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Showing posts from 2018

Make like a tree and leave

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I never look forward to autumn, until it's too late. As the days shorten and the nights get colder, nature puts on a dazzling display of colour, but I'm all too aware of what happens next. Autumn is my last chance to enjoy good weather and the outdoors before it gets dark at 4 pm and the C-word starts being mentioned more often than the B-word currently saturating news headlines. Society will soon become preoccupied with cutting down small conifers and buying useless junk, briefly pausing on 25th December, before ordering more junk the following day in the sales. I've just spent one month photographing two richly diverse and beautiful locations, but I cannot show you my imagery without repeating that the natural world and organised civilisation is under grave threat from climate change. Scientists are nearly unanimously predicting that average global temperatures will rise 4 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, if society doesn't become carbon-neutral in the next

Fairies of the Wood

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I began visiting a Roe deer site in August, just as the rutting season was in full flow. The month began hot and dry, but gave way to cooler conditions, with frequent heavy rain. Parched grass and rock hard ground once again became lush and soft. I had a great deal of trouble adjusting from the Mediterranean weather of June and July, to an unsettled and cool August. I wouldn't have been able to compile these images without the assistance of my electric bike, which has significantly cut journey times and brought deep rural sites within easy reach. The bike is worth every penny, given its light weight, good components, 70 mile range and smooth assistance thanks to the Bosch torque sensor. I can leave the woods and arrive at the station 11 minutes later to catch an early train. I'm home just 3 minutes after I leave Brighton station. Keeping fit is not compromised by electrical assistance, as I cycle with 18kg of equipment and frequently cruise above the 15.5 mph assisted l

Butterflies and Moths 2018

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I owe it to the cold winter and Mediterranean-type summer of 2018, that I could spend so much time on butterflies. Warming over the Arctic led to unexpectedly cold European weather in late winter; rapid heating of the Arctic over summer directed the weakened jet stream abnormally far to the north. Some climate experts now believe that this represents the tipping point and that we are now witnessing the effects of climate change in real time. Throughout June and July, Sussex experienced near constant sunshine, little or no rainfall and daytime temperatures ranging from 26 °C - 34 °C . The 1976 drought led to the collapse of butterfly populations, as food sources went to seed and caterpillars were unable to pupate or survive over winter. Butterflies are inherently sensitive to even moderate changes in weather and as such, they are recognised by the UK government as key indicators of biodiversity. I worryingly predict that 2019 is going to be a disaster for most species.  One would ha