Nature Writing

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

Country diary:

Langstone, Hampshire There’s no mistaking its sewing-machine stridulation, but the great green bush-cricket is fiendishly difficult to locate<p>Speckled bush-crickets (<i>Leptophyes punctatissima</i>) are prolific in my garden. The nymphs hatch in May and I often spot them sunning themselves on bramble or …

Nature

Luxuriant Forest among Distant Peaks

Li Ch'eng, <i>A Solitary Temple amid Clearing Peaks</i>, Sung Dynasty<p>In Michael Sullivan's history of Chinese landscape painting, <i>Symbols of Eternity</i>, he …

Elephants mourn. Dogs love. Why do we deny the feelings of other species?

Scientists are discovering more and more about the internal lives of animals. But what does this mean for the way humans behave?<p>Last week footage of five young elephants being captured in Zimbabwe to sell to zoos travelled round the world. Parks officials used helicopters to find the elephant …

Animals

Rattlebag.

A library. Of things found. In the woods where I walk and draw. Objects that offer clues. Evidence of home. A pigeons skull, lichen, beech nuts and …

History

Country diary: solitary wasp's embrace means the end of the road

Sandy, Bedfordshire The fly’s head tipped back a little, eyes the colour of a tired strawberry, its legs frozen, as if in ecstasy<p>Sitting down at the wheel of the car I found my view through the windscreen partially obscured by two large insects having sex. At least, this was how things looked from …

Nature

How to Queer Ecology: One Goose at a Time

I ONCE THOUGHT I KNEW what nature writing was: the pretty, sublime stuff minus the parking lot. The mountain majesty and the soaring eagle and the …

LGBTQ

Country diary: bats hunt by the light of the silvery harvest moon

Wenlock Edge, Shropshire Seen through the shaggy boughs of an old larch, the full moon had the strange allure that moths and wanderers know<p>A streetlight in the lane enamelled hollies with a sodium glow and sucked the colour from the leaves of other trees. The church bell rang eight or maybe nine; …

Nature

Country diary: dark trees guard even darker mysteries

Chanctonbury Ring, West Sussex Jackdaws, ravens and hobbies dance in the sky, oblivious to tales of fairies and ghosts and ritual sacrifice<p>The morning sun shines through the canopy of the wood at the bottom of the hill, making the fallen leaves on the ground glow rust-red. The steep chalk and grey …

Nature

Nature Notes

<i>A Common Playground.</i><p>I did a lot of my growing up on Greenham Common. A place William Cobbett (farmer, journalist, champion of the rural poor) …

History

nicola chester

<i>The Long Twilight.</i><p>The domed hill is shedding chalk rivers of rain. Chains of bubbles slide past either side of the raised camber, as if there were …

Memoryscapes

I was pleased that Caught by the River made <i>Frozen Air</i> their Book of the Month, although they have now sneaked in a second one - <i>The Lost Words</i> by …

Country diary: mushrooms work their magic amid the drizzle

Dolebury Warren, Somerset In an iron age hill fort once ruled by rabbits, waxcaps speckle the ground with luminous colour<p>This shapely hill has steep sides, the sheep-walked turf trodden into neat pleats along the contours. On the ridge, upstanding stony ribs encircle a heart of deeper soil – the …

Nature

Country diary 1917: ducks float like toy birds in the early haze

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 October 1917<p><b>Surrey, October 11</b><br>This morning was chill. Wild duck were on a broad stretch of backwater which has come from the river overflow in the low marsh; they floated like toy birds in the early haze. After a while they flew, skimming the …

Nature

Ban Driven Grouse Shooting

<b>The demise of our wildlife</b><p><b>The Environmental Impact</b><p><b>The Finances</b><p><b>What’s That On Your Plate?</b><p>‘<i>The FSA’s advice since 2012 is that frequent consumers of</i> …

Nutrition

Butterfly swarm shows up on Denver radar system

<b>A colourful, shimmering spectacle detected by weather radar over the US state of Colorado has been identified as swarms of migrating butterflies.</b><p>Scientists at the National Weather Service (NWS) first mistook the orange radar blob for birds and had asked the public to help identifying the …

Nature

Country diary: a hidden well recalls a seventh-century massacre

Pentrefelin, Gwynedd Swirling sands made for a journey as perilous as the doctrinal disputes of the dark ages<p>The minor road climbs steeply to debouch on a rushy pasture between Mynydd Ednyfed and Bryn Braich y Saint. The views from up here are of startling breadth and loveliness. To the south the …

History

Country diary: signs of life on a shingle shore

Dungeness, Kent This is an exposed environment, buffeted by maritime winds, the closest the UK gets to a desert. But lichen heath is taking hold<p>The vast shark’s tooth of shingle that is Dungeness protrudes into the strait of Dover. Though the sky is overcast, as I drive on to the promontory the …

Nature

The Most Beautiful Death Trap

The ethereal allure of a cave full of glowworms masks a sinister purpose and a weird origin story.<p>At first, they look like stars. I see them as I gaze upward at the ceiling of a flooded, pitch-black cave—hundreds of blue pinpricks. As my eyes habituate to the darkness, more and more of them …

Insects

Iconic kiwi could be extinct in 50 years

New Zealand's forest used to be home to millions of kiwi. Now there are only 68,000 left.<p>Thousands of New Zealanders are fighting to save their national bird.<p>Hear more with CrowdScience on BBC World Service: Should we kill one species to save another?

New Zealand

Britain's wildlife needs urgent new protections ahead of Brexit, say MPs

EU laws that have protected hundreds of conservation sites and the species that live in them for decades could be watered down or lost with the EU withdrawal bill<p>Interactive: How will Brexit affect British wildlife?<p>Hundreds of treasured wildlife habitats across the UK that have been protected for …

Environment

Moor-haunting

Sycamore: colonist or custodian?

In my series on British trees I’ve decided to include a relative newcomer to our woodlands: the sycamore. Rather than being a native species, the …

Gardening

Apple Picking

It is late September. The fruit has ripened early this year. Birds, in particular the jackdaws who live among the nearby chimney pots, are already …

Fruit

Pugnacious Beasts

by <b>Andrea Lani</b><p>One morning I held a snapping turtle in my hands. Her shell was the size of a dinner plate, oblong and slick with a coating of …

Nature

Exploring Extremadura: Day 2pm - Flying Rainbows

Fully refreshed from the afternoon siesta, it was time to get ready for the late afternoon / early evening hide session. We arranged to meet outside …

of the North Kent Marshes – An extract

Chapter 3 – <b>Shade House</b><p>The marshlands on the south bank of the Thames have been subject to successive schemes of embankment and drainage since the …

England

12 Trees in Autumn

A dozing Scops owl, County Durham

When a Scops owl was found roosting in an elder tree at Ryhope, County Durham on Wednesday I was working and unable to respond. Scops owl...

The Birds and Beasts of October

Happy October. Please enjoy these pages from <i>Shell Nature Studies: Birds and Beasts</i> (1956), which we have scanned for your viewing pleasure.

Birds