Spring air..

As they respond to the late winter sun, so adders depend heavily on their carefully chosen hibernacula. Desperately sluggish in the cold, a snake will only move a foot or two away from winter sanctuary to bask, and if the world has changed as it slept then it will have insufficient energy to move elsewhere.Continue reading “Spring air..”

New Year

After a damn good knees up at the winter solstice, the Ancient Celts would return to their homes and hope to last beyond the forthcoming ‘Famine Months’. Spring would have seemed a long way away, and with food and fuel dwindling, late winter would see a dramatic increase of disease and starvation. The first ofContinue reading “New Year”

The State of Nature

Today saw the publication of the latest State of Nature report – a ‘stock take’ of our wildlife made by over 50 of our conservation organisations. Unsurprisingly, the results do not make for pleasant reading. Well over half of our native species have declined since 1970 and one in ten are under threat from extinction.Continue reading “The State of Nature”

Waifs and Strays

August is an interesting month. Having been spinning in a post-referendum maelstrom, the Olympics (and a new football season) have provided a welcome distraction from the what-ifs, maybes and surely nots. Meanwhile, despite some decent temperatures and plenty of sunshine, there is a definite drift toward summer’s end. Heavy dews and a nip to theContinue reading “Waifs and Strays”

Weekend Work

Its never good to work weekends. I’ve had plenty of jobs over the years that have necessitated such hours, and while Saturday mornings in a record shop could almost be fun, working the supermarket freezers until midnight was pretty soul destroying. I’ve had a steady run of weekends on of late, though it seems slightlyContinue reading “Weekend Work”

Smooth Operator

It seems quite incredible to consider that our rarest reptile, the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca)  was only recognised as a British species in 1859. A specimen caught six years earlier had been previously dismissed as a grass snake (or variant of) and it was a man called Dr J E Gray who got round toContinue reading “Smooth Operator”