Stone worship

My first memory of seeing Stonehenge, that most majestic of neolithic monuments that dominates the Salisbury Plain landscape just west of Amesbury in Wiltshire, was from the back seat of my parent’s white Rover as we sailed – or crawled – along the A303, the highway to the sun on our…

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Nightsounds – a wasp nest in the shed

This spring an overwintering queen wasp vespula vulgaris emerged from hibernation and chose our shed as the site to create her colony. Colonies are usually formed below ground, as was the case in 2015, when I made this recording by the entrance hole under one of our flowerbeds. After initially…

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….. worth two in the bush

The chance to join a bird ringing session was an opportunity not to be missed, so when friend and fellow WSRS member Bill Parker mentioned he would be ringing later that week, in a conversation during our recent sound recording trip to Somerset, I was quick to ask if I…

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The first croak is the sweetest

I think I was eleven or twelve, back when summer days lasted forever and the future was full of promise and sunshine, that with the help of my dad I taught myself to water-ski. We holidayed in Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula in a little cottage in the heart of the village.…

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Dusk at St. David’s

When you dip down below the centre of St. David’s in Pembrokeshire, Britain’s smallest city and the final resting place of Wales’ patron saint, you enter a valley of peace and tranquility. Ivy-clad trees line the pre-medieval lane that leads steeply down to cross The River Alun at the valley bottom. The…

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stormwind buzzards

Storm Doris was passing through. An unlikely epithet branded by the meteorological office onto the low pressure system sweeping across the waistline of Britain, the storm brought high winds and disruption to many. In this part of Hertfordshire though, with the branches and trees of Plashes Wood thrashing below them, a pair…

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On the birthing grounds

The chill of a pre-dawn December morning nipped at uncovered faces as our small group padded quietly out of the village. Gentle whispers of snatched conversation and the soft call of a winter robin licked the ears above the deep rhythms of distant breaking waves. Out onto the dunes, muscles finding…

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