhat of a fading tradition in many graveyards, but perhaps should again be resurrected. Relatives of deceased persons worked well to spruce up their cemetery for weeks beforehand, decorating many graves with fresh flowers and wreaths, scrubbing headstones and weeding burial plots.