Nature Study.

Over the years, we have made an amateur & heterogeneous (= chaotic) study of some aspects of plants & animals. A few are listed below. Of course, some pages include both – what can one do? Just click on the thumbnail.

 

PLANTS.
(There are also many plants shown in the Animals pages below.)

 


FUNGI ON A CUT LOG, EDGBASTON RESERVOIR.
14th February 2014. A group of fungi together, plus another species on a living tree.

SOME PERILS FACED BY ORCHIDS IN THE HOME.
October and December 2016.
 In October, a Phalenopsis orchid, growing a new flower spike, was threatened by a 
predator. Also, another, smaller plant was languishing. Happily, by December all was well again.

 

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ATTEMPTS AT PLANTING SEEDS, PIPS & STONES FROM FRUIT.
1st November 2017. Since planting date stones at Christmas 2015 (which actually produced plants), we have been trying other things, like avocado, mango, apricot. Most have begin to grow…

 


POND LIFE.
Animals and plants abound – with any luck – in ponds, lakes and rivers, not to mention the vasty seas. Here are one two views down my battered old microscope.

 

 

ANIMALS & BIRDS.

 


ABOUT FOURTEEN MAGPIES!
3rd December 2018. A gathering or ‘parliament’ of magpies gathered on the trees at the top of my garden. I shot a bit of shaky video – click on the the image to see and hear it.  

 

THE COMMON BLACKBIRD.
28th May 2018. How often do we take for granted, the beauties of Nature with which we are surrounded? I for one, was reminded of that omission this evening… just click on the thumbnail to hear why.  

 


WHERE HAVE ALL THE SMALL BIRDS GONE?
8th November 2017. We just re-filled our bird feeder after a regrettably long time. After four days, no birds have been seen visiting it. What is happening?

 

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Daphnis nerii: WILL THEY EMERGE IN SPRING?
28th December 2016. We received the splendid Christmas present of four pupae of the exotic and beautiful Oleander Hawk Moth. Click the image to see preparation of their environment until next Spring.

 

privethawk tinySOME RANDOM MUSINGS ON MOTHS WE HAVE REARED.
26th November 2015. We have been interested, in a general way, in moths (and butterflies) for many years. Here are some reminiscences of a few species we reared from eggs or small larvae.

 

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ENTOMOLIGISING AGAIN, TARDILY.
Caterpillars, moths, butterflies & so forth, up to July 2013, following a long gap in this Diary!

 

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BLACK PANTHERS NEAR DONCASTER.
October 25th 2012. About 11:30 am, as a passenger in a car leaving the M18 to join the northbound A1(M), I saw two black panthers. Honest!

 

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MONKWOOD BIRD & BUTTERFLY RESERVE – EARLY JULY 2010.
A much delayed follow-up to our two previous visits in February and May 2008. It was excellent to see a butterfly reserve going full tilt as it were; the weather was sunny and at least 7 species were on the wing, some in abundance.

 

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THE HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD IS HERE TO STAY…
A couple of years ago, somebody drew my attention to the advent of the Harlequin Ladybird in this country. About 18 months ago I thought I saw one in southern Oxfordshire, and a couple of weeks ago another in my house. Today I saw many of them!

 

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BUTTERFLIES: TWO NEW SPECIES IN THE POOR YEAR 2008.After our débâcle – or fiasco, whichever you prefer 8^)   – in searching for the Wood White butterfly, is there anything that can be salvaged from this deplorable year? Well, we did manage to photograph two species new to our camera during 2008…

 

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THE 2008 QUEST FOR Leptidea sinapis.
Why would anybody want to see & photograph this small & generally inconsequential butterfly, the ‘Wood White’? Well, I do; although I can’t exactly tell you why. With any luck, this page will chart the success or failure of this Quest. We’re beginning early in the season!

 

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: toadflaxtinyA NATURE RAMBLE IN NORTH CORNWALL, LATE AUGUST 2007.
The 29th August to be exact. We were playing at the Bude Jazz Festival, but just had one session in the evening. Some good friends suggested a walk along the cliff path southward from Bude. These pictures were the result.

 

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After all the butterflies (well, three anyway…), it seemed to be the turn of the moths to present themselves compliantly for photographs. But alas, the shooting of moths is far more difficult! Still, three common species are shown here.

 

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A further expedition took us to the Harborne (Birmingham) Nature Reserve, where another Gatekeeper butterfly was shot, plus a Speckled Wood, and Hogweed, complete with its almost obligatory Soldier Beetle…

 

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Emboldened, I launched out on an alternative career as a photographer of wildlife. Here are shots

 

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An attempt – rather successful for an amateur I thought – at photographing a wasp, which I thought at first was a very big Vespula vulgaris indeed, but which turned out to be Vespula germanica; which are large in any case.

 

          
THE LIZARD.
Reminiscences of lizards many years ago; and more recently, one which lived in my car for about a month, unharmed. And better still, good photographs of the Common Lizard and the Sand Lizard, the only British species, by permission of the photographers. (All 3 thumbnails link to the same page).

 

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Encounters with, and observations of, crows over the years; and some thoughts resulting from these.