Garden Arachnid

We came across this impressive arachnid whilst tidying the garden recently, which a little research identified as a Nursery Web Spider. The British Arachnological Society gives the following summary description, which reminds me that I often see it’s silken funnels amongst the long grasses in the set aside land around…

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Lazy days

Whilst the five ringed circus entertained the world a few short miles south down the Lee Valley, Great Amwell basked in summer warmth. Thirsty livestock visited the shoreline, whilst Little Egret fished the shallows and Great Crested Grebe delved deeper. In the meadows butterflies danced across the sea of grass,…

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It’s been emotional

After two weeks of hosting the greatest show on earth, London can take a pause and a breath before the five ringed circus starts up again with the arrival of the paralympic games at the end of the month.The sport has been phenomenal with the heights of human achievement further…

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A song of summer

With the birds of the hedgerows doing an impressive disappearing act at this time of year, hidden by the leaves and deep shadows of the hedges and wooded canopies, I am always grateful that the Yellowhammer chooses to be so conspicuous, at least in this part of Hertfordshire. Any journey…

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Transition

A seven spotted ladybird dries in the late June sun of our garden, after emerging from the husk of its pupa. The colour of its wing casings is still to darken to a full adult hue.

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On being a Bad Naturalist

It’s true.No question about it.I am a bad naturalist, just as I am a bad birdwatcher.But the thing is, I revel and rejoice in it.My ‘badness’ knows no bounds.Why you may I ask would I be pleased at such a description?What is a bad naturalist? The term bad naturalist is…

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mole fatale

One of our neighbours was a away recently. We popped up each evening to feed their cat and occasionally had a quick mooch around the garden to make sure all was well. A couple of evenings ago we discovered that all in fact wasn’t well for an unfortunate mole who…

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Helix pomatia – the Roman Snail

Rare and edible are perhaps not the ideal attributes for a snail to ensure its personal longevity. This is the classic French escargot, Helix pomatia, also known as the Roman Snail, Escargot or Burgundy Snail. Luckily, where it has more culinary attraction on mainland Europe, it is farmed to produce…

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Jubilee Beacon

Tonight we marked the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by joining the Scouts to light a beacon at Standon Lordship. After the rain of yesterday thankfully clear skies didn’t dampen the evening. The Rib valley looked peaceful below us, cloaked in a blanket of river mist.

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