Night Waking, By Sarah Moss

Sarah Moss's debut, Cold Earth, was a stylish thriller set on a remote archaeological dig in Greenland. Here she takes the emotional isolation of early parenthood as her subject, intensifying the experience by transplanting a young family to a remote Scottish island.

Michael McCarthy: Real Spring starts this Sunday

I wrote recetly that four is not really a sufficient number for seasons, with mid-March, for example, being neither spring proper nor late winter, but something in between. And the spring's true heart also does not fit with the traditional versions. As far as I am concerned, spring in southern England, where I live, begins this Sunday, 15 April.

David Randall: Let's strim these mowing jobsworths

Our writer bemoans the obsessive razing of our wild flora

Damien Hirst work on sale in Tate Modern retrospective

Damien Hirst merchandise, from a deckchair to a plastic skull, is on sale for eye-watering price tags of up to £36,800 at the first UK retrospective of the controversial British artist.

Letters: Bees and pesticides

End the denial over bee poisoning

Fossils of giant fleas discovered

Giant Jurassic fleas measuring more than two centimetres (about an inch) may have fed on feathered dinosaurs, say scientists.

Harlequin ladybird: First seen in the UK in 2004, the harlequin is now the most populous species of ladybird. It feasts on aphids, other ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies. It is rapidly spreading across the country

Invading cannibal ladybirds take over Britain's homes

Asian interlopers devour native insect populations and exude chemical that could ruin your curtains

Female Golden Orb Weaver spider in web

Well, it worked for Peter Parker: genetic scientists unleash power of the spider web

Breakthrough may pave way for new biomaterials that could be used in medicine and engineering

Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria This yellow star is normally the first spring flower (snowdrops being winter flowers) and normally appears in early March, but parts of December were so mild that it was flowering in the west country

The year of strange weather

From a baking-hot spring to a chilly summer, 2011 played havoc with our plans, our wardrobes – and our native wildlife.

Heatwave attracts flight of colourful tourists from Continent

With wings as big as a bat's, the death's-head hawkmoth is the most extraordinary of the insect visitors

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: In search of another great moth snowstorm

One of the lousiest aspects of the lousy summer which ended yesterday, for me at least, was that for yet another year, there was no chance of witnessing the moth snowstorm. Not in England, anyway.

Government cuts a threat to butterflies

The continuing survival of Britain's most-threatened butterflies has been put at risk by swingeing government cuts, conservationists are warning.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Nicole Kidman answers the great rhetorical question: 'Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?'

Who knew that Nicole Kidman is frightened of butterflies? Who knew, in fact, that anyone had a phobia so rare that it doesn't have a name? The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth does (arachibutyrophobia). So does the fear that somewhere a duck is secretly watching you (antidaephobia). And so, needless to add, does the fear of the bluff know-it-all with misguided dress sense (Clarksonophobia).

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The loveliest living creature

What's Britain's most beautiful creature? Many people would name a bird: the kingfisher springs to mind at once, and there'd be a raft of other candidates from the goldfinch to the roseate tern, all plausible. Some might name a mammal: I can see how the pine marten might have its supporters, all sleek deadly elegance in fur; and the common dolphin, with that great pale stripe along its side, is a heartstopping animal when you see it surging around your boat. But I'm going to name an insect.

The curse of the moth

They're back – and this time we haven't got the balls to stop them. Francesca Infante reports
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen