Ian Short

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UK-wide climate emergency

Caroline Lucas (MP for the Green Party) tabled a motion to the UK parliament on the 13 March to recognise that the world has a climate emergency. The motion proposes that the government introduces a new green deal to radically reduce the production of greenhouse gases. The motion is here – UK-wide climate emergency. It […]

Red admiral

First butterfly of the year, by the River Ouzel. Apparently small tortoiseshell, brimstone, and painted lady are also out in places (they all hibernate). Song thrushes are singing at the OU, which seems odd, early.

RSPB Minsmere

Over new year we visited RSPB Minsmere, one of the finest bird reserves in England. North and south of it are other outstanding reserves, owned by the National Trust, Natural England, and EDF Energy (Sizewell nuclear power plants are nearby). A highlight for me was a group of bearded tits, plucking at reed heads, in […]

M337 Complex analysis finished

In my pigeon-hole this morning were printed copies of the final three books of  the Open University module M337 Complex analysis. They look beautiful, and I am delighted. It has required a huge amount of effort over the past couple of years. I look forward to moving down a gear, and perhaps even doing some […]

Quotation of Paul Painlevé

For production of an Open University text, I have spent a long time researching the origin of a quotation of Paul Painlevé. I include the details here in case they are of use to others. Some of the information about the quotation that I can find elsewhere on-line is incomplete or incorrect. The quotation is entre […]

Spring and summer wildlife highlights

For me, the pleasure of seeing wildlife depends heavily on the setting, location, and health of the species. As an example, every so often at College Lake in Tring there turns up an isolated wading bird that should really be with others of its kind in North or South America. Probably it has been blown […]

Tarn-et-Garonne

This summer we visited Tarn-et-Garonne, in southern France, staying near the Aveyron river. It’s a great area for butterflies, because of the climate, the soil, and the low intensity organic farming. In fact, so rich was the country for butterflies that it made me wonder why we bother in England desperately trying to protect a […]

Spring is coming

A stroll through my local patch today revealed the early signs of spring. Two white-tailed bumblebees greet me at the start. I tried to get a look at their bums. Wrens were in song along the river, their homes in tatters after the carnage left by the modern-day coppicing machines. Then, a butterfly, first of […]

British Petroleum

BP continues with its plans for extreme deep water oil drilling in the Amazon Reef. I will not buy petrol from them unless they cancel these plans, and I recommend that you do the same. Watch this short video by Greenpeace UK about BP.   Is it really worth destroying one of the beautiful natural wonders […]

Howe Park Wood and Salcey Forest

The best place in Milton Keynes is Howe Park Wood, and that’s where I took I and J this Saturday, for a wildlife event run by Milton Keynes Parks Trust. We were greeted by two privet hawk moths. The Wildlife Trust were there as usual, and Butterfly Conservation. I was glad to see lots of […]

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