I was out looking at a site preparing for an autumn cut. Hopefully we will get it done before it rains too much – but I did discover something interesting. This is a site where in the summer I saw Argiope, the Wasp Spider. This spectacular creature is now found in long grassland habitat across the southern parts of England.
Top marks to this Russian lady who takes a rather direct approach to street littering. Title translated is “The elusive girl on a motorcycle against rubbish”
“Ever seen a sponge garden or spotted a star ascidian? Now’s your chance! Join Spectrum’s Natural Wight and Ian Boyd from Arc for a unique rockpooling opportunity and discover the amazing array of marine life living under Ryde Pier.”
This is the video we made when we accepted that invitation on a sunny Ryde afternoon. have a look at the fun on the sand, and some of the exciting marine wildlife we saw. Not to mention how far out we went!
It’s that time of year again, when the media warms up for a summer of ‘False Widow’ scare stories. Not for nothing is Steatoda nobilis known as the Daily Mail Spider. For although it’s more-or-less harmless to most people, it gets rolled out every single year with the same old lame tales of impossible injuries and reactions to a supposed spider bite.
Really, there’s little or nothing to worry about if you’ve got false widows in your house or garden. And here’s why. Continue reading Prepare yourselves for the crazy spider story season
If you’re interested in non-native species and their impact on the environment, and you’d like to learn more, this is the thing for you.
One of the very few parts of environmental work that the government has not cut back on recently is the focus on non-native invasive species. In fact, the establishment of the GB Non-native Species Secretariat has given considerable momentum to ongoing work to understand and control the species of animal and plant that cause problems when they spread invasively in the wild. Typical species that hit the headlines include Japanese knotweed, American mink and Himalayan balsam. But there are many others and lots to learn about them – like floating pennywort (shown above). Continue reading GB Non-native Species Secretariat offering free online courses
This is the one to watch.
Guest blog post from Rowan Adams
Naturenet visitors are almost like George W. Bush. We know that the human being and the fish can co-exist peacefully.
But we also know that the way we live now – the way we manage our land, especially the way we grow our food, and the way we generate our energy – is more like a civil war. We humans are destroying the homes and the food of our fellow-lifeforms. And that means we are destroying our own homes and our own food supply.
Sadly these basics of biology appear to be unknown to the people who control most of the money.
All across the country there are people with expert knowledge of how people and wildlife can get along together. But just when we most need that knowledge, government cuts mean that these people are losing their livelihoods.
Of little interest to The Ranger, safe on his Island fastness with no grey squirrels (and plenty of red ones), this American invention will no doubt be much in demand when it is introduced in the UK.
The manufacturer’s website claims:
Hilariously funny! Amazingly effective! Squirrel’s weight on feeder activates a motor which gently twirls him off!
Needless to say, the weight of the little birdies does not have the same effect. And it is rather funny. The video illustrates it very well – with the added “attraction” of some cod Beach Boys harmonies. And if you want to buy one, don’t ask The Ranger. He doesn’t have any. Ask the makers.
(First published 2007, updated 2014 with corrected links)
The government’s advisor on the natural environment, Natural England, has just published the long-awaited Natural Character Area profile for the Isle of Wight.Sounds dull? It isn’t. NCA profiles are being compiled for the whole of England, and each one is an in-depth analysis of the landscape, wildlife and human activity within one of England’s 159 Natural Character Areas. It’s not an action plan but it does have some “Statements of Environmental Opportunity” which mostly prove to be longwinded ways to make some pretty obvious suggestions for priorities if we want to conserve and enhance our natural area. And given how we have done so far, obvious suggestions are not at all a bad thing. Continue reading Isle of Wight Natural Area profile: what it is and why you should read it
Regular readers will know how the Ranger has an uneasy respect for waspkind. At this time of the year there aren’t many around yet and it’s easy to forget our yellowjacketed friends, but don’t be fooled: they are busy getting ready for the summer.
The Asian Giant Hornet, Vespa mandarinia
I was entertained to find, whilst reading Imgur’s ‘Best pictures of 2010’ one wasp-related graphic which I decided not to use earlier this year as, well, it’s a bit profane. In fact, very profane. But I enjoyed it so much I thought that you could probably make the decision for yourself. So if you don’t like rude words, don’t click through.
This is a wasp (NSFW)