Richard Jones

Latest posts by Richard Jones

11 to 20 of 22

Talkback: Frogs and toads in the garden

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 10:47
You may not have frogs and toads because you have newts. Newt tadpoles are the most carnivorous of the amphibians. We have frogs and toads about in the garden, but none in the pond because, I believe, the newts eat any spawn ever laid.

Talkback: Orange ladybirds

Posted: 20/01/2013 at 21:26
I'm sure Kate meant this was THE orange ladybird, Halyzia sedecimguttata, as Joe the Gardener suggested. Even ladybirds need scientific names to make sure we all know what we're talking about. One nice feature of this species is the clear, transparent flange along the front of the thorax, like a windscreen, through which it can see. Odd.

Talkback: Evicting a rat

Posted: 07/01/2013 at 14:53
Since I moved the compost bin last autumn, we appear to have been rat-free. I've also toned down what I bung in there. The cats still manage to find the occasional young one though.

Talkback: Hedgehog spotting

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 11:37

Great to hear these tales of hedgehog sightings. Dovefromabove's comments about garden ponds got me thinking. I was sure I'd read somewhere that hedgehogs were supposed to be good swimmers. But then it occurred to me that many garden ponds are sheer-sided fibreglass or concrete constructions and even if they could swim around a bit, an unfortunate hedgehog would not be able to scramble up the slippery sides. I eventually found a swimming report in one of my favourite animal books, 'A beast pocket for the pocket' by Edmund Sanders, 1937. He also reports that "There is some evidence for the current belief that they suck cows' udders" and that they will try to taste anything "including boot polish!" I recommend this book, often to be had for a few quid from second-hand bookshops:


Talkback: Glow-worms

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 22:15
Just back now from the Dordogne. I didn't see any more glow-worms. And, eventually the next night, just a single meteor, even thought the heavens were clear and the Milky Way looked solid enough to reach out and touch.

Talkback: Wasps and cuckoo bees

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 09:21
The swifts finally arrived on 11th May, at least a week later than usual. Pah. Fairweather travellers.

Talkback: Most common garden pests

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 12:07
Wot? No berberis sawfly?
I await, with great anticipation, to see what effect the mild winter will have on all these 'pests'.

Talkback: Strange beetle larva

Posted: 12/01/2012 at 08:10
Reply to Luke Arnos
The feathery fronds are a bit of a mystery. We know hardly anything about these beetles' life histories. My only guess is that they help prevent the larva getting covered in snail mucous when they attack their prey.

Talkback: Robins

Posted: 30/12/2011 at 21:37

Dogs, it seems, are this year's Christmas card favourites. No idea why that should be since we are not dog people, and nor are most of our friends. Even reindeer were beaten into third place by bears. As suspected penguins beat robins. In fact, most things beat robins, since we only had one robin card — equal last, along with owl, wolf, mouse and donkey. I disqualified the frog after someone pointed out that I had accidentally pinned up an old amphibian-centred birthday card that I'd found fallen down the back of the sofa.

Talkback: Planting bulbs

Posted: 16/12/2011 at 09:36
Personally, James, I don't think we have enough Venn diagrams in the garden.
11 to 20 of 22

Discussions started by Richard Jones

Talkback: Big Garden Birdwatch 2014

So those sparrows I was going on about on Wednesday, they're do well then? I look forward to more squawking in the undergrowth. 
Replies: 1    Views: 700
Last Post: 09/04/2014 at 09:21

Talkback: Cuckoo flower

To me it is always ladies' smock, food-plant of the orange-tip. 
Replies: 2    Views: 926
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 10:14

Talkback: Most common garden pests

Wot? No berberis sawfly? I await, with great anticipation, to see what effect the mild winter will have on all these 'pests'. 
Replies: 2    Views: 1302
Last Post: 14/10/2014 at 01:06
3 threads returned