There is something magical about the sight of an owl hunting at dusk. Like the return each year of the swallows and house martins, it proves that we are doing at least a few things right in providing them with the necessities of life.
It is almost 30 years since our new national afforestation scheme was launched. It was hugely successful, amazingly so compared it to the current appalling situation where farmers are struggling to get permits for planting, thinning and general management tasks.
Good news has been a scarce commodity in the agricultural sector in recent months but the announcement that the European Investment Bank, along with others, is to support a €200m investment in Irish forestry confirms that the industry here has finally come of age.
It is only as we grow older that we understand fully the truth of the saying: "The more we know, the more we realise how little we know". We never stop learning and every day is a school day. Almost regardless of age, the career opportunities available nowadays are greater than ever, but how many make the most of them?
A number of years ago I saw Michael when driving along one of the many byroads of Co Leitrim. He was walking slowly, with a stick in his right hand, and on his left shoulder he carried, with obvious difficulty, a large branch.
Young people are being constantly advised to save a portion of their income on a regular basis. This is, of course, wise and sensible as it can then grow into a worthwhile amount to use as a deposit on a house, a pension or just to provide security for those inevitable rainy days that affect most of us at some point in our lives.
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