Oxford Botanic Garden is a very special place and one that holds an important position in my personal journey as a scientist and teacher (see, for instance, these old posts: The Walls of the Garden and A giant falls: the Tolkien tree is no more).
Some years ago the Garden refurbished its Fernery (a glasshouse devoted to humidity-loving ferns and their relatives) and as part of the design installed a stone floor centered on an old outlet both aesthetically and topographically – the floor level slopes inwards from all sides to allow water to flow into the drain. It’s a nice confluence of design and practicality using, of course, a spiral.
That’s the seventh in my Spiral Sunday series; more next week.
One of the most exciting, pollinator-related publishing events of last year was the publication of Steven Falk’s eagerly-anticipated Field Guide to the Bees of Britain and Ireland. Not only does this book provide a state-of-the art account of the natural history and identification keys for all of the bees currently known from Britain (over 270 species) but it’s backed up by Steven’s own Flikr site with more photographs of the bees, including lots of close ups, and an ongoing list of updates and corrections.
But as Steven himself acknowledges, the identification of many of our bees is a challenge, even with the book and the additional imagery. Anyone who is really keen to get to grips with bee identification is therefore recommended to book onto a hands-on identification course. Steven has just announced that he is running a two-day course in Oxford on 15th to 16th October, at a cost of £60 per person – here’s a link to the booking page. Seems like good value to me!