Bog Asphodel, Narthecium ossifragum,is a perennial herb (5 -40 cm tall) which typically grows on short wet grasslands on acid soils. It occurs in the British isles, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, … Continue Reading Bog asphodel and toxic saponins
Gorse is beautiful plant, although best viewed from a distance, rather than walked through, as it is incredibly spiny and prickly. The sharp spines are, however, a tremendous advantage if … Continue Reading Spiders and mites on gorse
Just as you think the butterfly season is coming to an end, some second generation individuals appear. I was very happy to come across these second brood Brown Argus (Aricia … Continue Reading Small, brown and moving north!
We have heard a lot in the news lately (Aug 2019) about the terrible forest fires burning in the Amazon. The forests are being cleared in order to grow ‘cash … Continue Reading Eucalyptus: one of the drivers of deforestation in Brazil
Spring is a lovely time. Things start growing again. Buds, flowers, delicate green leaves, new shoots. Life renewing itself. A good time to get out and take some pictures. Photograph … Continue Reading Images of Spring
The Eastern honey bee, or Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), is endemic to much of Asia where has been cultivated for honey production for millenia. It is fairly similar to … Continue Reading Asian honey bees on Calla lilies
The leaves have only just started to open on this oak tree, a Sessile oak I think, yet it is already covered by many galls. These rounded disfigurations – called … Continue Reading Oak apple galls
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a fast growing, invasive perennial with a terrible reputation for spreading and excluding other native plants. Its roots are also capable of breaking through concrete … Continue Reading Knot bad for bees!
Orchids flower over quite a long period, with the dates of the flowering season varying somewhat with latitude. In Scarborough, I spotted (sic) my first Common spotted orchid – in … Continue Reading Orchids come and go!
I took a few photos of a large Bombus terrestris bumblebee (queen I think) visiting foxglove flowers in St. James Park, London on a fine day last week. When I … Continue Reading Do bumblebees know when ants are in?
Common vetch plants (Vicia sativa) are much favoured by ants. The reason being that they have tiny glands – called extrafloral nectaries – which produce a nectar solution which the … Continue Reading Be my bodyguard and have a drink! Said the vetch to the ant.
This beautiful insect looks like a beetle, but it is in fact a bug – a true bug as entomologists call hemipterans. It is a member of the family Scutelleridae and … Continue Reading Beetle-like bug
Take a photograph of a flower, examine it closely – or enlarge it on a computer screen – and you will invariably find an insect lurking somewhere in the picture. … Continue Reading Flowers and insects: an ancient alliance
Sometimes when you take a photograph you only notice something unusual about it when you come to examine the image closely on the computer. I took this image of a … Continue Reading Bumbler bees and foxgloves
This very strange-looking flower originates from South Asia, where it occurs from Bhutan to Bangladesh. There are more than 500 species in the genus Clerodendrum L. (Family: Lamiaceae), widely distributed … Continue Reading A weird and wonderful plant
I came across this amazing flower – rose of Venezuela, or rose of the jungle – in Bogor Botanical Gardens, Java, Indonesia. It originates from South America, where for millions … Continue Reading Rose of the jungle