Light At The End of The Tunnel

Country Lane

I love the way nature adds fine layer upon fine layer to paint and fill its environments so lushly. This is a shot looking back down a local country lane filled with various green hues and different shaped leaves.

May 2018, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.

The Larder Is Now Empty

Sweet Chestnut kernal

Please click on images for full definition.

Photograph taken December 2016, local woodland, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.

On A Winter’s Day

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Photograph of  Robin (Erithacus rubecula), taken December 2016, local canal, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.


Typha latifolia

Bulrush (Typha latifolia)

Also called ‘Common Bulrush’ and  ‘Greater Reedmace’, this is a tall freshwater perennial plant. It has stout stems and grows from rhizomes. It has flat sword-like grey-green leaves, and tall spiky flowers borne one above the other. The female is the thicker brown velvety cigar-like flower, whilst directly above this the yellow flower of the male appears on a narrower spike. In winter or the following spring, the seedhead bursts expelling thousands of light fluffy seeds which are carried off by the wind. Plant height 1.5 to 2.8m. Flower size 15cm long.

Bulrush (Typha latifolia)

Flowers July to August. Found in shallow water or mud on the margins of wetland areas like, marshes, ponds, lakes, ditches, and slow-moving streams. Common and widespread.

Bulrush (Typha latifolia)

Photographs of Bulrush (Typha latifolia), taken September 2011 and March 2014, local pond, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011 and 2014. Cameras used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 and Nikon D3200 with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Stars And Autumn Leaves?

Not quite …

Stars And Autumn Leaves

… but leaves fallen and left to drift upon the water’s surface, and specks of tiny plant debris sprinkled afar as if they were stars.

Photograph taken November 2016, local canal, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.

Dead Head Fly

Myathropa florea

Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea)

This hoverfly attempts to mimic a wasp and is fairly easy to identify with its bright yellow colour and distinctive dark markings, especially on the thorax which resembles a black skull or death mask. It can grow up to 15mm long.

Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea)

The rat-tailed larvae live in rotten wood in water-filled holes in trees feeding on bacteria. The adults feed on nectar.

Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea)

Seen May to October. Found mainly in wooded areas, the adults either sunning on vegetation or feeding on flowers. Abundant and widespread throughout the UK.

Photographs of Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), taken August 2016, local canal towpath, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Crocodile Lurking

Of course, there are no crocodiles in England. I can’t help myself sometimes, but my imagination sees forms within forms, and my mind just connects the dots and we have a dragon sailing across the sky, but of course there are no dragons in England, either. It was only a cloud formation, and this is how some of us see the world. It has been so for me since boyhood.

You may only see a rotting log, or may well see something else entirely, but I see a half buried crocodile, trying to free itself from the earth. Imagination is such a wonderful gift, and I wonder if we are the only species on earth who are possesed with this gift.

Field of Gold

Even with dull, slate-grey skies you can usually find something out and about whilst walking that brightens the day. This is a field filled with Rape (Brassica napus), and the shoots on the trees were just opening up fresh and green.

Photograph taken May 2014, local field, Staffordshire.

A Walk of Discovery

I am lucky enough to live right on the edge of green belt land, and this morning I ventured out amongst the trees and the grass before the rains came again. These are some of the wonderful and beautiful insects I came across in the English jungle. I have yet to identify them all.

Photographs taken June 2016, local walk, Staffordshire.

December Walks

December 2015 was the warmest on record and the wettest since 1910! On a good day over Christmas I managed to get out and have a stroll by the local river, through the fields and woodland. I find the winter light can be so gentle on the eye at times. The colours can be somewhat muted in certain light, but this adds to the overall atmosphere of the English winter countryside. Here are some of the images I recorded.

Photographs taken 29 December 2015.