Art of the Wild

Art of the Wild

The Writing of Steve Deeley

Published: June 2020

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


The stuff of nightmares

I went up to Whixall moss yesterday. It’s a massive 2,3888 acres of bog. It’s also about a three-hour drive from my home, so not a trip I undertake lightly. Why does any sane individual drive three hours to spend a day in a bog, I hear you ask? The answer is that acidic peat ... Read more


The armchair naturalist

The weather’s been a little poor lately. Apart from some much-needed repair work around the house, I’ve been using the time to try and catch up, pruning out hundreds of unwanted photos that have been silting up my hard drives. I’ve also been trying to carefully identify all those “??” species, where I’ve taken a ... Read more


Lockdown diaries 28th May

As our horizons have shrunk with Covid-19, so small victories have become something worth savouring. Today I had a small victory, along with a huge dose of luck. I disapprove of treating wildlife-spotting like stamp collecting. It seems disrespectful, somehow, to treat living things in this way. But the exhilaration that I get from seeing ... Read more