… these are the things we have lost that insects, bees and butterflies crave as their winter locations, our slick modernity offers them nothing. No tree is allowed to weather and decay as nature intended, offering a multitude of opportunities for new insects and molds and organisms to appear on the altered now declining tree, a home for bats perhaps; a tree or at least some trees surely must be allowed to follow its natural cycle that can offer a new feast and home to so many living things. In the liability culture and ‘tidy’ malaise that seems to be taken up by everyone from municipal gardeners to householders all must be cut down, levelled and rendered sterile, all trees young, exemplified by the dreaded ‘rowan’ of municipal planting. Likewise our habitations and structures offer next to nothing for the tinier members of the natural world.
So what do I do to counter this ignorance of ecology, this ignorance of the living world? I allow things to decline and rot, I create jumbles of prunings in quiet areas of my garden, I stack same length cut limbs and branches from small trees say eighteen or twenty four inches long topped with roofing felt and a couple of bricks at many places at the perimeter of my garden. I allow bees to take over the various nest boxes if they so wish, which reminds me I’d better get another birdbox made and installed this weekend.
Each autumn I often can find say six nests dotted around this medium size semi-urban garden and also know each nest box generally produces two clutches a year; my garden is alive with the sound of garden songbirds, all it needs is common sense and to read a little to pick up the basics, all gardens should be like mine! But how many people nowadays enjoy the contents of an instructional or non-fiction book, especially kids, so much lost!
A great thrill a few years ago was seeing the queen bee fly in her flightless workers one by one piggy back into the commandeered dry and waterproof birdbox I’d made myself, theres lots of thing I make myself, its my particular mindset and approach to life, its the way I was brought up.
For bee and insect and butterfly overwintering I sometimes wrap up bundles of umbellifer stems with string and place them in unvisited parts of wherever. I specifically allow leaf litter to remain, essential for healthy worms and soil, the latter being much more complex and beautiful than most people realise, likewise the blackbird for instance craves to turn over a mature long established leaf layer. Daily I feed birds at my own garden and the location for my list below.
A location nearby which was once a waste infill site now reclaimed and wooded I’ve introduced two dozen native north British species over the last twenty years:-
teasel (from an old pit site a mile away)
common spotted orchid
round leaved orchid
cranesbill (smashed, destroyed by a one-off visit from a ‘gardening charity’….)
red campion (silene)
unwittingly … thatching reed
yellow flag iris
round leaved mint (failed)
sweet chestnut (failed)
wood sorrel (failed)
goatsbeard … now gone due to overzealous cutting of verges
snowdrop seed five years ago and waiting
my wifes ashes
And I’m sure theres more but cannot recall; each of the above would be a deliberate effort with wild collected material. I shall try again with the round leaved mint, I know of a roadside location where I can obtain complete rooted material, its wonderful for bees, as is the glorious, valuable and much unappreciated knapweed. Likewise I need to get back over to the donor pit yard for the common spotted, ten years ago I had hundreds and now much dwindled to a couple of dozen. I would have thought the reclaimed / disturbed land would suit them.
All done by me and cost nowt …. no app no screen no signal !!! Its what my Dad would call ‘good with his hands’.
Bee decline 5th Sept 2020. Again these last few days the sad spectacle of bees clinging mostly immobile to flowering shrubs after a wet night or moderate rain shower is baffling to me, sodden black lumps that i doubt can recover.
I’m no expert but what is stopping foraging bees from reading the forthcoming weather / impending rain and not seeking safety? Its horrendous to see them moving so slowly, clinging on but signs of life hardly there. I need to know more of this but theres next to nothing online, so perhaps a beekeepers association will help me.
Last night at a favourite place here in North East England I was able to get out onto one of my unfortunately less regular opportunities to take a walk and a beautiful patch of round leaved mint I’ve known for near three decades had the same situation of stranded obviously unwell bees clinging, luckily this time sort of dry-ish and not sodden to black as seen on the Balotta (only light rain shower say an hour previous) one flower stem having three stranded bees all within an inch of one another. I note also I could not see any pollen sacs, as is often the case lately, as if they are not collecting anything. I noticed the same at a local reclaimed landfill / nature reserve nearby, a place I’ve introduced two dozen north British plant species, busy bees in bright sunshine but no pollen sacs, is there nothing for them to collect (or unable to collect) on a thirty yard patch of flowering heather?
A cutting from my aunties Balotta psuedodictamnus of thirty years ago thrives here and each late summer attracts lots of bees and suchlike, a valuable fill in. Again the other morning stranded immobile bees, seemingly alive … but just ! Certainly theres less hoverflies and less butterflies this summer.
