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”

Simply Hoverflies

July is hoverfly season. David Beeson, 11th July. References: https://bna-naturalists.org/id-guide-hoverflies/ and https://www.naturespot.org.uk/gallery/hoverflies Flies have a single pair of wings and, before them, a pair of halteres (shown). Halteres are a pair of small club-shaped organs on the body of two orders of flying insects that provide information about body rotations during flight. They have compoundContinue reading “Simply Hoverflies”

Southern Damselflies

John Solomon, 10th July 2021 On 23 June a friend of mine, Brain Cartwright, a local birder who haunts Anton Lake, sent me a series of photographs he’d taken that day. There was no special reason for this, he’s keen on local wildlife and a very keen photographer, so he regularly emails the latest cropContinue reading “Southern Damselflies”

The Eco-garden in Early July and the Problem with Clay Soils.

David Beeson Note: a garden meadow is a garden feature. It is designed as part of a garden and not as a wildlife reserve. The wildlife that comes with the garden meadow is a bonus. Our Summer Meadow is ideally only cut from early autumn and is part garden feature and part wildlife reserve. WithContinue reading “The Eco-garden in Early July and the Problem with Clay Soils.”

Waste ground?

David Beeson, 1st July 2021 North-west Hampshire’s non-urban areas are dominated by three land uses. 1) Forest on the alkaline, chalky clay caps, 2) Damp riverine meadows, some of which were proper water meadows until the mid-1900s and 3) Traditional farmland, which is mostly arable, growing grass crops – wheat, barley and blue ryegrass forContinue reading “Waste ground?”

The Barberry Carpet Moth

Graeme Davis is a guest contributor. 28th June 2021 The Barberry Carpet is a medium size British moth, now reduced to 12 colonies, though this is a recent increase in numbers, thanks to a project by Back from the Brink. The moth is a red data book species, and on the UK Biodiversity Action PlanContinue reading “The Barberry Carpet Moth”

Photo Essay – Plants in June

David Beeson, 24th June 2021 Just a ramble through some of my recent images. A bit of this and that! The Dorset area called Purbeck is a great wildlife location. It also offers ‘family’ entertainment and great cream teas at Worth Matravers. When the steam railway is not operating the track bed offers good sightingsContinue reading “Photo Essay – Plants in June”

Secret Pond Late Spring 2021

John Solomon, 21/06/2021 And it has most certainly been late spring, but, finally, it is here and everything is bursting to make up for lost time. Reeds that seemed forever stuck at ankle-nibbling height are now shooting up over my waist, nettles are over my shoulders and various Cow Parlsey-like plants are threatening to towerContinue reading “Secret Pond Late Spring 2021”

Butterflies on Salisbury Plain

John Solomon, 08/06/2021           I’m not too familiar with Salisbury Plain but David visited there last year and, so he told me, saw huge numbers of Marsh Fritillaries. A plan was hatched. He knew where they were and I had the toy, a small, two-seater sports car with rather too much engine, endearingly known asContinue reading “Butterflies on Salisbury Plain”

Ox Drove Meadows

It is a small meadow ‘given’ to the local population to compensate for the urbanisation of other local habitat. The meadow will end up as a dog-running area but the thick hedges will supply additional dormouse habitat, nesting sites and food for many other creatures. Good to see the additional planting around the site. MyContinue reading “Ox Drove Meadows”

Some early summer orchids and other floral delights

David Beeson 07/06/2021 I have been looking in three spots for plants, on one occasion as John wielded his camera in pursuit of butterflies. Spot one was in my own garden: spotted, southern marsh, twayblade and lesser butterfly orchids are currently in flower. Location two was alongside the A303 road, the route from London toContinue reading “Some early summer orchids and other floral delights”

Yellow and Blue

David Beeson, 5th May 2021 The weather has been cold this year, and plants have responded by glowing more slowly. Yes, the light levels have been good, but the enzymes driving metabolism are temperature sensitive and that wins. Our grassy meadows are low, and even those parts that we trim (Paths and lawn edge) areContinue reading “Yellow and Blue”

Rocky Mountains, USA and Index

David Beeson We have been fortunate in having visited this area twice – once via Denver and again via Seattle. If you have the opportunity, go! The USA is easy to explore and booking hotels or AirB&B in advance is possible but not vital. A few images to catch your imagination as the world mayContinue reading “Rocky Mountains, USA and Index”

The Natural World in Photographs – 3

Images by John Solomon NOTE: over 90 articles available, free of adverts. See: nwhwildlife.org – Rocky Mountains, USA and Index. The legs bear many spiky hairs, seen beautifully in this image. The venation of the wings shows clearly here, as does the metallic colour that seems to occur across all the odonata. A leopard ofContinue reading “The Natural World in Photographs – 3”

Here be DRAGONS and DAMSELS! A major article.

A major article by John Solomon, August 2020 A guide to the ODONATA of the ANDOVER region. Introduction Odonata is the Latin term for the insects more commonly known as Damselflies and Dragonflies. While superficially very similar they do differ in several ways. Firstly, Dragonflies are larger than Damselflies and when they rest they alwaysContinue reading “Here be DRAGONS and DAMSELS! A major article.”

Nectar, food of the gods?

Firstly, some questions. Now, no cheating and you really should write down the answers. Question one. (An easy one to give you confidence) Does nectar contain dilute honey? Question two. Are nectar and honey of the same composition, even if honey has less water? Question three. Where is nectar made? (Precision needed here!) Question four.Continue reading “Nectar, food of the gods?”

Children

Freshwater wildlife July 18th 2020 David Beeson As much as many of us enjoy seeing and recording wildlife we need to engage others – especially young people. Big Butterfly Count and RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch are following that approach although the oldies tend to dominate. I do not believe the results are taken really seriouslyContinue reading “Children”

What do your insects eat?

A photo-essay 17th June 2020 David Beeson As you know Forest Edge aims to be an eco-friendly garden. It has a range of habitats that change through the year. It has a native and non-native flora. But, who eats what? Great project here for children? Our butterflies today are small, large and green-veined whites, redContinue reading “What do your insects eat?”