Toad In The Planter

This was quite a pleasant surprise. I have been seeing frogs in the garden all year, and this was my first toad this morning. It was only a young one, but beautifully coloured, perched almost on the edge of one of my planters. Double-click to zoom in closer.

Common Shiny Woodlouse

Oniscus asellus – This is one of the largest native woodlice to be found in the British Isles. It is fairly flat and shiny, marbled greyish-brown in colour with pale markings. One of the ‘famous 5’ very common British species most likely to be seen.

Ear Wicga

Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia) – The title is not a misspelling, but it is from Old English meaning ‘one that wiggles in your ear’. These slender insects do love to crawl into small dark crevices, so somebody sleeping on the ground may indeed have the unpleasant occasion to have one wiggle in one’s ear, but… Read More Ear Wicga

Under The Bark II

3 in 1 – not an oil, but what looks like a juvenile Isotomurus sp. of springtail on the left, a juvenile Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber) on the right, and an unidentified tiny snail just off centre. All in the space of a about one 3rd of your little pinky nail.

The Queen

Myrmica ruginodis – This is species of one of the red ants you may find nesting in your garden. This is a winged queen. It nests in the ground, in tufts of grass, under stones and in rotten wood. Colonies are usually polygynous with an average of 15 queens and a thousand workers or more.

500 Insects

I have now photographed and uploaded 500 different species of insect to this site. Try to take in these facts about insects, they are quite astounding to comprehend: There are more than 200 million insects for every human being living on the planet. There are between 1 and 10 quintillion (can you imagine that number?… Read More 500 Insects

Caught Napping

Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) – I caught this one intially taking a few sips of water from my birdbath. I was looking through my patio window, and thought to myself I bet I won’t have time to swap over lenses, will I? I had my macro lens on, and I half expected the bird to fly,… Read More Caught Napping

I can See You

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) – In a large field close to the river these birds hide in the tall grasses. I have seen them a few times now, and one can easily pass them by without knowing – unless you stray too near them, and then they take flight on their wide arching wings. This… Read More I can See You

200 Moths

I have just uploaded the 200th species of moth to A Nature Journey, and when you consider there are around 2,500 species in Great Britain that is but a drop in the ocean. Anyway, here are selection of moths, some you have seen before, and some perhaps you have not. If you wish to visit… Read More 200 Moths

Admirable Red

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) – This butterfly has been quite a close companion in the garden over the last few days. It never strays far when it takes fight, and appears to have got used to me and hardly moves when I approach it. One of my summer favourites.

Artichoke Gall

Andricus foecundatrix – Another gall which forms on oaks. The asexual generation of the Artichoke Gall Wasp (Andricus foecundatrix) is responsible for causing these galls which grow from Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) or Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) leaf buds. Also called the Hop Gall, a single larva develops within the gall to maturity in August,… Read More Artichoke Gall

Check Your Acorns

Knopper Gall (Andricus quercuscalicis) – These odd growths on the acorn are caused by a tiny wasp called Andricus quercuscalicis. It has quite a complicated lifecyle, so please stay with me. The agamous (asexual) generation develop within the galls on the acorns of various oaks including Pendunculate Oak (Quercus robur) and Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea)… Read More Check Your Acorns

An Opening

White Water-lily (Nymphaea alba) – Nymphaea is Latin, which comes from a Greek term possibly referring to nymph or nymph-like, of a mythological supernatural spirit of nature, often described as a beautiful maiden associated with water, which would be very befitting for this delicate aquatic plant.


Rubus idaeus – This image just goes to show how you can pass by so much without really noticing things. I discovered Rasberry today, growing wild off a narrow dirt pathway leading but a short few steps to the river. It was almost hidden by brambles and nettles, and shaded under willow, but here we have… Read More Rasberry


Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I found this one hiding under a rock near the garden pond. It was smaller than my little fingernail. As you can see it still has its tail, but its limbs are developing, and it can hop a short distance, although a little clumsily. Early days yet.