Beachcombing Some of us are inveterate beachcombers and cannot resist the urge to poke about in the flotsam and jetsam, examine an interesting piece of seaweed or collect a handful of shells. For most people this is just part of a walk on the beach and it goes no further. However, for the naturally curious […]
The area we call the seashore lies between the high-water mark, the shoreline, and line which marks the lowest level to which the water retreats on a falling tide. This is a transitional habitat shaped by the action of the sea, the geology of the land and geographical location. The composition of the coastal communities […]
The champion pond skaters of the natural world, the water measurers (Hydrometridae), pond skaters (Gerridae) and water crickets (Veliidae), are no less accomplished than the Reverend Walker. Their legs are equally long and elegant, although they have six rather than two, their skill is a combination of natural selection and physics. Gerris thoracicus. Photograph […]
The elegant, soaring song flights of larks embellishing a summer morning are celebrated in the the glorious collective term an “elevation of larks”. Alas there is no such epipthet for the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis). The sound of a male pipit ascending to declare his territory is unlikely to send a poet into raptures, but […]
The arrival of the Gooseberry Sawfly in the garden is the stuff of nightmares. Do not be deceived by these comely creatures, their discovery is enought to strike terror into the heart of any gardener.