Art of the Wild

Art of the Wild

The Photography of Steve Deeley

Small oddities can be big business

I recently did a three-hour round trip in order to photograph a specific damselfly – the Southern Damselfly. It’s nothing special to look at (below), and at a first glance you could mistake it for one of several other species.  But it is a distinct species, and to me that lent it a value that ... Read more

The impact of fashion on evolution

Evolution is often seen as a meaningful process. As Simon Barnes noted in his book “Ten Million Aliens”, Mankind is often regarded as being the pinnacle of evolution of the ape family, as if evolution has been constantly working hard to achieve this level of perfection. It’s nonsense of course – you only have to ... Read more

and here’s another thing

One of the joys the study of the natural world brings is that there’s always a new fact waiting to be learned. I thought a knew quite a lot about the large blue butterfly. I knew that it was extinct in the UK. I know that it was reintroduced. I know that its caterpillars rely ... Read more

Colin and identity theft

This is Colin. He is probably the UK’s (and perhaps the world’s) most famous Cuckoo. He lives on Thursely Common, in Surrey. But only some of the time Cuckoos like to travel. With enviable commonsense, Cuckoos spend the British winter far from our shores, in Central Africa, where they pass the time eating. Interestingly, one ... Read more

Who names these things?

I recently went in search of a creature I’ve never seen before, with the delightful name of the “Grizzled Skipper”. To me, that conjures up images of Captain Birdseye, or maybe Captain Barbarosa in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. But no,the “Grizzled Skipper” is actually a small, dark-grey-to-black butterfly. Now this butterfly is one ... Read more

Build it and they will come… maybe

I went to check on some common lizards recently, in an area of Somerford Common, Wiltshire, where I’ve seen them many times. My heart sank when I saw the notices from the Forestry Commission, advising that they they were thinning out the trees. They had done that recently in areas of Savernake Forest, changing dark ... Read more

A question of trust and respect

Fresh from my close encounter with Boar, a week later I went back in search of them. This time, I was fortunate enough not just to meet two females, but also their piglets, or “humbugs”. And these animals were sufficiently trusting to allow me, after a time, to sit quietly with them. There are people ... Read more

Boared to death

I went to the Forest of Dean recently. Mainly, I was looking for adders again, and pleased to find a few in a second spot. Then I went looking for boar. Now I understand that people have mixed feeling about boar, which are large, powerful animals. The impact they have on the Forest is evident ... Read more

Vanishing quickly from a place near you

I get it. I really do. Adders are not everyone’s cup of tea. My own wife is a little leery of snakes, and I don’t blame her. They don’t walk. They slither, in a silent, unnerving way. Snakes could do with  a good PR agency. They certainly get bad press. Think of Kaa in the ... Read more

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