Photograph Highlights 2016
Dunes of Morfa Harlech on the Welsh coast: photograph first published in The Clearing, Little Tollers Journal for new writing. Rain Sideways by Paul Evans
"Behind the seaward edge of the dunes are wildflowers: restharrow, pyramidal orchid, wild thyme, milkwort – exiles from the meadows of long ago. These grow amongst sea holly, Portland spurge, sea bindweed, marram grass – old salty mariners at the edge. Together they form unique communities based entirely on change". Read more ......
Herbaceous by Paul Evans published by Little Toller Books
Down in Dymock, on the red clay of Severn Vale,
the daffodils packed in boxes went to London on
the train and poets went to War. Neither came back.
They say a shell passed so close to Edward Thomas's
heart it stopped. When he walked the yellow wood*
did he ever have an inkling such a thing could happen,
that the power of something passing could kill you?
Don't stand too close to the railway line or step beyond
the daffodils at wood's edge.
* 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood / And sorry I could not travel both, ' Robert Frost, 'The Road Not Taken' (1916).
Honey blue butterfly
Re-imagining Lost Landscapes: Lodge Hill visit 16/17 June
On the 16th and 17th June a group of writers, artists, conservationists and local campaigners came together to visit Lodge Hill, to explore the many different aspects of its character which combine to create such a unique place.
Feeding sparrows on Holy Island: an ethical dilemma - Guardian Country Diary 7 September 2016
Furtive and mouse-like, the sparrows scuttled under tables, the lookouts venturing on to chair backs to scope out possibilities. They have an acute instinct for a good mark, and I had a sparrow-friendly vibe and a sandwich.
Fallow deer at Attingham Park Shropshire
These elegant deer have long been prized as ornamental species and their history is closely linked to that of deer parks. Fallow deer were first brought to Britain from the western Mediterranean during the Roman period, when they were kept within enclosures known as ‘vivaria’. Genetic analysis has shown that these Roman fallow deer went extinct in Britain following the collapse of the Roman Empire. It was not until the 11th century that fallow deer were reintroduced, this time from the eastern Mediterranean. Initially they were kept in parks as rare exotica but gradually their populations increased and they became an important source of venison for aristocratic tables. As the fashion for deer parks declined in the 15th century, many parks fell into disrepair and these medieval escapee deer are the foundation of the free-living population in Britain today. The British Deer Society
Pesticide poisoning stops bees from finding flowers, new research shows
New research published today in the journal Scientific Reports has shown how poisoning by pesticides can affect bees' spatial memories leading them to forget where they have been, making feeding less efficient and potentially affecting navigation.
Green lapwings at Venus Pool Nature Reserve Shropshire
Also known as the peewit in imitation of its display calls, its proper name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest. This familiar farmland bird has suffered significant declines recently and is now an Red List species. The RSPB: Read more....
Painted lady Berwick on Tweed
The Painted Lady is one of our largest butterflies and can be seen in Britain throughout the year although they are at there most common in mid to late summer. The upper wings are buff-orange near the body with dark brown/black markings with white patches towards the tips of the wings. The hind wings are also buff-orange with a row of dark brown/black circular spots. At the tip of the hind wings, a small area of blue colouration is present. Steven Cheshire's British Butterflies Read more ....
Wheatear on standing stone at Mitchells Fold Stone Circle
The wheatear is a small mainly ground-dwelling bird. It hops or runs on the ground. It is blue-grey above with black wings and white below with an orange flush to the breast. It has a black cheek. In flight, it shows a white rump and a black 'T' shape on its tail. It is a summer visitor and passage migrant. Birds breed mainly in western and northern Britain and western Ireland, although smaller numbers do breed in southern and eastern England. It winters in central Afric. RSPB Read more....
A bird in the house disturbs the order of things
The unmistakable fan-snap of feathers announces the arrival of a visitor. A dark blur up the stairs, a spike of electric current. There is a palpable disturbance to the order of things when there’s a bird in the house; perhaps that’s why it’s associated with ill omen. The blackbird hops through the back door following a trail of breakfast cereal. Guardian Country Diary Paul Evans Read more....
Oxeye Daisy thrives on roadside verges and waste grounds, as well as in traditional hay meadows and along field edges deliberately looked after for wildflowers - swathes of gently swaying Oxeye Daisies can turn a field or roadside white in summer. Its large blooms appear from July to September and are so bright that they appear to 'glow' in the evening, hence the common names of 'Moon Daisy' and 'Moonpenny'. The Wildlife Trusts Read more....
Meadow pipit on fence post at Swch Cae Rhiw
A small, brown, streaky bird, it is the commonest songbird in upland areas and its high, piping call is a familiar sound. In flight, it shows white outer tail feathers and in the breeding season, it has a fluttering 'parachute' display flight. In winter they are quite gregarious and gather in small flocks, often invisible among the vegetation, suddenly flying up with typical jerky flight. RSPB Read more....