January Gales in Orkney

30 January 2016 // On Nature

Eastside surf. Photo: Sarah Sankey Words: Steve Sankey. For weeks now the islands have been lashed by southerly gales, sometimes with a touch of easterly, or conversely with a touch of westerly. No matter, the sandstone cliffs of the archipelago take their punishment anyway, along with we locals and any hardy livestock still outside. There […]

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The Caught by the River Book of the Month: November

22 October 2015 // Books //On Nature

The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination by Richard Mabey Profile Books, hardback, 386 pages. Out now. Review by Melissa Harrison I was going to begin this review by listing Richard Mabey’s previous publications, but given that there’s somewhere between twenty and thirty I’ll let you look up his full back catalogue. My favourites […]

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Into the Woods: Early Autumn in the Fifth Element

25 September 2015 // On Nature

Old coppice, by Andreas Groeger Words: Katherine Price In August, I received my first Christmas catalogue through the post. Goodbye RHS, that’s the last straw. Don’t try to rob me of the precious weeks ahead. These last few nights I have been woken by the thump of the neighbour’s apples falling on the garden fence. […]

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Butterfly Enchantment

11 September 2015 // On Nature

Illustrations taken from ‘Papilionum Britanniae Icones’ by James Petiver (1717) and ‘An Illustrated Natural History of British Butterflies’ by Edward Newman (1871) Words and photographs: Sue Brooks Arnside Knott, overlooking Morecambe Bay in early July this year. A light southwesterly wind, sunshine through thin cloud. I made myself walk slowly. I let my eyes scan […]

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Robert Macfarlane: why we need nature writing

3 September 2015 // On Nature

Robert Macfarlane by Brian David Stevens ‘As Ali Smith has observed, “The place where the natural world meets the arts is a fruitful, fertile place for both.” We might think of that place as an “ecotone” – the biological term for a transition zone between biomes, where two communities meet and integrate. That integration is […]

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