Lichen gallery added

Two lichens, Concentric boulder lichen, Porpidia crustulata, and Lecidea lithophila, on sandstone. Derbyshire

I am in the process of re-organising the galleries. To that end, I have put together a selection of photos of lichens and used them to create a new gallery.  You can find it here.  

Cardinal Beetles in the logs

Larva and adult of Black-headed Cardinal Beetle, Pyrochroa coccinea, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. Montage from two separate images.

One of the bonuses of having a log store is the chance of turning up interesting invertebrates in the course of sawing and splitting said logs.  Earlier this month I came across this larva when moving a log that had been stacked for several months.  It turned out to be a larval Black-headed Cardinal Beetle, Pyrochroa coccinea.  These larvae […]

Plants from warmer times

As an antidote to the cold, wet weather we are having at the moment, I have looked out some photographs of plants photographed in my greenhouse over the years as reminders of sunnier days to come.  Many of the images are focus-stacked in order to produce sharpness from back to front.  The first three are a sequence of […]

South Africa 2017

Toad Grasshopper, Trachypterella species, poss. T. anderssonii, nymph, which mimics the quartz pebbles in the Knersvlakte Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa.

In August 2017 I visited South Africa with a small group of nature photographers, with the object of photographing the flowers of Namaqualand (see the previous post).  This year happened to be one of the driest on record and so the fields of Namaqua Daisies were nowhere to be seen but, nevertheless, we managed to find […]

Monmouthshire moth magic

Dotted Chesnut Moth, Conistra rubiginea, Catbrook, Monmouthshire, March

Although I have had a fair bit of experience with moth traps over the years these have always involved other people’s traps, and usually when I have been leading tours to other parts of the world. Moving to a more isolated location in SE Wales, where we are not overlooked by neighbours, gave me a […]

Drumnadrochit, Inverness

And a fern abstract to end with: Male Fern,  Dryopteris filix-mas, erness, Scotland

We took a short break to Drumnadrochit, on the north-western shore of Loch Ness.  Although this was supposed to be a family holiday, I did manage to sneak a few photo sessions, mainly of the moths and other insects that visited a light that was conveniently fixed above the door of our accommodation. Divach Falls […]

Mull tour completed

Highland cow, Mull

The Mull tour has been and gone and we had another successful tour.  I will add details of any future tours, to Mull or elsewhere, as the occasion arises.  Thanks for your interest!  

Frogs from The Algarve

Western Spadefoot Toad, Pelobates cultripes

November is the time of year when, like most sensible people, my thoughts turn to warmer places.  This year I had toyed with the idea of several tropical destinations but, for various reasons, decided in the end to try southern Portugal, the region known as the Algarve, inspired by the variety of reptiles and amphibians […]

A miscellany of beetles

Violet ground beetle, Carabus problematicus, Derbyshire

During our wanderings this year we have been fortunate to run into a few interesting beetles, including a couple I hadn’t seen before.  Here is a small sample. The “beetle year” started in April with the usual swarm of Green Tiger Beetles, Cicindela campestris. These are the commonest of the UK’s tiger beetles and the one most likely […]

A Log Blog

Fruiting bodies of a slime mould, Trichia decipiens

It’s amazing what you can find on, in or under a log.  I have a small pile of rotting wood at the bottom of my garden and, together with a few excursions to a nearby wood, I have found enough material here to keep me happily taking photographs for the last week or so.  Fungi […]

Three Days in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree, Yucca brevifolia, at sunset

Named for the distinctive Joshua Trees, Yucca brevifolia, that grow in the northern part of the park, Joshua Tree National Park covers the transition between the Colorado Desert to the south and the Mojave Desert to the north. The northern half is best known, with its forests of Joshua Trees and unusual rock formations. This a photographer’s paradise, […]

Midwife Toads re-visited

Male plus eggs

Since posting the original version of this blog we have been back to the colony and found two males carrying eggs in their late stages of development.  I have added a couple of new photos towards the end of the blog.  The Midwife Toad, Alytes obstetricans, gets its English and scientific names from its breeding […]

