Pick & Mix 56 – gardens, forests, bogons, rewilding, ovicidal plants, David Attenborough, bucatini and faeces using bees

How to nurture Nature in your garden this winter

Conference in the time of corona: a beginner’s guide to hybrid conferencing

Liam Heneghan asks Can we restore Nature?

Why not visit and old growth forest in North America with Anurag Agrawal?

Where have all the bogons gone?

Some plants kill insect herbivores before they hatch

Why David Attenborough cannot be replaced

Was Thomas Cromwell the first rewilder?

Did you know that there us a species of bee that uses animal faeces to defend their colonies?

Are you a fan of bucatini? The great USA bucatini shortage of 2020



Filed under Pick and mix

6 responses to “Pick & Mix 56 – gardens, forests, bogons, rewilding, ovicidal plants, David Attenborough, bucatini and faeces using bees

  1. We cant get bucatini down here in the far west, but I heard that the company had a problem with the machine that bores the holes down the middle of the spaghetti strands..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jonathan Wallace

    I am not sure I can put my finger on exactly why but I found the piece about David Attenborough faintly irksome. I may have been misreading it but it struck me that the tone was somewhat disparaging of Attenborough with the ‘queen bee’ images implying that he has been guilty of making wildlife broadcasting all about him. It does not appear to me that that is the case. As a great broadcaster with a strong knowledge and understanding of his subject he has made some exceptional series and there is little doubt in my mind that wildlife broadcasting would have been much the poorer without him. At 94 he seems unlikely to produce any more blockbuster series now but it is not at all clear why others cannot. I very much hope that someone with similar knowledge and authority will come to the fore and produce programmes that are both visually sumptuousness and rigorously informative – there are certainly plenty of stories left to tell and issues to illuminate.

    The article also seemed to me to entirely ignore the fact that the wildlife broadcasting ecosystem is already quite diverse with Attenborough style documentaries far from being the only offering. In the UK we have the more informal, topical style of Spring Watch and its spin-offs, nature slots in more broad-ranging ‘magazine’ type programmes such as Countryfile, documentaries styles popularised by the likes of Steve Backshall, George Buchanan and George McGovern where the presenter is also part of the action investigating whatever happens to be the subject of the film. There is a place for all of these and more without needing to kick the Attenborough style documentary into touch.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Annelise

    Hi Simon, do you have a post on cultivating an indoor aphid colony as a food source for pet finches without risking migration to other houseplants? If the question is distasteful to you as an aphidologist then please accept my apologies. Yours is the only site I have found with aphid information about anything other than eradication. I had no idea that aphidology was a discipline, and I am delighted and fascinated to learn so much about their life cycle, habits, and diversity. I am still interested in sustainably and respectfully farming them for my finches, though, if it can be done well. Could you point me to any resources? Thank you, and my compliments on the excellent blog. I shall be reading more.


    • Hi, I don’t have a specific post, but it is easy enough to culture aphids without endangering your house plants If you plant up some broad bean plants from seed, you can get them infested with pea aphids (which are quite big) or black bean aphids. You will need to keep the plants in a net cage to prevent the aphids escaping and change your bean plants very four or five weeks. Hope that helps


  4. Annelise

    Thank you! This sounds very doable. Much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

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