For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for

Monday 17 August 2020

Visit and return safely from the Underworld

A crown made of aspen leaves was said to give its wearer the power to visit and return safely from the Underworld. Aspen crowns found in ancient burial mounds may have been included to allow the spirits of the deceased to be reborn. Aspis, the aspen's Greek name, means shield, which was one of the many traditional uses of its wood.

In Celtic mythology, the visual effect of an aspen trembling in the wind was said to be the tree communicating between this world and the next.  Ref:

Where to see it?  Wakehurst Place, West Sussex 16 August 2020

Thursday 6 August 2020

NO SPRAY control of blackflies aphids

Earlier this summer my beans were affected by blackflies and they were left well alone.  7-spot' and Harlequin ladybirds moved in and the aphids have been controlled highly effectively: with NO spraying.
Furthermore, this Harlequin ladybird larva has now turned into a chrysalis,   
These will emerge as adults soon further protecting our beans from aphids.  More at and

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Butterflies on Wolstonbury Hill today

Honey bee on "Pride of Sussex"
Honey bee on "Pride of Sussex"
Chalk Hill Blue on Small Scabious

Chalk Hill Blue males

Female Chalk Hill Blue

Meadow Brown

The "Pride of Sussex"
Chalk Hill Blues mating
Silver-spotted Skippers

Gatekeeper below.

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