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News - recent updates, new pages and special offers

June 2017

We have had to remove the Fungi Blog section from the website, because hackers repeatedly introduced content linking to other websites (and no doubt charged 'clients' for the 'service'). Apologies to those who enjoyed the occasional updates to our blog. We will concentrate on providing the best content we can.

May 2017

A busy month updating pages in the Wild Orchids section and other wildflower pages...

April 2017

Spring fungi species may be fewer in number than we see later in the year, but some really important finds are being made, and we have been updating pages with larger pictures and more detailed identification guides. See, for example, one of the most sought after edible mushrooms of springtime, Morchella esculenta, the (not always so very) Common Morel...

March 2017

A new, revised and updated edition of Matching the Hatch is now available. Since its publication in 1997, this book has helped tens of thousands of flyfishers to understand the flies and other aquatic creates that trount and grayling feed upon and to select suitable artificial flies and fish them correctly. Pat O'Reilly's 'Magnificent Seven' for beginners and his 'Deadly Dozen' for more experienced anglers have brought clarity to what in the past was a cause of confusion and frustration. Copies of the bang up to date Pocket Edition are available on Special Offer here...

February 2017

Our trip to Los Roques, Venezuela, was a great adventure. As well as flyfising for (and catching!) Bonefish, we encountered many other fish species and took time out to study and photograph some of the wildlife of this beautiful coral reef archipellago, which is designated as a National Park. Details...

January 2017

Installing larger pictures on the Fungi and Wildflowers pages has taken up most of our spare time this month, but there are also several new fungi species pages including the very rare Cystoderma simulatum...

December 2016

What an amazing reception for Sue Parker's new book: within two weeks of launch more than 300 copies of Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them have been ordered and delivered, and several glowing reviews have come in already. It seems lots of wildlife and wildflower enthusiasts have a treat in store this Christmas. Author-signed copies are now available online here at a special offer price... This book is now also listed on Amazon...

November 2016

We are now taking orders for Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them, by Sue Parker. Copies of the beautiful hardback book will be shipped on 1st December - in good time for Christmas.

October 2016

We have been very busy laying out Sue Parker's new book Wild Orchids in Wales - how when and where to find them. This hardback guide will be available at the end of November, and it's going to be very special indeed. We will be doing a special pre-publication offer, so please check our bookshop after 8th November, by which time we plan to have full details and an ordering system online.

July 2016

Fungi fanciers will be pleased to hear that at last we have created web pages for the Oilslick Brittlegill, Russula ionochlora and the Flat Oysterling Crepidotus applanatus. Other improvements include a few more fungi nomenclature updates, which are now nearing completion.

The next big project is a second edition of Matching the Hatch, an angler's entomology that has topped the best sellers for the past 20 years. More news about that soon...

June 2016

The second, enlarged and extended Edition of Fascinated by Fungi has now been launched. Author-signed Hardback copies are available as a time-limited special offer...

Website improvements this month have included major revisions at genus level involving scientific name changes (mainly resulting from DNA analysis) of the waxcaps and boletes. A few other groups are also affected but we are nearing completion of this work, maintaining First Nature as an up-to-date, comprehensive source of taxonomic and etymological information as in addition to it predominant position as a clearly-structured and readily accessible, highly-illustrated source of fungi identification guidance.

May 2016

An improved layout for our bookshop home page...

But the main job this spring has been producing a revised and enlarged hardware 2nd edition of the bestselling book Algarve Wildlife, the natural year...

February 2016

Throughout the winter we have been busy updateing our Wild Orchids pages and adding many new species to our Fungi section...

December 2015

We have been adding several dozen new pages to our Fungi section, and we are delighted that several thousand people per day hav ebeen visiting this section of the First Nature website during autumn 2015.

September 2015

Although we no longer run flyfishing courses, we have extended and added several new venues to the Great Fishing Venues in the USA...

August 2015

Several new (to us) and rare fungi species now have pages on this site including Ganoderma carnosum and Cantharellus amethysteus.

June 2015

It's a great relief to be back at something more creative than changing page scripts to complete the conversion of 2000 pages to be 'mobile-friendly'. We think all is well, but please please do let us know if you spot pages that don't work properly on either desktop computers, tablets or smart phones. We would very much appreciate an email from you...

April 2015

Please bear with us... we are converting our web pages to 'mobile first' so that they are easily accessible on either desktop/laptop computers, tablets such as iPad, Kindle etc, and smartphones too. It will take a few weeks to complete all the updates.

February 2015

Hazel Gloves fungus now has a page on First Nature. Learn about this rare and very beautiful ascomycete species, Hypocreopsis rhododendri...

Wild Orchids of the Algarve, by Sue ParkerJanuary 2015 - the wait is over...

