Category Archives: Natural history

Plant of the Month: June 2019

This seems to be an amazing spring/summer for roses – even mine are looking good (or were until it just started raining), and they are by no means my most successful plants. And it’s not just locally, either. We’ve just … Continue reading

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The Blackbird

Has there ever been a spring/summer like this for blackbird song? (Except, obviously, the year in which, in late June, Edward Thomas’s train stopped unexpectedly at Adlestrop?) I’m especially fortunate in that I have two competing to outdo each other … Continue reading

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In Deepest Limehouse

I imagine that ‘Play it again, Sam’ is the most famous line from a film which was not actually spoken in the film, but ‘We don’t like strangers in these parts, Mr ‘Olmes’ may run it close among aficionados of … Continue reading

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A Life in Footnotes

I mentioned some time ago that I was going to investigate (at my usual superficial level, naturally) the life and career of the physician Francesco Travagino (sometimes Travagini), who appears to have taken advantage of a space on somebody else’s … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: April 2019

Which came first, fritillary as the name of a plant (Fritillaria meleagris, the snake’s-head fritillary, also known as chess-flower, Lazarus-bell, leper-lily, frog-cup, or drooping tulip), or fritillary as the name of a butterfly? It seems that the plant has priority, … Continue reading

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The Vernal Equinox

‘The vernal equinox has come too soon’ is, Him Indoors assures me, the opening line of a welcome ode written to celebrate the visit of Her Majesty The Queen to his school at some point in the 1960s. I have … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: March 2019

May I strongly recommend the new exhibition in the Fan Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum (it’s on until January 2020, so you have plenty of time)? It is a selection of the fan collection of the Hon. Christopher Lennox-Boyd, given … Continue reading

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