Bee happy

With a storm raging outside and rattling the windows what better time to catch up on some editing and look back at some of my photographs captured back in the warmth and calm of summer. Having invested in a prime macro lens earlier in the year much of my attention since has been focused on…

The importance of wildflowers: Part 2

You may have seen my previous post about the importance of wildflowers, continuing that theme today I am looking at another small but vital habitat close to home. Just above the high tide line of the harbour is a small patch of rough ground, usually strewn with small rowing boats used by seafarers to reach…

The Magic of Life Butterfly House

It was one of those rare Saturdays where both myself and Barrie had a day off together, with the added bonus of glorious sunshine! Keen not to waste the fine weather we decided to visit the Magic of Life butterfly house, just a few miles outside of Aberystwyth. After a short drive through the rolling…

Painted Lady summer

In a once in a decade phenomenon, numbers of painted lady butterflies in the UK have reached record numbers as tens of thousands of these insects arrive in the UK to breed. Whilst painted ladies are a regular sight across the UK during the summer months, around every ten years or so there is a…

A helping hand

I am a great believer that you can find nature everywhere, providing you take the time to look for it. Sometimes however nature quite literally turns up on your doorstep, like this minuscule damselfly which found itself trapped inside my front porch a few days ago. It was a blue-tailed damselfly, a common species which…

Solitary bee week

This week 1st to 7th July 2019 is Solitary Bee Week, celebrating some of our lesser known bee species. There are over 240 species of solitary bee found in the UK and like our more familiar bumblebees and honeybees they are highly effective pollinators. Unlike these however the solitary bees (as their names suggests) do…

A day out at Trentham Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, during our recent half term break we decided to take a trip out to Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent. This large estate of over 300 acres was the seat of Trentham hall, a grand country house built in the 1800s. Now the hall itself lies in ruin, but the…

The importance of wildflowers

Stepping just outside my back door is a small wildflower verge, a strip of long grass and a tangle of wildflowers, underappreciated by the regular traffic of dogwalkers. This area is however a small but vital habitat for many species of plants and animals and should be valued and protected. Plantains and grasses growing wild…

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro test shots

Having spent many years now taking macro photographs with a standard 17-55mm kit lens and various extension tubes and magnifying filters I finally decided it was time to treat myself to an upgrade! Unfortunately a top-spec canon lens was far beyond my budget but after a little research the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS…

Spot the difference

What a difference a year can make…After a distinct lack of ladybirds last year, this year these beautiful little bugs are back and appear to be thriving! Quite what caused the disappearance last year I’m not sure, perhaps it was the cold snap caused by the ‘beast from the east’ which wiped out many hibernating…

Life in miniature

Whilst most of my photography focuses on bird life, I also enjoy capturing some of the smaller inhabitants of the natural world, the insects and invertebrates, which are currently thriving in this extended period of hot weather. It can be difficult to appreciate the beauty of insects at a glance and so I like to…

Catching raindrops

After 7 weeks of relentless, hot dry weather it was a great relief to experience a much needed rain shower this morning. Sadly it was over all too briefly, and will do little to sooth our parched plants and landscapes. Spiders, like most insects seem to be thriving in the hot temperatures and the garden…