Sue Parker's new book, Wild Orchids of the Algarve - how, when and where to find them, is a beautifully-illustrated hardback covering not only every wild orchid known to occur in the Algarve but also a wealth of information about orchid biology, habitats, photography; all the Algave species and subspecies; and top sites and walks for seeing wild orchids in the Algarve.

August 2014

First Fungi Forays? See our new 'easy start' guide and illustrated tables of common, easily identified species...

July 2014 - Wildflowers Updates

Major updates to the Wildflowers section are in progress, as we include larger pictures and more details of taxonomy, etymology (origin of scientific and common names), herbal and other uses, habitat and distribution information for all 600 featured species...

We are always updating pages and adding new (and we hope interesting to our visitors) pictures and information to the First Nature Website. Here you will find information about major updates, news of forthcoming books, press releases etc.

April 2014 - Wildflowers of Springtime

The British weather may have been mixed, but our spring wildflower displays, from the first Snowdrops to the eventual emergence of the Early Purple-orchids, are just spectacular. We have perked up several pages with new pictures.

March 2014 - Butterflies, Bits and Bobs

Lots of new and upgraded pages this month including the Silver Washed Fritillary Butterfly Argynnis paphia, Woody Violet Viola arborescens (a rare Algarve endemic from Cape St Vincent), and the Spring Cavalier Mushroom Melanoleuca cognata.

February 2014 - Barometer Earthstar Astraeus hygrometricus and other rare species

Several rare and fascinating species now have their own pages on the fungi section...

November 2013 - Topping up the Fungi Section

There's still plenty going on in the fungi world, and we have added several new pages including the remarkable Drumstick Truffleclub Cordyceps capitata and Pipe Club Macrotyphula fistulosa. A particularly special find is the beautiful white dapperling Leucoagaricus crystallifer, which is extremely rare in Britain.

October 2013 - Great new fungi finds

This is proving to be an amazing fungus season. Top find so far is Wrinkled Peach Rhodotus palmatus, surely one of the most beautiful of all woodland fungi. Lots more fascinating fungi are still appearing every day...

August 2013: Fungi section updates and additions

Several new pages have been added and many more have been greatly enhanced with additional details, photographs and photomicroscopy pictures. Stropharia aeruginosa and Stropharia caerulea often cause confusion, and so we have provided details and pictures to help separate these two blue-green mushrooms that few see more than once in a blue moon.

July 2013: New pages added to our Wild World section about to wildlife sites worldwide

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are now featured along with many other great nature sites in Britain, Mainland Europe and America (North and South). Details...

June 2013: More detailed historical and culinary/toxicity information on our Fungi pages

Who was the first person to describe this species in scientific terms and give it a binomial (two-part) scientific name? Has the name been changed since, and if so by whom and why? And what does that scientific name - often derived from Latin or ancient Greek - actually mean? These and many more questions about uses, whether in cooking, medecine, dyeing (or in the case of poisonous mushrooms dying!) etc are now answered on our fungi pages. (We welcome pictures as potential contributions or as requests for identification... but if we are unsure we will always say so - that's a promise.)

April 2013: World-class Wildlife Sites

A major new section with maps, travel details, accommodation guides and species lists for some of the finest places in Britain, mainland Europe, North America and South America. Written by people with extenisive knowledge of the sites, their wildlife, wildflowers, fungi and other ecological features. Take a look...

March 2013: Major Updates

Our Burren (Ireland) and Gargano (Italy) pages now include details and links to identification pages for the wild orchids that can be seen in each of these outstanding limestone habitats.

During the long cold winter we have been busy improving the taxonimic history and etymology information on our fungi pages. Several new species such as Sarcoscypha austriaca (macroscopically indistinguishable from Sarcoscypha coccinea) have been added. The Waxcaps and Woodwaxes (Hygrophoraceae) now have much more detail including microscopy of spores, gill trama and other characters for several species.

October 2012: Rare fungi From the Forests of France

This month's foray in central France produced some wonderful finds, including the beautiful Violet Webcap, Cortinarius violaceus, and a bolete that we had never been able to find in the UK: Suillelus satanas, the Devil's Bolete. As a result our pages for these iconic species are enhanced by new pictures and microphotographs of spores.

September 2012: New Server to cope with Increased Traffic

It had to happen. During September the volume of traffic on the First Nature website reached the point where the server simply could not cope. First Nature is now on a much more powerful server, and even with our traffic heading for 3/4 million visits per year (and calling for more than two million page views) the new server takes it all in its stride. We hope that the faster server make www.first-nature.com even more friendly and useful to you.

August 2012: Rare fungi species

The Gypsy, Cortinarius caperatus

This Gypsy is certainly no rover. Cortinarius caperatus in Britain is pretty much confined to northern Scotland, and the place to see it is the Caledonian Forest. This webcap has no web; it has only recently been moved back to Cortinarius after DNA sequencing confirmed the 1838 decision of Elias Magnus Fries to place it in this genus. It seems that 2012 is a good year for this Cortinarius mushroom with a membranous stem ring (other webcaps have a web-like cortina covering their immature gills), which is edible but far too rare to warrant collecting. Full details here...