What are the reasons for my seeing these poor bedraggled specimens, I’m sure I’ve not seen anything like it before ? I’ve read already a couple of years ago that beekeepers are having to add supplementary feed to their hives each winter, adding more than they used to. People seem reluctant to realise all these downturs and the dreaded two or more like three year peer review for scientific papers is far too slow in this age of terminal decline, amazingly my words were echoed on bbc r4 a few weeks ago that climate change scientific papers and reports need to be fast tracked.
See my previous post on the same subject ie bee decline.
I wonder of chemtrail aluminium and the probable to highly likely dementia connection, one can find online the possibility of such a problem being discussed, bees and chemtrail aluminium and dementia. With less air traffic there are far fewer chemtrails these last few months but for instance yesterday was an obvious ‘aluminized sky’ (my term) drifting in and well concealed as when viewed on NASA Worldview; last Monday 31 August (a UK Bank Holiday) the chemtrails were numerous and obvious persisting throughout the day, slackening mid afternoon, at least obvious if your mind is open to these things and not blinkered and brainwashed by general media. www.Flightradar24.com allowed me to log the flights, even to predict approaching flights with a high chance of success as leaving a chemtrail streak in the sky THAT IS NOT JUST A CONDENSATION TRAIL. Note contrails last only a minute, the dreaded chemtrails linger, drift causing haze and at extremes v definitely alter the cloudscape. These are observable facts. For instance here in NE England listed below (not a complete list) most were from Germany heading stateside, for instance flight KLM641 Amsterdam to NY; flight .
Chemtrails observable overhead morning of Monday Bank Holiday 31 August 2020, NE England in order of appearance:-
0750 UTC flight SK539,
0820 UTC flight DLH9LY,
1009 UTC flight KLM31,
DLH430 (Frankfurt to Chicago) i need to check,
AAL71 (Frankfurt to Dallas) i need to check,
1019 UTC DLH456,
wow ….. 1202 UTC KLM641,
another v obvious chemtrail 1300UTC flight UA988
The above only a brief observation whilst I have other things to do. I shall check each Monday and see if this is a regular routine. In my thirty months of chemtrail observation I have been vigilant to see routine and regularity to this unrequested chemtrail activity.
I never speak to anyone about chemtrails now, the type of person that refutes my observations has probably never had an original idea in their entire lives (I’ve had many) never given the subject any direct consideration and yet theres a kneejerk ‘they know better’ !!!
cov19 has some good to it in that carbon producing personal mobility has undergone a serious rethink and definite alteration in peoples mindset and practices, this is exactly what we need and i think this would have been the only way this could have been implemented.
cov19 here in the UK has been poorly handled, the disjoint twixt governemt pronouncements on testing and the inefficient reality is abysmal. The Boris Johnson / Cummings comedy act was a disaster from the start, Cummings has propelled himself by hoodwinking and clever nonsense to a position way beyond his abilities, universally hated, he is a quite nasty piece of work.
What with trump over in the States and the lamentable Johnson / Cummings gruesome comedy act and cov 19 and the forthcoming Brexit shambles (ask any Nissan worker at Sunderland) anyone exporter or importer (ie better stock up on tinned food)… plus the really not impressive performance of Rishi Sumac a man much complimented but in reality too young, too inexperienced and really nothing to demonstrate any particular ability … all things add up to one hell of a dire winter waiting ahead for us all. Economically we have been held back far too much.
One big important point hardly anyone mentions is how CRUDE the cov 19 statistics really are. Its all lumped together as one ill-defined mas, yes there are deaths but overwhelmingly a big proportion are those in the twilight of their years that no way could they ever could fight the cov19 virus, it would be sad to see them in the struggle, the ventilator etc. Sadly their death inevitable. But why should these frail folk God bless ’em weigh down the stats and make the UK cripple itself willingly, shoot itself in the foot. Theres probably more citizens die on the roads yet we still go driving. BBC r4 in their excellent ‘More or less’ radio programme with Tim Harford has done as always excellent work on unravelling government stats and spin. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd
Witness the fiasco of the official start this week of HS2 Midlands rail link, if ever a pointless project it is HS2, again there needs to be a rethink, the cost of it and a now altered travel pattern for everyone. The misery this has already caused now has no justification that we are a cov19 society. Increasingly with the worlds business and encounters are digital, what are the mysterious goods that the Government thinks it will need transported along HS2 ? Existing infrastructure I’m sure could withstand a few more carriages if need be.
Rambling today yes, but theres too much going wrong at once that i can not let go unmentioned.
