Riverfly Sampling

David Beeson, December 2021 In Hampshire, we have some unique river systems. With chunks of the county dominated by chalky geology the rainwater is held in huge aquifers and only slowly released. It emerges comparatively warm in winter ( and remains cool in summer) and is enriched with dissolved calcium. The waters are usually crystalContinue reading “Riverfly Sampling”

Life in the attic

David Beeson, November 2021 We live in the country with wild creatures all around, so it is inevitable that some will select to live with us. Some are benign, but ticks and fleas are certainly unwelcome. So, what has moved in? Let’s start with the attic – the space between the roof and the ceiling.Continue reading “Life in the attic”

Autumn has finally arrived

David Beeson, mid-November 2021 With three frosts throwing their silvery whiteness over our garden many of the plants have closed down for the winter. Probably these types are more southerly in their origins, yet many blooms are still attracting the honey and bumblebees, as well as the remaining wasps. While the light-absorbing pigments in chlorophyllContinue reading “Autumn has finally arrived”

The Magpie Fungus and its friends

David Beeson, Late October 2021 Harewood Forest, an ancient woodland in North Hampshire, is mainly populated by pedunculate oak trees. Most of these trees are one hundred to one hundred and fifty years old as many were previously culled during the First World War for the production of gunpowder. In a few surface chalky locationsContinue reading “The Magpie Fungus and its friends”

Autumn at Hilliers

David Beeson, 26th October 2021 The Hillier Garden, near Romsey in Hampshire, is owned by Hampshire County Council and is a gem of a botanic and popular garden. The site was originally the home of Sir Harold Hillier, who established the small but, up-market, garden business that wins gold after gold at the Chelsea FlowerContinue reading “Autumn at Hilliers”

Simply mice on the feeder

David Beeson, 8th October With the wildlife camera back in action, here are a few images and comments. http://www.nwhwildlife.org and scroll down for over 120 ad-free articles. Someone asked the other day, “Who reads the articles?” The answer is not what I expected when it was set up: few locally, but about 60% are inContinue reading “Simply mice on the feeder”

Perhaps butterflies are not as nice as you think.

An article lifted from The Guardian newspaper, today 29th September. This newspaper is at the forefront with environmental articles and, at least, a scan of their articles is worthwhile. The are UK and worldwide editions. Why the copy? I believe it offers a new insight into the world around us. Generally we see butterflies asContinue reading “Perhaps butterflies are not as nice as you think.”

A Journey Through Central Wales – The Cambrian Mountains

David Beeson, late September 2021 Central Wales is probably less visited than the north and south coasts, yet for wildlife it offers some gems. It is a largely remote area of high hills, although some people feel they are mountains. Sheep dominate the lower elevations, and their winter pastures are so improved that only grassContinue reading “A Journey Through Central Wales – The Cambrian Mountains”

Naked Ladies in Everleigh Ashes

Dr John Moon (main words) and David Beeson (images and introduction). 1st September 2021 Photographing the Naked Ladies … now do not get too excited, this may not the article you thought it might be! As you will all know, Naked Ladies is a common name of the Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, scientific name: ColchicumContinue reading “Naked Ladies in Everleigh Ashes”

Yellowstone National Park, 1

David Beeson, written August 2021 All our images It is seldom that the Beesons go to the same spot twice. That we went to Yellowstone twice in two years is unprecedented. It was just so magnificent, and I urge you to go! The geology, botany and wildlife just blew us away, also the Americans areContinue reading “Yellowstone National Park, 1”

Wildlife Garden in Late August

David Beeson It has been an indifferent summer in Hampshire. Yet we are hugely appreciative of having no fires or floods or plagues of locusts. I guess dampness is preferable to desertification. The cool rainfall enhanced grass growth by removing growth-limiting factors, so with some of the meadows now cut the compost bins are fullContinue reading “Wildlife Garden in Late August”

Watery Meadows and Late Summer Colour

David Beeson, late August 2021 With time to spare in Salisbury I took the opportunity to re-visit the water meadows there. (If this topic is of interest see the previous article.) The C17 innovation of water meadows changed agriculture in Southern England. Comparatively warm river water was flooded onto the meadows to warm the soilContinue reading “Watery Meadows and Late Summer Colour”

The Chemistry of Wildlife

David Beeson, late August 2021 It could be argued that wildlife enthusiasts spend too much time looking and too little in thinking. I bet you disagree! Sure, I do. The sights and sounds of the natural world is alluring and gives me a buzz. I am never more content than exploring for the unknown orContinue reading “The Chemistry of Wildlife”

Epipactis, the helleborines and other summer-flowering orchids of the southern UK.

David Beeson, August 2021 PLUS: photographs of plants on Eastern Salisbury Plain Army Training Area. But, firstly let us separate the two different genera of ‘helleborines’. There are Epipactis and Cephalanthera helleborines. The Cephalanthera genus contains the white, red and narrow-leaved helleborines. The white helleborine I find locally, sometimes in good numbers. I associate itContinue reading “Epipactis, the helleborines and other summer-flowering orchids of the southern UK.”

Conservation? What conservation? Britain is a land of shooting – pheasants in the south and grouse in the north.

Article stolen from the Guardian newspaper. Britain’s national parks dominated by driven grouse moors, says study Exclusive: Area twice the size of London devoted to grouse shooting in UK’s parks, threatening efforts to tackle climate crisis Patrick Barkham@patrick_barkhamThu 5 Aug 2021 06.01 BST National parks supposedly at the heart of efforts to tackle the climateContinue reading “Conservation? What conservation? Britain is a land of shooting – pheasants in the south and grouse in the north.”

Small mammals on the night camera

David Beeson, late July 2021 My Apeman Wildlife camera has again been pointed at a peanut feeder just alongside our garage. This is adjacent to where I found two (rare) UK dormouse nests in November last year, and then recorded a pair on this feeder. Since that time brown rats found the feeder and startedContinue reading “Small mammals on the night camera”

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

John Solomon, 24th July           The UK’s three commonest Damselflies are the Common Blue, the Blue-tailed and the Azure, and they can be found throughout our islands, even up into Scotland. In the lower half of England, not so much into Wales, broadly below a line drawn across between Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Hull, they are joinedContinue reading “Small Red-eyed Damselfly”

Living in Fresh Water

David Beeson, July 2021 Living in fresh water sets up challenges for organisms. It is quite a different environment from dry land or from salty marine places. And it is a rare space on Earth – 2.5% of the earth’s water is fresh. Yet most of the earth’s fresh water is unavailable: locked up inContinue reading “Living in Fresh Water”

Emerald Dragonflies of Bentley Wood

John Solomon It was an overwhelmingly dull day on Sunday, the day of the Euros Final, but I had an itch I just had to scratch. Near Salisbury, just to the west of West Tytherley, lies Bentley Wood, which was bought by a charitable trust in the 1980s and is husbanded as a conservation project.Continue reading “Emerald Dragonflies of Bentley Wood”