you could wrap the Internet around fish or use it at the
bottom of the birdcage when you were done with it,
queries such as the following would probably never come
the Internet is forever, and so a story I wrote on an
Irish thatcher working briefly in America in 1995
recently brought a question from a reader in Lancaster
interested in learning this ancient art of roofing a
thatcher, Hugh O’Neill, long ago returned to Tir Na
Fhia in the Irish-speaking Connemara in western Ireland.
In 1996, we rented the drystone cottage on his property
for a week, but I haven’t been in touch since.
I don’t like to disappoint readers, I have emailed O’Neill
to see whether there is a group here that offers
thatching classes, because the reeds he used on a
prizewinning creation at the Chelsea Flower Show in New
York came from the marshes outside Odessa, Del.
I hear from O’Neill, I will let you know.
there are any thatchers who teach classes in the
Philadelphia area, email me, and I will broadcast the
another matter, one of the two 80-plus-degree days we
experienced in early March found me waiting for the
Route 100 Line to get back to Norristown from Bridgeport
on the other side of the Schuylkill.
platform was filled with swarming insects of some kind
(didn’t get their names) that annoyed me and others
and seemed to thrive in the warm sunlight.
insects reminded me that termites start their activities
in the spring around here, and that the National Pest
Management Association offers a host of suggestions on
how to deter the little dears.
of the association’s tips is to keep basements,
attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
is to repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and
air-conditioning units outside the house.
still another is to repair fascia and soffits and rotted
a termite inspection every one to three years —
annually if there has been a previous termite
infestation in your home.
last suggestion is from the pest-management association,
not from me. Just to be clear.