Tagged with nature

A Rat and Frogs in the Garden

A Rat and Frogs in the Garden

This is another excerpt from Paul Jennings’ The Living Village, a collection from diaries written for the half century of the Womens’ Institute in 1965. It is a window into a lost world, as this suggests, from Little Houghton, Northamptonshire: “One morning I tied the rind of a leg of pork on to our rowan … Continue reading

The Wisdom of Pigeons?

This is a contradiction in terms as I believe that pigeons are about the stupidest creatures on the planet. There is a nest of peregrine falcons on the tower of Cardiff Town Hall, where pigeons are generally the food of choice. A man from the RSPB who set up binoculars so the public can watch … Continue reading

Bumblebees and Neonic Pesticides

Here’s an article from the i newspaper by Steve Connor: “A widely used pesticide poses a “substantial risk” and “sizeable hazard” to wild bees according to two independent studies into the effects of the controversial neonicotinoid insecticides. The largest outdoor field trial yet into “neonics” has found that the pesticide has a significant impact on the … Continue reading

Unposted Letters

This is a lovely little book I just found, by the author John O’London who claims they were intended as Letters to Gog and Magog journal, but were never posted. I have no idea who this man was, but he deserves to be better known; he dedicates his book to his daughter Sylvia Tempest Whitten, … Continue reading

Nature Got There First

One of the most important developments in the industrial revolution was the ability to produce interlocking gears; by having teeth on wheels of the same circumference, power can be distributed evenly, or by using wheels of different sizes, power and speed can be interchanged, allowing for precision and co-ordination of different processes.  In machines such … Continue reading

Multi Use Mastiffs

I have just discovered that those huge mastiff dogs were not just for scaring and attacking people. They were kept at tanneries – possibly the smelliest places ever, where the rotting flesh, rancid fat, and tubs of human and animal waste must have been near unbearable, especiallly in summer. The mastiffs were used to eat the … Continue reading

The Gardener’s Year

The Gardener’s Year

This is a book by Czech writer Karel Capeck who gave the wrd robot to the English language. It is a brilliant little tome that was hugely popular on its release in 1931; the copy I have is the 10th impression, from 1939. It is both funny and an accurate (?) account of gardening, beautifully … Continue reading

Puffling Alert

It’s summer and the silly season, but this is a story to warm your cockles if they have not already melted in the heat. A puffin sanctuary in North Berwick near the Scottish Borders has put out a request for people in the area to check under their cars before they drive off. It seems … Continue reading


This is one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever sat through, and it really brings a lot of shame to the people who own the entertainments which have performing killer whales at their centre. It is a film about the industry but in particular, the most famous of the performing whales, a male called … Continue reading

Hard Times for Gin Drinkers

Bad news in the wake of the long, soggy winter – there is a desperate shortage of juniper berries for making gin this year. It is partly the result of animals eating them, and of a new fungus damaging the trees on a large scale. How many more trees are we losing? The home brew … Continue reading