Richard Carter

5,830 Added | 1 Magazine | 3 Likes | 1 Following | 2,721 Followers | @gruts | Writer and photographer http://richardcarter.com/

The swallow that flew to South Africa - and into the record books

Nobody knew. Nobody dreamed. Nobody even considered the possibility that a bird the size of a penknife might fly 6,000 miles from South Africa to …

Birds

Country diary 1918: joyous narcissi family at Kew Gardens

18 April 1918 Flowers range from the poet’s narcissus to the deepest yellow of the daffodil or the orange-rimmed gold of the small-crowned narcissi<p><b>Kew Gardens, April 17</b><br>One longs for sunshine to show a visitor the full loveliness of the Gardens at this time, and we have had very little sunshine for …

Gardening

Country diary: wheatears on both sides of their migratory journey

Aigas, Invernessshire and Uganda: Wintering wheatears were abundant in Uganda, looking exactly the same as they do when they arrive in the Highlands<p>One of the first summer migrants to grace the Highland moors is the wheatear, a dressy little insectivorous “chat” so often seen at the roadside, and …

Birds

Nature Notes

<i>Rain. Battles. White Violets.</i><p>And so it rains. Mud becomes part of the fabric of living, washing off the fields with little to stop it and slewing …

Nature

Women on Nature

Ebook<p>30 pledges<p>Ebook edition of the book, plus your name in the back as a supporter<p>Hardback<p>78 pledges<p>A hardback edition, an ebook edition, plus your …

Trick of the light: the artist holding nature’s mirror

Phillip K Smith III’s artworks reflect the beauty of nature in remarkable ways. Now he’s bringing one to urban Milan<p>During this month’s Milan Furniture Fair the California-based artist Phillip K Smith III, known for his light and mirror-based land artworks, is teaming up with the fashion brand Cos …

Art

Restoring Appalachia

“To grow in a high tunnel on my own property would cost $10,000,” Harris said. “I’d have to buy a tractor and tools and all that. We operate as a …

Local Food Movement

Country diary: close encounters with our most exciting raptor

Dolbenmaen, Gwynedd: As a climber, I’d often pass within metres of the peregrine falcons on the cliff face, harsh chattering between the pair echoing from the rock walls<p>The huge dolerite cliff at the head of the valley glows in afternoon light. A pale green algal cast accentuates white streaks and …

Nature

In A Few Centuries, Cows Could Be the Largest Land Animals Left

Throughout our entire history, humans and other hominins have selectively killed off the largest mammals.<p>There used to be a type of elephant called <i>Palaeoloxodon</i> that could have rested its chin on the head of a modern African elephant. There was a hornless rhino called <i>Paraceratherium</i>, which was at …

Extinction

T-ant-T: meet the exploding ants of Borneo

Scientists discover ant species that fights enemies by detonating themselves, covering their foe in toxic goo<p>Woe is the insect that crosses the path of the Colobopsis explodens ant.<p>Scientists exploring the Borneo jungle have just discovered the species, which dwells in the trees, and they were most …

Insects

11 of the UK's best wild places – chosen by outdoor experts

These wilderness escapes are perfect for walkers, cyclists, adventurers – and those in search of splendid isolation. Here, writers, rangers and guides reveal their favourite spots<p>Glen Coe, the Highlands<p>Exploring Britain and appreciating the charms of its incredible landscape wasn’t always a top …

Hiking

Our Place

<i>Katharine Norbury reviews Mark Cocker’s</i> Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?<i>, newly published by Jonathan Cape.</i><p>As well as …

National Trust

In the Back Seat

Birdwatch: the chiffchaff, an early sign of spring, is 20 days late this year

Chiffchaffs usually arrive in March, ahead of many other migrants, but this year’s rotten spring has delayed them<p>Many birds are called after the sound they make, but few sing their name quite so persistently as the chiffchaff. From mid-March onwards, I hear them at the bottom of my garden; and …

Birds

The grey willow at the bottom of the garden

At the bottom of the garden we have a self seeded grey willow tree which is probably now at it's full height of about 6m tall. It dominates the …

