Photos of readers

Send in your photos, please, so we can keep this feature going. This is the penultimate entry I have in the hopper.

Today’s reader is Iain Haysom, and I’ve indented his captions:

As a reader of your website for a number of years now, it is only right I answer your call to keep this feature running. My name is Iain Haysom, I am a microbiologist and currently Senior Lecturer in Microbiology and Food Safety at Bath Spa University in England. Since the end of March, all teaching has had to be carried out at home,  so my photo shows me in my home office. This was taken from a short video of congratulations we made for our graduating students as a very poor compensation for not being able to congratulate them in person. The final lecture I delivered on campus back in March was on the Covid-19 pandemic, so the masked picture with me and a coronavirus on my shoulder seemed appropriate.

The final two images, taken from outside the Biology building on campus, shows a flowerpot by an entrance where a duck, sadly unnamed, chose to nest and rear her ducklings. I missed the event itself, but I believe all ducklings did well and made it to the pond on campus.

JAC: I gather the nest was in the pot!

Thank you for your books and your website; I have learned a lot both from you and from those who comment. I should start doing some of the latter myself.

Yes, indeed! All readers should make at least the occasional comment.


  1. daniaq
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice mask!!

    • jezgrove
      Posted August 3, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I used to have a comical stuffed “stomach” and a stuffed “liver” (courtesy of pharmaceutical companies), but it would be pretty cool to have a stuffed coronavirus…and whatever that specific other organism was.

  3. merilee
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, what is the first leggy guy?

  4. C.
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Bath Spa? Microbiology? There’s a lame joke there somewhere but I’ll behave myself.

  5. Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice photos, thanks for sharing! Hang in there! Teaching will, eventually, get back to (more) nomral again!

  6. beatleiain
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I promised Jerry I would comment more, and I’m a man of my word.

    The ‘leggy’ guy is a giant E.coli with the legs being flagella. That and the coronavirus and the mask came from a company called Giant Microbes. I am not affiliated with them in any way, but have purchased a number of their giant microbes which regularly make appearances in my teaching.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    What an odd place for a duck to nest in. Must have been an odd duck. 🤪

    Thanks for the submission. I like the virus plushies…like others, I wonder what the leggy (cilia?) critter is.

    • merilee
      Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps a paramecium?

      • beatleiain
        Posted August 3, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Hi Merilee. It’s an E. coli (see my post above). My wordpress id is beatleiain (a clue to my other passion) but I am Iain Haysom whose photos these are.

        • merilee
          Posted August 3, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, Iain😻

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 3, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I think that’s a good guess.

  8. Douglas Keck
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I believe I see the hen in the pot. Is that correct?

    • beatleiain
      Posted August 3, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the duck was sitting on her eggs so I didn’t want to get too close and disturb her when taking the photos. She was well camouflaged and I walked past her for several days before someone pointed her out to me.

  9. Posted August 3, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I like your sense of humour, Iain. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  10. Posted August 3, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Very good! I really like the mask. Makes the pandemic almost fun!

  11. merilee
    Posted August 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    What does your t-shirt say? Spores?

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 3, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink


      • merilee
        Posted August 3, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        Matk, you’re probably right.

    • beatleiain
      Posted August 4, 2020 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      A good guess and close. It says ‘microbes at work’. I don’t usually go full on ‘microbe nerd’ in my attire but the picture was taken from a video for our students.

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