Insect antennae V.

This blog is dedicated to Andreas Kay (1963–2019), a remarkable biologist and natural history photographer, some of whose photographs I have included below. I never met Andreas, but like many people, I followed him on Facebook and marvelled at his photographs documenting the diversity of life in Ecuador.  He generously shared over 28,000 of his…

Winter wonderland

Winter is a time of quiet rebirth. Nature rests and renews itself. Leaves fall and molecules return to the soil; ready to be recycled and reused. There is great beauty in this process of decomposition. The sun stays low in the sky but still provides some warmth on sunny days. A leaf, blown here and…

Insect antennae II.

Adult insects rely on their antennae to detect odours (smells!) which tell them all about what’s happening in their neighbourhood. Whether there is anything to eat nearby; whether there are any members of the opposite sex looking for a partner; who else is about, and so on. They wave their wonderful wands around and pick…

Flies and flowers

Bees get a lot of good press these days, especially for their role as pollinators. And let’s face it, they deserve it! Hard working, unassuming, attractive and useful! They are almost supplanting those poster boys and girls of the insect world: butterflies! But what about flies? Their press is a mixed bag. To some people…

Seaweed flies

The equinoctial gales washed up lots of nice kelp onto the beaches of Scarborough this year (below). The piles of seaweed were gradually pushed up the beach by the incoming tides, eventually accumulating beyond the strand-line, where it slowly decays and eventually dries out. This gift from the sea is a wonderful bounty which is…