Art of the Wild

Art of the Wild

The Writing of Steve Deeley

Oh my. I think I’m a birder

For many years, there’s been a regular occurrence when I’ve been out walking. Someone has spotted my camera and said “Oh, you’re looking for birds, are you?” and I’ve had to explain that, like Russel from the Disney film ‘Up’, I’m actually a “friend to aaaaaaallll nature”, and not – most definitely not – a ... Read more

The last wings of Autumn

A few weeks ago I posted (“A case of premature exclamation”) about another failure in my years-long search for the Common Hawker dragonfly.  I have driven many hundreds of miles and devoted a great many hours to the search and come up empty handed. But last week my wife and I went for a short ... Read more

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

Newer / Older