Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sarithus' Cartography

Seeing as this is a blog about all things nature or landscape related, I thought I'd give a shout-out to my brother's excellently produced fantasy maps at Sarithus Maps: Artistic Cartography ( Not that he needs the attention from this tiny blog; he's practically famous for his 'Clichea' map.

He also does inexpensive commissions.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Plants and Their History

Old photo of a majestic Oak in Stansted Forest, Hampshire

Hello, all.

Decided a few days ago that I want to focus on botany as my main interest. Woodland ecology has always been my favourite area of study and indeed whenever I go to a natural history museum I seem to just be drawn to exhibits on the Carboniferous and so forth! I want to try and focus more on tree and wild flower ecology/biology and learn as much as I can on the subject. I'm not so interested in artificial horticultural varieties, more so the ecology and history of vascular plants. At the high end of spectrum I'd say I'm most interested in dabbling in either palaeobotany or archaeobotany. There's also ethnobotany though this has less of a historic spin. I'm undecided which one I'm most intrigued by as they are all interesting but very different in that one focuses on very early climatic climax vegetation and the other two deal in plagioclimax vegetation and its utilitarian use in different timescales. I just know I want to study and focus on plants and their history in some way, but I'm only at the superficial entry level at the moment.

So yes, I've been focusing on plants a lot more (and am currently reading the in-depth Trees: their natural history by Peter Thomas.). I've been toying with the idea of making a separate blog and documenting trees or flowers of some historic, ecological or purely aesthetic significance. In other words, I quite like the idea of going round taking photos of plants. We'll see where it goes. 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Ecology and Conservation Vlog 2

Hello, all. Back at college after 3 weeks away, enjoying the sunshine. In this short video I discuss woodland plant I.D and upcoming assignments this spring. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Langley Wood NNR

Hello all. Had a great couple of hours out in the New Forest. Chose Langley Wood NNR in the north and it was a great choice. Large semi-natural ancient woodland, littered with AWIs of course, and all round beautiful prime Oak woodland. You don't get much better than that. Very interesting few hours... Maybe fifteen minutes in I saw what I'd never seen before, a whole stampede of what looked like Fallow deer. I'm not exaggerating when I say there were at least 30-40 of them on the move through the woods at once. Sadly I never got a photo. Great moment though. There was a hide in an open area of the wood where we found a dead fox. Not entirely sure why it was placed there. The woodland itself was just spectacular, rivaling many of the woods I've seen before. Bluebells, Primrose, Dog's Mercury, Ground Ivy, Wood Sorrel, Common Dog Violet (may have been Early Dog Violet, though I'm not sure), Wood Spurge, Wood Anemone and much more were out. Went to Fritham and had a quick drink at the Royal Oak before going home.

Here are a few of the best photos.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Wonderful Jurassic Coast

Hello, people! Just been away for about 8 hours to the Jurassic Coast. I hadn't really got a chance to explore Dorset, having only been to two local heathland sites in weeks, but that doesn't matter because I just spent hours gawking at the beautiful Jurassic Coast. Truthfully, I wasn't that impressed with what I'd seen of England so far, having not been to the really well known locations such as the Peak/Lake districts, but this has proved me wrong. The Dorset Coast is otherworldly stunning. We only saw three or four landmarks, but as we had the whole day we done a couple of walks. We only really covered a small part of it, mostly in the east, seeing Old Harry Rocks, walking around and up to a part of Lulworth Cove (sadly the flags were flying so couldn't see the Fossil Forest), and walked the long way to the awesome Durdle Door. And I have to say the heritage centre near Lulworth Cove was brilliant. That's how you do a visitor centre.

This day has left an impression on me of Southern England. It's silly to say, but I didn't really know all that was there just an hour away. Living in Scotland sort of desensitizes you to certain sights I think, at least in the UK. That's not to say that Scotland has all the best and most impressive sights, of course not, it's just that I love my country and its wildness. But boy have I been proved wrong about England. This was a different type of beauty. It helped that the weather was perfect. Every landmark was heaving  with people, but the atmosphere was great. It's just a shame that my photos don't convey the scale of the structures.

Here are some of the better photos (shrunk them down to fit on the board)

Old Harry Rocks and surrounding area

Lulworth Cove

On the way to the Door

Man of War Cove

Durdle Door from above
 Door from the beach

Will definitely be going back to explore some of the west and the Triassic rocks.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

New Vlog Series: Ecology and Conservation (1)

March 26th 2015

After a long break from making videos, I've decided to try to document my progress on my ecology and conservation course, as well as other things relating to nature. I haven't posted a video in a long time and a lot has happened since, so I thought I might at least make a few short videos.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Investigative Project, Oxford NH Museum & Creag Meagaidh

Starting this diploma really has halted essentially all of my hobbies, but I'm learning a lot. It's surprisingly intensive. Here's my Investigative Project done for the course. This project is the pivotal assignment upon which everything else depends. I would've spent more time on it, but I think it's pretty good considering how many other assignments I've had to tackle as well.



Went to Oxford's Natural History Museum with the college. Great atmosphere, and plenty of exhibits, of course. I actually enjoyed this museum more than London's because it's easier to navigate and is also far less busy, allowing people to explore at their leisure. Particularly liked the chronological display they had on the evolution of life. I focused mainly on reading up on the evolution of plants. A good number of fossils to be seen. The Pitt Rivers Museum was like stepping into another world. It's famous for its world culture or anthropological exhibits. Exotic textiles, musical instruments, crafts and other such traditions.


And it looks like I'll be going back to Scotland, this time for 3 whole weeks to volunteer with Scottish Natural Heritage at Creag Meagaidh in the summer. I was originally going to volunteer in Dorset at Moors Valley Countrypark, but can you blame me for choosing this position? It means I'll be able to go home and volunteer in a spectacular area.