Sea Holly is a common component of beach-dune ecosystems in Europe. I love the subtle colour combination of spiky green leaves and the lilac-blue flowers. This plant says to me: ‘You see I have a lovely soft, blue flower, but come too close and I will spike you!’. Photographed in Galicia, Spain.
I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.