A really positive credit for my research – Leeds nostalgia: The story of the Leeds Tiger

It’s strange how past projects occasionally resurface… Just after Christmas an article relating to Leeds Museums & Galleries popped up in the Yorkshire Evening Post about the Leeds Tiger – a piece of very old taxidermy that frankly, I know waaay too much about. A copy of my Master’s dissertation resides in the archive at Leeds associated with the Tiger, and I’m glad that it is being used by those interested in the object’s colourful history. It was nice to be given such a positive credit in the article too!

See the original article: HERE.




Violet ground beetle

While on a toad hunt today (which is a story for another day), I came across a big, beautiful Violet ground beetle. I would have liked to have got some better pictures of it, but they are quite fast movers!

Violet Ground Beetle Oct 14

Apparently there are two types of Violet ground beetle, Carabus violaceus, and Carabus problematicus.  While I wouldn’t like to try identify this beetle from my quick encounter with it, I do think that ‘Carabus problematicus’ is certainly one of the more memorable taxonomic names!



A Rather Limited Entomology Case: Update

So I had a moment available to add the collection data and pin a couple of (now dry) lepidoptera specimens today, they look so much better with all the setting pins removed!

Butterfly 2 Sept 2014

It is always going to be a struggle getting decent specimens when I only use insects that have expired naturally. However, I’m happy with my ethics, and that is an important part of my work.

Pigeons in War

Today I picked up a leaflet created by the The Royal Pigeon Racing Association concerning the role of pigeons in war. With all the current cultural events for the Centenary of the First World War, it is easy to overlook the role that animals have played in periods of conflict.


I picked this leaflet up from the Bankfield Museum, Halifax, which currently has an excellent exhibition entitled ‘For King and Country’ as part of the Centenary programme.

A Rather Limited Entomology Case

We have a small collection of cased entomology at home. It’s mainly lepidoptera, but there are a few other things in there too, bees, beetles etc. It’s small because I don’t kill creatures for the collection, and so the only time I  add to it is when I encounter an already deceased specimen that is still in a good enough condition to be preserved for display.

Today I  stumbled upon  a butterfly in good condition which had expired on a footpath above Hebden Bridge.  If it dries out ok, hopefully it will make a nice addition to our (rather limited!) case.


Ironic Turf

For easing living my friends in Leeds have a square of astro-turf at the front of their house. The weather has been so sunny (and rainy!) recently that the rest of the garden has gone mad, and even unwanted plants have started growing on top of the turf by rooting into the plastic… including weeds, moss, as yes you guessed it, turf!


Nature does have a sense of humor. I’m convinced.

Hebden’s Wild Orchids

Yesterday I went for a run (much more like a jog in my case) along the Rochdale Canal and encountered these beautiful flowers, I suspect they are a type of wild orchid? If you know what they are please do share. They were a little hidden, but I really hope that other people have had the opportunity to see and enjoy them too.