The story of the expansion of the Comma butterfly in Ireland is a fascinating one. I’ve been working on it since last year and bouncing ideas around with my three fellow authors. The article started to come together after Christmas and is now near ready for publication by Butterfly Conservation Ireland so I’ll wait for that before adding anything more.
I walked the Barrow Way in Kildare a lot this year as part of my Comma project. It also helped immensely with my rehabilitation and I could visit my mother in her nursing home before heading home. I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with this corner of Kildare and the engineer in me marvelled at the, mostly 18th century, infrastructure which you can get a glimpse of from these photos – no butterflies for once. The Barrow Lock is where the Grand Canal Barrow Line enters the River Barrow at Athy. South of this there are some navigation cuts or side canals to enable boats to pass weirs, mills and rapids. The Levitstown cut measuring 2 miles is the longest of these. The county boundary with Carlow is south of Maganey where the River Lerr flows into the Barrow – the west bank of the river along here is in Laois.