BEACH

Has anyone been watching Wild Ireland? Colin Stafford-Johnson’s trip up the west coast of Ireland in a currach was an enthralling masterpiece- and it resonated particularly closely as I was still going through pictures from our brief trip to Connemara at the beginning of March. Like him, we wandered from forest to mountain to coast, and while … More BEACH

CONNEMARA

Aside from, you know, the time I spent studying for an MSc, the year I spent living in Dublin was full of awesome side trips to the far extremities of the country. We went camping on Inis Mór, surfing in the Atlantic in December, and on fruitless sea eagle searches in Killarney National Park. Despite this, the list … More CONNEMARA

NZ

As is becoming habit, I’m using packing for a new trip as an excuse to get all nostalgic about ventures past. This time we’re hopping over the Irish sea to Dublin and thence to Connemara, but two years ago I was filling a much bigger suitcase from a trip to the other side of the world. New Zealand … More NZ

FIRST LIFE

A word of warning: any palaeo friends (i.e. most people I know in Manchester) might want to stop reading now, as I’m about to reveal the extent of my ignorance when it comes to ancient life. I’ve always enjoyed the ichthyosaur section in the Natural History Museum as much as the next person, and noted with … More FIRST LIFE

THANK YOU

Back when I started Stripy Tapir, I wanted it to be a diary of sorts- an annotated field book and a place to look back on past adventures. I didn’t really have high expectations for it and hoped it would be able to stay afloat despite PhD work and intermittent lack of internet. Last Thursday, however, I … More THANK YOU

VEGUARY

Wait a minute Stafford, shouldn’t you have done this a month ago, when veganuary a thing? OK- let me explain. There is broad scientific consensus that animal agriculture is a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions. Headlines like the one below, from the Guardian a couple of weeks ago; are becoming frighteningly more common. The main culprit? … More VEGUARY

WINTER

I found myself in Canterbury during the brief flurry of snow we had last week, watching it fall from the window and wondering if my train journey back to Manchester would be delayed (and after crossing London on the way there during the tube strike, I really wasn’t in the mood for another ‘adventurous’ journey). It … More WINTER

EALAÍ

When I moved to Dublin to study for my Masters degree, one of the salient memories of my first commutes into the city was the glimpse of a sea of white as my bus crossed the grand canal at Rathmines. That sea, it turned out, was a large gathering of mute swans, congregating near a … More EALAÍ

AN ODE TO SALTICIDS

One of the highlights of this year’s Christmas viewing has been this gorgeous little video by Snake Buddies, featuring Jürgen Otto’s incredible footage of peacock spiders – anyone who isn’t acquainted with his work should immediately follow this link to his YouTube channel. While I don’t have anything remotely as impressive, I agree that salticids (aka jumping spiders) … More AN ODE TO SALTICIDS

SNOW MONKEY

I have a confession to make- up until last month, I really wasn’t much of a macaque person. I can’t put my finger on why exactly- but clearly I was missing something as photos of Japanese macaques almost invariably feature in Wildlife Photographer of the Year portfolios. This species, the most northerly of all primates, … More SNOW MONKEY