I loved having a magnifying glass as a child. I had one with a blue handle, with a false Parker pen clip on it, as well as a black jewellers’ eyepiece. They meant I could look at the gills of a mushroom and see the colour of its spores, look at a spider and see its hairy legs and look at a ladybird and count its spots.
My friends had magnifying glasses too. They used them to start fires, burn one another when they weren’t looking and to kill ants.
Here’s a Cricket we found recently in Italy. With modern cameras the macro facility is so good that it’s the modern equivalent of the low power magnifying glass.
This one looks like the Meadow Dark Bush Cricket Pholidoptera fallax. It’s a female.
This is as close as I can get. Maybe I need that magnifying glass after all.
Think of what's changed since the Ladybird Book of British Birds was published in its third edition in 1955:Read more
Here's The Chaffinch from the Ladybird book of British Birds and their nests. It's the third edition from 1955, written by Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald ... Read more