July 2012: Mycologists and Moths

Although there are books with biographical information about a few of the famous botanists and mycologists of the past, it's hard to find information about many of the pioneers who contributed to the body of knowledge that we have access to today. We have therefore started to produce brief, illustrated (wherever possible) biographies of authorities from the fungi world's past. Common author abbreviations are in our citation and authorities guide and we are progressively linking these to individual biographical pages about Carl Linnaeus, Elias Magnus Fries, Paul Kummer, Mordecai Cubitt Cooke etc.

From being virtually a moth-free zone, First Nature has become a valuable resource for anyone trying to identify moths... by mid July we had forty species online but still several hundred pages yet to be created.

June 2012: Algarve Wildlife

Our new wildlife website dedicated to southern Portugal - www.algarvewildlife.com - has now gone live, with 50 illustrated pages of wildlife habitat and species information plus Natural Parks and other nature sites. Already there is some initial information on Wildlife Walks in the Algarve, and more is due to follow shortly.

May 2012; Insects Update

This month we have made some great additions to two of the Insects sections - Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera) and Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata).

February 2012: Online Flyfishing School now freely accessible

Having run flyfishing courses for more than 30 years, we are now making a great deal of our course material available free of charge via our new Online Flyfishing School...

Cors-y-Llyn National Nature Reserve page on the Wales Wildlife sectionDecember 2011: Wales Wildlife: Nature Reserves in Wales - coverage greatly extended

This major section (accessed direct via www.waleswildlife.com or from the Wild Wales tab on the top of every First Nature page) has been greatly extended, now covering all of the National Nature Reserves in Wales and many RSPB and Wildlife Trust reserves too.

(The official launch of this online resource took place in March 2012.)

In the increasingly popular Fungi section, spore microphotographs have been added to several of our species pages. For example see Clitocybe nebularis, commonly known as the Clouded Funnel...

November 2011: sort fungi by approximate spore colour

We have completed the prototype spore-colour sorting facility of our Fungi index page, and we welcome user feedback. Now, as well as sorting the Great Big Index Table of species alphabetically by either Scientific names or Common Names, or arranging species into their Mycological Families, you can also organise the table in order of Spore-print Colour - white, various shades of cream, shades of ochre; pink, rusty brown, mid brown, dark brown, purplish or black. It's only a rough guide, but we hope this will be a further help when you are trying to identify fungi.

Also for Fungi Folk we have now included a Beginners Guide to Choosing and Using a Microscope...

October 2011: many new species added to our Fungi Section

We have added dozens of new pages plus new pictures of many species - Gomphidius glutinosus, Slimy Spike, for example. This work will continue through the autumn and winter months.

Also this month five more National Nature Reserves in Wales now have detailed pages giving location, access, habitats, species and facilities information plus very detailed 'how to get there' information and maps. For an example see the Cwm Clydach NNR page...

September 2011: Fascinated by Fungi launched to critical acclaim

The book is now available via our online bookshop and from Amazon as well as through good bookshops.

June 2011: Fungi section is now live

Our Fungi section has now been updated to reflect recent changes in the genera of many species (for example the Inkcaps) as a result of DNA analysis. We have also taken this opportunity to convert pages to the new layout style. You can now sort the Index Table by either Scientific names, Common Names or Mycological Families. A Spore Colour sorting facility is planned for the near future.

May 2011: New Layout Style

In the fifteen years or so since we began putting our wildlife and ecology pages onto the Web, much has changed with website design and technology. While we know that there is no substitute for good content, our original pages were based on tables and took longer to load than necessary nowadays. We have now switched to layouts based entirely (or in the case of Index pages mainly) on cascading stylesheets. The new layout looks more 21st Century, we think, and we hope that you like it too. Progressively all sections are being converted to the new layout style, but that means updating more than 1200 pages; so, for a short while, we will continue to have some sections in the old style. Our target is to have completed the conversion by the end of July 2011 at the latest... watch this space!

May 2011: New Structure for our Fungi section

DNA analysis has convinced professional mycologists that many well-known fungi do not belong to the genera in which they were originally placed (even though some have been moved many times over the past 200 years or so!). In some cases species have even moved to different families. Reflecting these changes, we are reorganising our Identification Guide to include the new families in which some of the inkcaps and toughshanks (for example) have now been placed. As an added advantage, the URLs become shorter, because we include the genus name but not the family in the URL for a page.

So how do you find information about families? Easy: our new Fungi Index provides the facility for sorting species either in Genus order or in order of scientific Families - that's in addition to the facility to sort either by Common Name or by Spore Colour. We're working on this now, but if you would like to see how it will work please visit our Wildflowers Section...

First Nature

Bwlchgwyn, Rhydlewis, Llandysul SA44 5RE, Wales, UK