To tie up this post here luckily NASA Worldview has captured some of the mornings chemtrail shenanigans, my guess is that data is collected mid / late morning perhaps noon and here on my computer we can access NE England from say 2pm. The lines are chemtrail, it is not contrail and will grow / expand and add we are told aluminium, barium and strontium to what we breath and what is deposited on the earth; remember that fine particle aluminium is an incendiary, my guess as to why California burned / burns the way it does …. they have had this for years. The trajectory matches the aircraft and flightpath as found from http://www.flightradar24 and direct observation of the skies above.
….. how do we now add pics and files with this crappy new ‘editor’ format ?
This new ‘block’ obsession by WP at first glance is utter garbage, is trash, overcomplicated nonsense; but luckily a day later I’ve been able to post an image so as long as i can do this its sufficient for me. Next problem is trying to find how I can access my library of pics already here at WP. I must admit wanting $220 for a years return to ‘Classic Editor’ is lunacy.
And the day previous, as what I’m starting to call ‘chemday Mondays from Europe’ there is as per last week evidence of chemtrails over North Sea, Holland and Germany to eastern England. ie 7th Sept 2020 and the link is … https://go.nasa.gov/3jYs5Fc
Clicking the above link you will also see chemtrail further west along the English Channel.
Most days you can find chemtrail somewhere around Europe or the UK. Be warned NASA Worldview is only a snapshot for late morning / lunchtime and probably in my opinion only provides a one third chance of finding chemtrail by this means.
When a seasoned, experienced no frills highly regarded Scientist (and many like him) use the term ‘existential impasse’ and stresses the absolute need for real world CO2 draw-down and which entails developing the technique and then implementing practical solutions with apparatus (huge apparatus) on a multi-scale Manhattan Project style venture around the globe and that these things we know are not happening in any forseeable large scale venture, then we know our days as a species are numbered. At least of those that are of ordinary means and not of obscene and excessive wealth who for a time will be able to bypass the inevitable (I’m thinking methane release, East Siberian Ice Shelf). Remember trees are no good, once increased CO2 hits as well as the methane the trees will shrink from the task, a question of timescale too, but never mind, pretend, its good for planetary sanity.
Look at the multi lane freeways, look at the adoration of huge personal vehicles, dinosaurs on wheels, can anyone detect a lessening of this fixation? No, men still want their big toys and outward success still has the same talismans to display. Of consumption, red meat, food waste, far too many airflights merely for leisure, diesels idling needlessly whilst the other person shops, everything spun and tumble-dried when the washing line used to suffice, food flown in from across the world, excessive lighting when not needed, the American burger culture, hubris and ego. No wonder we are struggling as a species and throwing all the others into jeopardy.
This year theres no short-eared owls to be seen here in NE UK, therefore we can assume vole populations are down (their food chain also) and how is the earthworm faring as chemtrail aluminium wreaks whatever destruction is unseen by most people. Already we know insect populations are much reduced hence songbird food sources are much scarcer, bees are critical, its supposedly dementia, again another nano-particle aluminium tie-in. By the time we get it as confirmed peer-reviewed scientific findings it will all be too late.
And heres a little idea of mine, living and spending much time so close to agricultural land, the landscape, a century ago stone walls were much commoner, we even had ‘hemels’ dotted around the agricultural landscape here in the North of England, ideal habitat / housing for small mammals and nesting sites. These days the vogue is for wire fencing and often with wildlife margins allowed, but its nothing near like the value of a stone wall, or winter protection for sheep for instance. Another example of how ‘we’ are trying so hard to be clever but absolutely missing the point. No-one observes, no-one evaluates, no critical thinking, what at one time would be termed the umbrella term COMMON SENSE.
I’m using a Mark Gertler painting below as what I perceive as the Merry-go-round of consumption, they all look hell bent on enjoying themselves, noisy and blind. The year 1916 and how very observant of Mark.
I don’t know if some words were altered and even the original Daily Telegraph copy leaves something to be desired in how it reports the impending possible/ probable loss of a great variety of horticultural material, ie bred named forms, diversity, varieties treasured, things kept going for generations, the product of clever hands and minds. In other words anything that is produced for a ‘mass market’ seems to be squeezing other more knowledgable specialist approaches. I found the article via MSN and clicked to the Telegraph original. It certainly could be better worded, to be clearer, to make the point far better; the loss of specialist growers and the lack of younger people to take on such a precarious business with often a low financial reward. Reads as if the writer possibly had no real understanding of the subject.
