Art of the Wild

Art of the Wild

The Photography of Steve Deeley

A case of premature exclamation

For over a year now, I have been searching for a particular dragonfly. Irritatingly, its name – the “common hawker” -suggests it is easily found, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,and it’s actually quite scarce in the south of the UK. It’s a lover of pools which have acidic water, the kind that ... Read more


The art of anal appendages

I never dreamt that ‘anal appendages’ would become a part of my life. I mean, who would? And yet somehow, they have become something I not only talk about, but carefully examine. When I started my long, slow love affair with the natural word, it was all about seeing and photographing living things that are ... Read more


The master of illusion

One of the things I loved about the Harry Potter books was Harry’s invisibility cloak.  I really liked the idea of being able to sit somewhere and have the world pass me me by without anyone or anything knowing that I was there. But while Harry’s cloak is fictional, the power of invisibility is all ... Read more


A case of mistaken identity?

I was at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Coombe Hill reserve yesterday. It’s a top spot for Dragonflies, but unfortunately it seemed to lack the Whinchat  I’d hoped to see – or at least, they weren’t anywhere near the bits of the reserve I was. I’d had a close view of a beautiful sedge warbler singing, ... Read more


Not so tough, after all

This last week I went on a  trip to Cumbria, in search of “Britain’s only alpine butterfly”, the Mountain Ringlet.  This small butterfly is adapted for the colder, harsher climates at altitude, having a hairy body and wings, and flies in tiny colonies at altitudes (in England) from 350m upwards. It can be remarkably hard ... Read more


Drama, unseen

In 1938, American broadcaster Orson Welles broadcast a radio dramatisation of the famous HG Wells’ book “The war of the worlds”. In an era where you got your news from the radio, the drama was taken literally and caused widespread alarm. People listened to their radio sets as a war raged that they could not ... Read more


You know it’s hot….

Today was officially the hottest day of the year, clocking in at a sweltering 33C at Brize Norton, which is the closest official weather station to my home. Despite suffering from the effects of mild heatstroke yesterday, I decided to go out and visit my favourite local woodland, Ravensroost, to look for butterflies.  In the ... Read more


The Large Heath

I’ve been trying over the last couple of years to see all of Britain’s native butterflies and dragonflies. Plenty of people have done it before me, and indeed Patrick Barkham wrote a very good book about his personal quest to see all of our butterflies in one hectic summer. I think he was mad, and ... Read more


When the wood falls silent

It’s gloomy in the small woodland near my home. The air is thick and heavy, full of the musty smell of parched vegetation longing for relief, as a day of heat and sharp shadows has ceded a sullen, pregnant sky, full of threat and fine drizzle. Underneath the arched cathedral roof of spindly, overcrowded ash ... Read more


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