Category Archives: nature


Crossing the Wye Bridge in Monmouth yesterday, I glanced at the shallows below the bridge and noticed a shoal of about fifty trout, though I’m sure a fish-nerd woud correct me as to the species.

Among the smaller fish, swaying gently in the pellucid* water was a large salmon. Seeing it invoked small-boyish excitement in me and I wanted to rush to tell someone.

*I remember this word from a poem I read at school and have been looking for a non-pretentious context in which to use it for nearly thirty years. This isn’t that context but I have used it anyway. So there.

Alien Fungus in Monmouth

Saw this growing in the woods by the river a couple of weeks ago and felt moved to take a photo:

The same wood is now full of wild garlic, some of which I have harvested and frozen in hopes of making a sort of pretentious champ. I also noticed that there are large carpets of blubells coming up which promise to deliver a magnificent show when they flower in a few weeks.


I imagine that most of us don’t associate ladybirds with the middle of winter in these northern climes. However, perhaps someone can explain the following: One evening about a month ago I noticed a ladybird creeping up the wall next to the lamp on my bedside table. I thought it odd, as it was the middle of winter and besides, how did it get into the house when so few windows are opened?

Imagine my surprise when, earlier this week I saw a ladybird creeping around (the same one? I should have counted the spots – damn) in the same place. Is it a sign? If so what? Perhaps it is a sign that God/fate/providence/supreme being of your choice is fond of playing absurd jokes.

On the subject of cosmic jokes, I can’t help but squirm (in a mature and manly way – not a giggly girlish way) with anticipation at the release of the film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Now that Stephen Fry is on board (as the voice of the Guide) it is getting even more interesting. Pencil in the release date of 30th June.