Drosera anglica

Bladderworts, Butterworts and Sundews

I like to think as insectivorous plants as a perverse, natural revenge by plants on the animal kingdom. The prey has become the predator as they have evolved the ability to lure, trap and digest insects. This facility to acquire additional nutrients enables them to grow in habitats with poor soils such as wetland heaths […]

Daffodil shoots late December 2019

Spring – as if to tease us ….

As if to tease us, indications of better things to come arrived just as daylight hours reached their minimum. The first tentative daffodil shoots appeared amongst the rapidly dwindling Calendulas in the garden and deep in the hedge a Song Thrush started to sing. Knowing that the worst of winter is still to come I

Wild Swans

Seven Swans a-Swimming in the Outer Hebrides

According to the traditional English carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, on the seventh day we should look forward to the delivery of “seven swans a swimming” which would be a notable addition to any menagerie. It conjures an idyllic, pastoral vision of a septet (or should it be heptad) of swans serenely swimming around

The other things you find in moth traps

Like many people I run a moth trap in the garden. It gets put out on suitable nights from March through to November. The best nights are those with low wind speeds and overcast humid conditions. Evenings with heavy rain and high winds are definite no trap days. In the morning, hopefully, there will be

A story in a single photograph – dandelion pollination

A close-up photograph of a dandelion flower reveals the strange strategy of dandelion pollination. Each “flower” is actually a composite of hundreds of individual flowers.  Each has a single petal but its own set of male and female parts and produces its own nectar and pollen.  Early flowering dandelions are a magnet for early flying

Polycera quadrilineata

Between the Tides

As well as all the fascinating organisms reported in On the Beach, if you delve down among the seaweeds you may find some colourful and graceful creatures that you might be surprised to learn are called Sea Slugs. Scientifically they are known as nudibranch molluscs, the first word meaning ‘naked lung’ and referring to the

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