The Natural World Photo Gallery
The Natural World Photo Gallery presents pictures of the natural world taken by myself, or others who have sent in their own pictures. I intend for it to develop over time into a collection of animals and plants from all over the world so that children can learn to identify differences in species, habitats and the seasons.
This activity gently brings the children and students into science. They need only to use their skill of observation of the plants and animals around them then select ones to photograph with their cameras and on their phones. They then use a research skill to find the international scientific names of the plants and animals in their pictures and write a caption for each one.
Help spread information about the natural world around the world! Send in your photographs of the plants and animals where you live and I’ll publish them on my site for the whole world to see. Send pictures from each season so we can build up a data base of planet life through the year.
Send your photographs and captions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
When the pictures are sent in they go into the gallery below to help build up a data base of plants and animals around the world. The children and students can then see how, observation, recording and research contribute to building up knowledge of life on Earth.
With each photograph send in a caption of one sentence to describe it. Also send in your first name and age and the name of the country where you live. For example “Pippa, age 6 UK”. For schools you may add something like “in Year 5 Wellfield School UK”, or if you wish a child or student to take some particular credit include their first name. For example “Nicole, Year 5 Wellfield School UK” No other details will be shown on the website.
Ettie has set sail again and is on the River Scarpe in Northern France near Arras, which was one of the cities on the front line in the Great War. The river is teeming with waterfowl.
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with young on its back .
Coot (Fulica atra) on a nest. Richard, who is sailing Ettie, has never seen as many coot nests on any waterway.
Little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Richard has been told that there are more little grebe on this river than in the rest of France!
My friend in Australia has sent me some more pictures of the flora and fauna to be seen there.
As we in England hunker down for the winter my friend Peter in Perth is looking forward to the summer. Here are some pictures of the plants and animals around his home at this time of year together with his natural history notes.
Western Australian Christmas Tree. (Nuytsia floribunda). A semi-parasitic native tree, attaching it’s roots to those of host trees. Flowers from middle of November until about New Years Day. Road verge – Maida Vale W.A.
White Tailed Black or Carnaby’s Cockatoo. female (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) Native only to Western Australia. Now becoming quite rare, numbers decreasing by 50% in last 40 years. Can live up to 40 or 50 years and are often monogamous; maintaining a strong bond with a partner for this period. (our front garden – Maida Vale W.A.)
Red Tailed Black Cockatoo. female (Calyptorhynchus banksia) Uncommon to rare, although appears to be making a come-back. Five subspecies throughout Australia. this being the Forest Red Tailed. (our front garden – Maida Vale W.A.)
Paper Wasp (Polistes humilis) and nest, constructed from masticated cellulose mixed with saliva. A friend to gardeners as they are predatory and attack many other insects, however they will also attack humans if nest is approached. Attacking in numbers and stinging repeatedly.
White Crab Spider.(Thomisus spectabilis) One of few spiders not to construct a web. Sits with large front legs apart awaiting prey, which it grabs. Can vary its colour from white to yellows and creams, dependent on background. Can sit in same location for days or even weeks at a time. Prey in this case appears to be honey bee (apis mellifera) (introduced 1822 from Europe) and the plant is Holly Flame Pea (Chorizema iticifolium).
Avon River (A pronounced as apple in Australia – hard A). View from Bells Lookout.
Perth city skyline from the Darling Range escarpment out across the Eastern Suburbs and the Airport (note the Control Tower).
One-sided Bottlebrush (Calothamnus quadrifidus). A member of the Myrtle family and endemic to South Western corner of WA. First formerly named by Robert Brown in 1812 at Lucky Bay near Esperance on the south coast, during Matthew Flinders’ Investigator Expedition.
A Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) on the bank of the River Garone, in the centre of the City of Toulouse. This is a bird of the wetlands so it is unusual to see it in a city centre.
Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are flowering everywhere at the moment. All parts of the plant are poisonous.
Walnuts are growing next to the canal. The nut that is eaten is growing under the green skin.
Grass snake (Natrix natrix) swimming across the canal. [Peter’s note – I once picked up a grass snake resting on some water weed and it emitted a really strong smell of garlic!]
An Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca). These birds live naturally in Africa but have been introduced into France.
A grasshopper hitches a ride on Julia’s hat.
Yellow legged gulls (Larus michahellis) on canal du Rhône à Sète, la Maguelonne. These birds are also seen in Southern Britain.
A Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) on étang de Pierre Blanche, la Maguelonne. These birds are found in the warmer regions of the world across the globe.
Another Little Egret this time on étang de Pierre Blanche, la Maguelonne.
An Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) swooping through the étangs to Aigues-Mortes. These birds can be found around almost all the coasts of Britain and Ireland and inland in Northern England and Scotland in the breeding season.
European Bee Eater (Merops apiaster) near Aigues-Mortes. These birds breed in Europe in summer but migrate to topical climates in India, Sri lanka and Africa for the winter.
Sarah has sent me some more pictures from her visit to Kruger National Park in South Africa. Here they are.
Cape Glossy starlings at a bird bath. These birds breed between October and February but they may not be the only bird that lays eggs in their nest. The starlings are the target of a bird called the honey guide which like the cuckoo in the UK adds its own egg to the clutch with dire consequences for the rest of the clutch.
The steenbok or steinbuck is a small antelope. Its maximum shoulder height is 60cm. Steenboks are found in habitats where the umbrella thorn acacia grows and provides shade.
This impala is being visited by oxpeckers. They are looking for a meal of ticks on the antelopes skin!
This greater kudu is defending itself by standing very still. The mixture of colours and stripes make its body blend into its surroundings so that it is difficult for predators to see.
Can you see the sleeping leopard?
The lilac-breasted roller takes a tree top perch to look on the ground for food such as scorpions and lizards.
This is a record of the plants and animals that have been seen as Ettie sails on the waterways of France. The first are from past years and the latest are from her journey this year. You can see the route she is taking by looking at the map on my previous post: Introducing Ettie.
Pasque Flowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) near Irancy, Burgundy, in early April 2013.
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea) on the Canal du Nivernais, Burgundy, in May 2013.
This could be Anacamptis pyramidalis, the Pyramidal Orchid but it does not have a well-formed pyramid top perhaps due to weather conditions. It was by the Canal de Montech, May 2014.
A Lizard Orchid – Himantoglossum hircinum –at the Canal de Montech – May 2014.
Flamingos on the Salin de Ste-Lucie, which is on the coast near Narbonne. It was taken at the end of September 2014.
Purple Toothwort (Lathraea clandestina). These plants do not make chlorophyll the green pigment that plants use in photosynthesis to make food. Instead they obtain their food parasitically by growing on the roots of willow, alder and poplar trees. 20th April 2015
Coypu on the River Baïse. 20th April 2015
Red squirrel 29th April 2015
Terence from the Ribble Valley has sent in a picture he took while out for a walk; it’s of some interesting-looking objects attached to the underside of a rock in a brook. Do you know what they are?
The Jurassic Coast is England’s first World Heritage Site.
Liesl had to write a diary entry as part of her homework for school and chose to write about her fossil hunting trip there:
“On Monday 6th April 2015, my family and I went to Charmouth on the Jurassic Coast for a fossiling adventure!
Tez has sent in some pictures of his trip into the Postojna Cave in Slovenia. The cave has formed in limestone rocks as the rainwater has seeped through them.
Following on from my previous post about the flora and fauna of Australia, a friend of mine in Australia has sent me some more pictures of the species to be seen there…