Winter into spring

After fieldwork in a warm tropical country, returning to late winter in temperate latitudes feels like something of a shock. I came back from Gabon to England in late February this year, and immediately found myself missing the warmer weather. Days were still short, with the blue-black sky as company for mornings and evenings. There…

A bean tree gone wild

When I think of beans, I think of peas, or lentils, or soy – small and herbaceous plants, with long linear fruits holding a treasure of seeds down their spine. But not all bean-family plants are like this – some are a little more wild. I found a very different bean in the mature forest…