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Outdoors: Spring gardens on show

Andrea McKernon
SPRING is on show today as two Co Tyrone gardens swing open their gates with magnolias, bluebells and azaleas in full bloom.

Take on Nature: St Mark’s Fly

Stephen Colton
AROUND this time every year as spring asserts itself with warming skies, we experience the sudden appearance of long, irksome shiny black flies hanging in the air drifting along with their legs dangling underneath.

Co Down taxidermist Ingrid Houwers provides a close-up look at nature

PAINTING a glass eye for a deer, collecting a road kill animal left in a bag on her back door, individually attaching feathers with a pair of tweezers to a bird of prey, introducing a blind child to a fox for the first time in their life or bringing furs or skulls to the set of Game of Thrones – it's all in a day's work for 31-year-old Ingrid Houwers.

Take on Nature: Why the kingfisher is known as 'the halcyon bird'

Stephen Colton
LAST weekend as I ambled alongside the river which flows under the bridge through the town of Kesh (Ceis in Irish, meaning wicker bridge) Co Fermanagh, I saw the distinctive, azure blue of a flying Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, fizzing rapidly across the slow moving water.

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