Nature Writing

By Richard Carter | Nature · Place · Writers · https://www.facebook.com/naturewriting

Lets Go Fly A Kite…

Sailing in from the distant sky, a blue-grey sea of spring calm and placid cloud, I thought at first another Common Buzzard was making routine rounds …

Pity the imperilled butterfly, fluttering out of toxic lives. Pity us, too

At a time of urban growth, nature is feared, subjugated and concreted over. But now, more than ever, we need the chaos of wildness<p>Pity the poor butterfly, reduced in its urban environment by 69%, compared with a 45% fall in the countryside. But is its fate any wonder? Our urban and suburban streets …

Nature

Sea Turtles Are in Much Worse Shape Than Previously Thought

A commonly used counting method might have overestimated their numbers by a factor of two.<p>It’s night, on a tropical beach, and a 300-pound green turtle is hauling herself up a beach. When she passes the high-tide line, she starts scooping sand away with her hind flippers, creating a deep hole. She …

Biodiversity

Winged surprise lifts spirits on a cold morning

Slufters Inclosure, New Forest This hardy specimen of butterfly has found an ideal basking site among still damp grasses in a bed of fern<p>On a bright, cold morning, sandwiched between days of rain and nights of frost, we explore Slufters Inclosure, an area first separated in 1862, when it was …

Nature

An Alphabets’-Lattice | Mark Goodwin

<b>Posted:</b> February 12, 2017 | <b>Author:</b> Brian Lewis | <b>Filed under:</b> Mark Goodwin |Leave a comment<p>At a certain time of the day the jackdaws fly over, …

Under the trees, where the light air stirs the shadows

I once wrote for myself a guide to the trees and plants in Virgil's <i>Eclogues</i>, drawing on the Clarendon Press commentary by Wendell Clausen. I won't …

Baltic: Capturing the stories of the shore

We have travelled north again, following those well-travelled routes through the pine trees and past the lakes that have taken us back and forth to …

Travel

Great tits: still murderous, rapacious, flesh-rending predators!

Dead redpolls, victims of tit attacks! Photo by Lassi Kujala.<p>Thanks to Ville Sinkkonen, I've just learnt of this Finnish news article: it reports …

Breath

Remembering Roger Deakin

Back in September, we posted a series of tributes to the late, great writer and environmentalist Roger Deakin, marking ten years since his untimely …

Birding at the tip

Just occasionally in amongst the more mundane birding experiences you come across a sight so spectacular that it takes the breath away. I...

Survey East / Blackwaterside

Here follow some recent additions to <i>Survey East</i>, a continuing document of the Blackwater Estuary by Ultramarine’s Ian Cooper. Shots from the series …

Essex

Picture-winged fly Urophora solstitialis

<b>In late summer little insects called picture-winged flies lay their eggs in the inflorescences of knapweed and ...</b><p><b>... when they hatch the larvae</b> …

New corridor in Churchland Wood

In Churchland Wood, Sedlescombe (TQ783189 - centroid) a corridor has been cut underneath the electricity transmission lines to stop vegetation from …

Return to the patch

Today I was back at my old stomping ground of Eccleston Mere in St Helens, in search of a drake red-crested pochard which would be a new ...

Winter Light

Photography is all about using light to show your subject at it best. For me, this is about using natural light as I don't use flash. Many years ago …

Omens turn to charm in Ted Hughes' badlands

Mexborough, South Yorkshire No longer ‘more or less solid chemicals’, the gunmetal waters of the Don are clean enough for salmon<p>There were wisps of snow in the liverish sky over Main Street, Mexborough. I passed a shop offering cash for clothes, 40p a kilo, across the road from a tattoo parlour, …

Poetry

Cleaning and Siting Nest Boxes

Now is the right time to take down your nest boxes and give them a good clean ready for Winter roosting and next Springs breeding season. It is a …

Gardening

‘Nature Writing’ Facebook page

A few years ago, I began to post regular links to ‘Nature Writing’ articles on the Nature Writing Facebook page.<p>While I was at it, I also set up a …

Wagging tongues of ferns and salty yarns

Egglestone, Teesdale Near the hart’s tongues, mosses clinging to the rock were becoming fossilised, encased in tufa<p>This section of moist, shady, wooded bank above the footpath, extending for perhaps 150 metres, is covered with the largest concentration of hart’s tongue ferns I have ever seen. This …

Nature

Tides ebb across mud banks and saltings

Bere Ferrers, Devon On sheltered riverside land, toppled fruit trees encrusted in lichen remain from once productive orchards<p>Near to Bere Ferrers rail station a muddy way crosses poached and splashy pastures towards Thorn Point, where a causeway, submerged at high tide, used to be the landing place …

Travel

From sea to plate: how plastic got into our fish

Eight million tonnes of waste plastic ends up in the sea each year. Fish eat it - and then we do. How bad is it for us?<p>It’s enough to make you cry over your moules frites. Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated that shellfish lovers are eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments …

Recycling

Birds of prey lock in combat

South Downs, West Sussex The buzzard raises its wings and lifts its talons up towards the kite, which responds and the two clash<p>Dark shadows tumble across the hillside. The clouds are being hurried along by the wind, and the rain is subsiding. A chattering flock of linnets bounces from hedge to …

Nature

Whaling nations block South Atlantic sanctuary plans

Conservation groups dismayed as Japan and other pro-whaling nations vote against plans for a protected area for whales, dolphins and porpoises<p>Japan and other pro-whaling nations have defeated a proposal to create an sanctuary for whales in the South Atlantic.<p>The push to create the protected area …

Helvellyn forecast: cloudy, with wet rock and retreating walkers

Glenridding, Lake District Warned off by the fell top assessor, ill-prepared ramblers hurry out of the mist away from England’s third-highest mountain<p>I’m early for my appointment in the Helvellyn youth hostel car park, and the only sign of life is a raven croaking <i>prukk-prukk</i> as it dives from …

Travel

Country Diary 100 years ago: The red-breasted bullfinch does a flit

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 17 February 1917<p><b>Surrey</b>The vane above the old church tower moves uneasily a point, and scarcely more, from east towards the south. It is not much, but just enough this morning to make the top of the frosty earth crumble as you walk across a field …

Nature

The Dunnock – Sex, Bugs and Rock and Roll

Her familiar slate-grey face appears in the forsythia hedge. She looks small, her breast a ruffle of a fluff and downy feathers, shrugging, hunched …

Nature

The Magic of Snowdrops

Little white spears are pushing up through the ground. In a week most have opened their lamps to the earth and brighten the bare grass beside the low …

Arboreal: A Collection of New Woodland Writing review – irresistible tales

Germaine Greer and Ali Smith are among those writing about the significance of trees, in this abundant collection edited by Adrian Cooper<p>There is an evil empire haunting this collection of woodland pieces: the Forestry Commission. During the 20th century the wicked commission planted conifers the …

Literature