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”

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.”

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”

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.”

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”

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?”

Something for the World

Picket Twenty Urban Park’s Wildlife – An introduction to Andover for non-locals! David Beeson July 2020 We all have an in-built tendency to complain and moan. I’m moaning now about people moaning! So, it must be true. Development has, especially in the past, been about destruction; fields into dense housing, hedges torn out, rivers canalised,Continue reading “Something for the World”

The most hated wildflowers?

Trampled, poisoned and mown to the ground. Are these the most hated wildflowers? Grasses and their allies David Beeson Delicately waving in the summer’s breeze, their leaves capturing the sun’s donated energy and using an alchemy to weave it into chemical bonds that trap the Kilojoules (Calories) into a usable form, grasses have a vitalContinue reading “The most hated wildflowers?”

You Should Read This! Ticks.

Ticks – what every wildlife enthusiast should know David Beeson If you wander the byways and grasslands almost anywhere in the world you will soon encounter one of these arachnids. Eight-legged little delights! Relatives of the spiders. They are common locally but I’m unaware of Lyme Disease here. There are over twenty different species ofContinue reading “You Should Read This! Ticks.”

Sampling and Recording Data

Wildlife recording and sampling David Beeson, June 2020 You are interested in the natural world. You keep your eyes open or go out actively looking for organisms. So, what do we do with what we see? How useful is that data? Here are my thoughts on wildlife data and an encouragement for us all toContinue reading “Sampling and Recording Data”