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Nature Notebooks

Hygrocybe pratensis - Deer Park Farm - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Waxcaps in the meadows

There are Waxcaps in the meadows in Devon: Meadow Waxcaps. I’m looking through some old photographs of fungi and see these Meadow …

Clitocybe nebularis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mushroom clouds

There are Clouded Agarics, Clitocybe nebularis, all over this wooded slope at the National Trust’s Killerton House. They are chunky mushrooms, with …

Griffon Vulture - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Real life Griffons

Britain used to have vultures. Yes, real-life vultures, I’m not talking about high pressure mobile phone sellers; I’m talking about the birds. …

Russula cyanoxantha - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Charcoal Burner in the woods

There’s a purple mushroom on the forest floor. No, not purple, lilac. No, not lilac, it’s blue; and it’s pink in the …

Stilbella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What’s in a name?

Here’s the most wonderful fungus growing on a decaying slime mould growing on a piece of tree bark smaller than my finger …

Pholiota squarrosa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Shaggy Scalycap

Looking through my old mushroom photographs there’s a very distinctive one; it’s Pholiota squarrosa, the Shaggy Scalycap which I found in Bovey …

Medusa Gall - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Medusa of the Oak

I was cycling around Puglia enjoying the countryside for a week earlier this year while The Puffin Whisperer was working. There were …

Orange Peel Fungus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Orange Peel Fungus

I’ve been going through some of my archive of photographs and delighting in some of the finds I made many years ago. …

Cycling the Loire Valley - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Boar War

A few years ago I went on a cycling holiday in France with my elder son. In the woods I spotted what …

Tibetan Cherry Tree - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Branch lines

Today I’m in the grounds of a large rambling mental health hospital in south London; and before you ask, it’s because I’m …

Stinkhorn - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stinkhorns

Stinkhorns are fascinating fungi. You can normally smell them before you see them. It’s the putrid smell of rotting flesh or something …

Hooded Crow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The hood and the executioner

Hooded Crows are one of my favourite birds. Noisy, sociable and inquisitive, they have colonised large areas of central and northern Europe, …

Hygrocybe pratensis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Killerton and the Meadow Waxcaps

Killerton House is a National Trust property near Exeter in Devon. I’ve visited quite a few times and seen some wonderful fungi …

Chaffinch - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Birds in the park

I’ve got a few hours spare this afternoon and the weather is bright. The forecasts are for dull weather for days, so …

Russula emetica - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Chapeau Rouge

There’s a mushroom with a bright red cap in the woods. It’s such an unearthly red and the stem and the gills …

Scotch Argus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Autumn Ringlet

Identifying butterflies is stressful; especially when you’re not in your own country. Everything looks like something else you’re familiar with. I was …

Spangles -The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Spangles

It’s forty years since I first saw and photographed spangle galls on an oak tree. I noted it down in my Nature …

Mistle Thrush - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mistle Thrushes

I’d never really considered why Mistle Thrushes are called Mistle Thrushes. It is, of course, because they eat Mistletoe berries. I discovered …

Mycena epipterygia - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Yellowleg Bonnet

We find a delicate mushroom on our fungus foray. That’s a relief, because this mushroom season has been very poor, with the …

Oak Tree - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

An Oak tree in the making

Here’s an Oak tree in the making. It is just at the start of unleashing the incredible chemical power stored within it: …

Lichen on the rocks - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Trouble With Lichen

There’s lichen everywhere on Westray. It shows how clean the air is here, how salt-tolerant lichen is and also how difficult it …

Italian Sparrows - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Italian Sparrows

The Italian Sparrows in Rome are dwarfed by the feral Pigeons: The males are incredibly handsome birds, with glorious colours on their …

Small Copper - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Small Copper Butterfly

There’s a deep orange butterfly flying quickly across the fields in a park in Rome. It’s a Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas: Nothing …

Green Shore Crab - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Green Shore Crab

Have you ever noticed that crabs have their head inside their body? That can feel a little weird if you think about …

Love Balloons - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Love means…

It was Tuesday 21 November when we saw a balloon seller with these Helium balloons in Rome: I didn’t buy one. It …