Golden saxifrage

On a walk in some welcome sunshine at the beginning of April, we noticed masses of golden saxifrage flowering in the verges.<p>This pretty little …

Gardening

The last icy blast of winter

Spring might be all around us now, with 200 swallows and 1000 sand martins at Pennington Flash yesterday, and today there was a chorus of at least …

Woodpigeons bathing

I was working near Martin Mere today, so during a break took the opportunity to call in. The weather was pretty awful, but I still managed booming …

Two-day feast of Norfolk nature for all to enjoy

<b>PUBLISHED:</b> 07:56 07 April 2018<p>Mark Cocker will be appearing at the Norfolk Festival of Nature.<p>Archant<p>If you love nature, you’ll love the Norfolk …

National Trust

A Shetland Lighthouse Diary, Part Four

<i>In her fourth and final column from Shetland, Jennifer Lucy Allan learns to identify the island’s birdlife</i>I know nothing about birds. Until this …

Birds

Country diary: quiet eye of the urban storm

Gosforth Park nature reserve, Newcastle: Among the calling of birds and the swishing of reeds, only the sound of an ice-cream van reminds me how close to the city I am<p>As soon as we enter the wood, the noise of traffic seems to recede, replaced by a feeling of calm. Our focus shifts to take in …

Nature

Green Brexit unlikely despite government claims, report concludes

Environmental standards are at risk across the board, from wildlife and habitats to water and air quality, a risk assessment shows<p>Government promises of a green Brexit have been cast into doubt by a new study that warns of declining protections for water, birds and habitats once Britain leaves the …

United Kingdom

Frozen with fear: a photographic journey into the icy landscape of Frankenstein

In the summer of 1816, we visited Switzerland, and became neighbours of Lord Byron,” Mary Shelley wrote in her introduction to the 1831 edition of <i>Frankenstein</i>. “At first we spent our pleasant hours on the lake, or wandering on its shores … But it proved a wet, ungenial summer, and incessant rain …

Literature

Country diary: these little birds do bang on

Sandy, Bedfordshire: While some birds plunder the scales for melody, the house sparrows strike a percussive note<p>The most familiar and enigmatic garden birds have been feeding on nothing again. Six beaks probed the branches of the winter-bare rose bush, four beaks descended to peck at the ground …

Birds

Silent Fields Revisited: Don’t let shifting baselines tell us how much nature we can have

A rural landscape in mid-Wales, where the reintroduction of pine martens is actively taking place. (Peter Cooper)<p>Memories are fickle old things. They …

Birds

Country diary: a waterscape rewilded

River Tern, Attingham, Shropshire: The marsh marigolds reclaim an ancient place that belongs to a time before the rivers and the land were so engineered<p>Marsh marigold flowers, orbs of sunshine yellow, are held on stems just above the water. <i>Caltha palustris</i>, the goblet-shaped flower of the marsh, …

Floods

Country diary: the wintering birds are on their way north

Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex: Thousands of ducks have already left, and the waders are putting on their breeding colours<p>More chiffchaffs have begun to arrive in the past few days, and they move through the trees that line the footpaths, singing, feeding, then singing again. A rain shower falls, …

Birds

Country diary 1968: spring skiing on December snows

8 April 1968 The snow we ski upon in April was first laid down at the beginning of winter, not the ephemeral stuff that came down this week<p><b>WESTMORLAND</b>: Some people seemed a little surprised at snowfalls in April, with the daffodils out and the hedgerows bursting into leaf, but we’ve had them in May …

Skiing

Country diary: a two-handed comic treecreeper act bursts out of the trees

Airedale, West Yorkshire: Shy birds break cover in spring. What we call personality is really a calculation of risk and need<p>The little grebe jackknifes out of sight almost before I have time to register that it’s there: a flash of chestnut cheek, a plop, and a fading pattern of concentric ripples …

Nature

Hope and mourning in the Anthropocene: Understanding ecological grief

We are living in a time of extraordinary ecological loss. Not only are human actions destabilising the very conditions that sustain life, but it is …

Mental Health