Several water vole colonies feature in this blog, obviously the River Ock in Abingdon - where this blog gets its name (http://viewsoftheock.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/along-lower-ock.html), Abbey Fishponds in North East Abingdon (http://viewsoftheock.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/abbey-fishponds.html) and Radley Brook (http://viewsoftheock.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/water-voles-of-radley-brook.html), a stagnant ditch between the river Thames and Barton Fields Nature Reserve.
Most years - on Radley Brook - water voles can be heard munching on the reeds, or glimpsed amongst the foliage or even enticed out with an apple core.
But this year, there is nothing to be glimpsed along the brook
The reeds remain silent:
And the apple cores remain uneaten.
It seems to be a bad year for water voles in Abingdon...
Saturday, 2 July 2016
The University of Oxford Natural History Museum (http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/) is often featured in this blog and it has recently opened a temporary exhibition called Microsculpture, consisting of a series of exquisite photographs of 22 of the museums 5 million specimens from its Hope Entomological collection.
Photographer Levon Biss has used a microscope lens to painstakingly take 8000 photographs of different parts of each subject, each with its own lighting arrangements and then combined them to produce these remarkable images, such as this orchid cuckoo bee:
The exhibition also includes the actual insects, which demonstrates Bliss's remarkable talent in showing the exquisite beauty of these insects.
Such as the Jewel longhorn beetle:
And he has shown the Mantis Fly can look like something from a science fiction nightmare:
.Even the most mundane of British insects, like the blow fly, is shown to be just as magnificent as any of the exotic ones featured in the exhibition.
The exhibition runs until the 30th October and is highly recommended to anyone in the locality or anyone visiting Oxford.
For those not fortunate enough to be able to visit, the exhibition has it's own website: http://microsculpture.net