En-crustaceans: Another Place for barnacles

Barnacles, Austrominius modestus, an invasive species, growing on one of the statues

After spending an enjoyable but unproductive day at the Ainsdale Nature Reserve on the Merseyside coast looking for signs that the natterjack toads had started breeding (they hadn’t) we decided to use the last couple of hours of the day to re-visit Antony Gormley’s installation on the beach at Crosby, a few miles south.  Named […]

A couple of good eggs

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

A new arrival gets his (or her) first view of the world.  60 days previously he was one of four eggs laid by a female leopard snake.  With very few exceptions, notably the pythons, snakes do not display any parental care.  Once the female has laid her eggs, in a moist, secluded place such as […]

Mull report

Basalt rock formations, Staffa

This year our workshop on Mull had mixed weather – two glorious days, two rather wet and windy days and two days with a bit of each, but we found plenty to photograph, as usual, and on days when photography was not possible we held Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials, largely thanks to Alex Hyde, who […]

American West Coast gallery added


Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington state, USA. I have just added a new gallery “American West Coast“ to display some of the photographs taken on a trip to this interesting and varied region back in 2008.  Sorry it’s taken so long!

Mull and the Treshnish Isles workshop confirmed

White-tailed sea eagle

Nick Garbutt and I are pleased to confirm that the annual one-week workshop on the Isle of Mull is guaranteed to run now that we have the minimum number of participants.  This will be the tenth year we have visited Mull to photograph its spectacular scenery and wildlife and Nick and I are both looking […]

Nature Photography at Manchester Museum

Bell's horned frog, Ceratophrys ornata, South America

Our second photography workshop at Manchester Museum on November 24 and 25th, had 10 participants, all of whom had an opportunity to photograph a selection of the frogs from the museum’s collection and, as a bonus, a brightly coloured panther chameleon.  The weekend appeared to go well and everybody went home with some excellent images […]

Camouflaged lizards

Desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, North America

A short piece to get some new photos on the front page.  Three lizards from different parts of the world that demonstrate exceptional camouflage.  Photographing camouflaged subjects is always a balancing act – on the one hand, the image should show how effective the camouflage is but, on the other hand, if it shows it […]

New book – “Chameleons”

Namaqua Chameleon, Chamaeleo namaquensis

My new book, “Chameleons” has just been published (please see the Publications page for details).  Here’s the Introduction. Of all the lizards, the chameleons are the most charismatic.  Although they are objects of fear and superstition in some of the places where they live, to Western eyes they are amusing curiosities even among the many […]

Salamander hunting in Calabria

Italian fire salamander, S. s. gigliolii, Monte Pecoraro, Calabria, Italy

Calabria – the “toe” of Italy – is not well-known to tourists and those that do make it tend to stick to towns such as Tropea and Pizzo, on the coast.  The interior, though, is mountainous and covered with extensive forests of beech and pine.  We based ourselves in the small town of Serra San […]

Stacking up plants

Sun pitcher plant

Some time ago I started photographing unusual plants – succulents, insectivorous plants, and other weirdies – with a view to doing a small book on them.  This hasn’t happened and probably never will, but it gave me an incentive to try out different techniques.  One of these was focus stacking. I find that it has […]

Asian tree hole frogs

Treehole Frog, Metaphrynella pollicaris, Bukit Fraser, Malaysia

This is a short note about a couple of frogs from South East Asia that are rarely seen or photographed. The narrow-mouthed frogs, Microhylidae, include over 300 species in 69 genera, distributed throughout the warmer parts of the world but notably in Madagascar, New Guinea and South East Asia, where diversity within the family is […]

Photographing extinct species

Atelopus ignescens, Paramo near Guaranda, Ecuadorian Andes, now extinct

This is something that none of us ever want to do but, if you photograph enough frogs, sooner or later one of them is likely to become extinct: an estimated 30% of all amphibian species are likely to be lost forever in the next 50 years. For instance, in 1985 on my first trip to […]