Posts tagged with ‘plants’

Bird of the Year 2009: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant Provence in May was just a great place for flowers. I claimed on Twitter to have seen nine or ten species of orchid, although it’s entirely possibly I over-claimed, since there tend to be lots of very similar species, some of them are quite variable, and I didn’t have a book with me. […]

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the NHM

I made my annual trip to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Which was, as always, well worth a visit. Obviously I recommend you visit it in person, because little jpegs don’t do the pictures justice, but if you can’t do that, you can see all the pictures online […]

Links

BibliOdyssey: Roots and Trunks C17th cross-sections of plants (del.icio.us tags: C17th plants microscopy )

Kissing’s never out of fashion when the bloom is on the gorse

Surprise sighting of the day in the local park: mistletoe. I mean it’s not that surprising — mistletoe is a native British plant and quite common in some parts of the country — but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it growing in London. I’d like to think that the seeds were spread there by a mistle thrush […]

Bird of the Year 2007: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant There’s lots of choice here; I’ll just give a hat-tip to the big trees of Kew Gardens and Greenwich Park which I got over excited about in the autumn. But most of the possibilities were in Crete. Crete has more species of plant than the UK, and a bundle of them are endemics. […]

The ancient sweet chestnuts of Greenwich Park

I went to Greenwich Park and took lots of pictures of trees, because it was a nice day. 

The girthiest tree at Kew?

I thought I’d post the picture I took of what is perhaps the fattest tree in Kew Gardens. Or perhaps just the fattest relative to its height. Its fatness is so impressive that I wonder if there’s some kind of odd mutation or something going on above and beyond the effects of age and pollarding. […]

Big trees at Kew

I went to Kew Gardens to see the Henry Moore sculptures. Which were OK, I guess. It’s not easy to display such a lot of very large sculptures—28 in all—but Kew is big enough that there’s plenty of room for them, so it’s quite a good match. I wandered around desultorily looking at them but […]

Cycads

I thought these unfurling cycad fronds in my mother’s garden were rather remarkable: The cycads are an ancient family of plants, more recent than ferns but predating conifers and much, much older than flowering plants, so there’s a certain fittingness in the fact that a cycad at Kew Gardens is thought to be the oldest […]

Blogger Bio-blitz #3: Lasithi plateau

The last of the three locations in Crete that I bio-blitzed was the Lasithi plateau, where I was from the 27th-28th of April. The plateau is just the prettiest place in the world, as well as providing some good birding for me. Apparently, it’s formed by the build-up of silt from the surrounding rivers creating […]

Blogger Bio-blitz #2: Paleohora

Paleohora is a little town on the south coast of the western end of Crete. It’s an expanding resort town with plenty of tavernas and cafes, but still small and quiet compared to the established resorts. Especially quiet in April, which is really before the tourist season starts in earnest. The town sits on a […]

Lasithi

Well, I spent a couple of days in Tzermiado on the Lasithi plateau, which is like a little chunk of Holland – flat fields and fruit trees – randomly inserted in among the Cretan mountains. Some good birds (wryneck, quail, cirl bunting, black eared wheatear, griffon vulture, peregrine, blue rock thrush), and up on the […]

birding at Aghia Triada

‘Aghia Triada’ is ‘Holy Trinity’, and it’s a monastery on Akrotiri. I went there not just to look at the monastery, but mainly to do birding. It was a good birding day, I’m pleased to say. Lots of birds, but the most notable were the black-headed race of Yellow Wagtail, Golden Oriole and two which […]

First Annual Blogger Bioblitz

Just a heads-up for anyone who’s interested: the First Annual Blogger Bioblitz, ‘where bloggers from across the country will choose a wild or not-so-wild area and find how many of each different species – plant, animal, fungi and anything in between – live in a certain area within a certain time’ will be run from […]

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

In the Galapagos

I´ve got a couple of hours in Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos), so I thought I´d post a quick note. I can recommend the Galapagos. For a start, the landscape is more varied and more beautiful than I expected; somehow in my head it was all rocks, but from island to island […]

FSotW: Digital Dendrology

Sorry, I forgot yesterday, so Flickr set of the week is a day late, but worth waiting for. It’s the remarkable Digital Dendrology by phyredesign. “I’m fascinated by how things are structured in nature. This year, I have begun taking samples from the branches I collect, and preparing slides for viewing under a microscope. After […]

More parasitic plants

Snow plant, originally uploaded by Ken-ichi. Not that parasitic plants have exactly been a running theme on this blog, but I have mentioned broomrape once. Anyway, a photo came up on the ID Please group in Flickr, and it piqued my curiosity enough to poke around with Google and decide it was a Snow Plant, […]

Fruit of my Seed

I was walking in the park behind the house today and, just growing in a little scrubby patch, found a sunflower and a hemp plant. Both of them are probably growing from seed I put out for the birds. I’m slightly suprised that no bored local youth has taken the hemp plant for personal use. […]

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

I was looking for an internet copy of Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director (which is a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of household furniture in the Gothic, Chinese and modern taste) and found the University of Wisconsin’s Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. Not only does […]

Bomb-sniffing flowers

Scientists in Denmark, the US and Canada have all been working on producing a genetically-engineered plant whose flowers will come up red instead of white in the presence of underground explosives. The idea, of course, is that you can use them to to test for the presence of landmines by dropping the seeds from the […]

The ternness of terns

George Szirtes discusses people’s need to identify things – flowers, birds – something he doesn’t share. Indeed he sets up (but slightly backs away from), an opposition between the botanist’s way of looking and the artists’s way. He ends like this: Yet all the time I am aware that even an urban citoyen of the […]

Macro

I love the fact my camera has a macro mode. There’s something very satisfying about getting really close to things and taking pics of them. The sand dunes are just covered in flowers – vetchy type things in scarlet, spikes of ghostly broomrape, mesembryanthemums, pink thistles, big daisies, all sorts of things in all shapes […]