What they really meant is the nationwide network of SPECIALIST ENTHUSIAST plant nurseries is declining. The prospective not particulary knowledgeable or even totally unknowledgeable customer finds it easier to go to the big commercial garden centres where its often bought-in and all designed to sell and sell quickly. I can appreciate that position. That is good news in avoiding pot bound con-jobs, worst case recently was my unknowingly bought a £30 shrub from an unknowledgable so-called garden centre (non-specialist) ie a buyer-in of all material only to find half of the lower pot bound rootball sliced off to leave a disc four inches thick in a eight inch deep pot!
In other words the specialist growers are finding both that no-one wants to follow on after them and fewer people nowadays hunt out their specialist plants, that the general non-specialist garden centre ie plastic furniture, ornaments, novelties are one-stop shopping centre for most ordinary occasional gardeners; plants and shrubs are dealt with as if any other bought-in product. Like it or not we live in the here and now.
Its called the pushing aside of ‘knowledge and experience’ … things that if not presented or primarily existing within the screen are seemingly irrelevant to much of the population. Its not only the young apparently middle aged folk also seem bewitched by online activity.
I’ve said this for years, the ability to work with soil, to nurture, to create a worthwhile and ‘intelligent garden’ are quite rare and increasingly rare. An interesting illustration is my patch of the English lake District where its very difficult to find a small scale garden that instills any sense of depth or age, everywhere everything is never older than a decade. ie retirement then infirmity scupper what can be achieved over decades as the garden, the plot itself determines the winners and losers.
postscript: its hard to get the point across of basic soil husbandry with many people, ie how to garden. Each autumn I treasure the leaf fall as nourishment for the myriad soil inhabitants, worms, algae, mold, bacteria and its also an insulating blanket for the impending winter cold. Note bulbs by the end of September already are showing significant underground development, in waiting for the spring push. Likewise buds on trees by the September are set and waiting for the Spring dash! Yet so many unwitting households adore their silly garden vacuums and love to hoover away all that is set by nature to help them! And yes I’m aware of excessive leaf fall and the possible plague of midges, point taken. The so called ‘garden compost’ so beloved of the bbc r4 GQT I am most sceptical of, its not inherent in any truly natural system of organic soil development, can throttle off self sown seedlings in the established flower garden, is much over-rated in fact, most certainly it will kill off all your crocus! I build my compost heaps for the mice. I remember a customer trying to loosen up a v heavy clay soil with annual mulches of sand … my suggestion of a top dressing of FYM to aid worm and soil life development went totally unheeded. She had no realisation of Nature and nurture, establishing the right framework to aid her little assistants underground, yet lift up any lump of FYM and the life is teeming from under.
I assume this exposes hidden methane hydrates to thaw even quicker, accelerate microbial activity, allow subterranean gases to emerge and may well divert established waterflow toward raw earth. A couple of times in my life I’ve been close to landslip material and its a substance unrealised until one has seen and handled it.
An aside, my own husbandry of a watercourse to help reduce erosion … a place I know has had needlessly a mile of ditches re-dug which were very old and functioned fine already, the field border and ditches date from 1680 are moss lined, bound with perennial herbs and a highly efficient web of roots both fibrous and woody to bind it all together. Lots of runs, holes and trackways from I guess vole activity. Now all this has been scraped away and dumped onto the other side of the road, exposed raw earth will most certainly be eroded and washed down as is already evident a few weeks following the needless so-called ‘improvement’ … the complete mile is on a hill and runs down in basically a straight line downwards. This is new work is a recipe for disaster. Again, I know that hill and for the last few winters merely as an anonymous citizen have known which drainage conduit to unblock with my six foot pry-bar to get things functioning (mostly from fly-tipped builders and garden waste) yet also each year for days previous to my visit all the locals, farmers, gamekeepers, middle class out of town country dwellers have sailed past in their cars and done nothing as the torrent carves out and undercuts the edge of the road. So, as yet again the man in the digger has no intimate knowledge of what he is doing, no perceptible aptitude and merely wrecks what already functions perfectly well. A case in point being run off channels where I don’t think run-off will occur in many cases. I guarantee as is already being demonstrated that once the heavy rain run-off flushes downwards the silt build up will in fact create flooding, blockage, overspill further down where none need have occurred. I often think man as a labouring animal, as trying to engage with intelligent / common sense husbandry is increasingly becoming useless at this small intimate scale. Further down, each year I also quite easily can divert side of road run-off back into the drainage channel merely banking a few inches of earth and voila! … job done. The digger driver has completely ignored these points / locations. My charming aside re basic hydrology now finished, back to the dreaded thawing permafrost.
Plenty of news coverage yesterday re insect decline, bizarre predictions of ‘100 years’ seem so silly, if insect loss stands as it does now I’d say three years, five or seven. How else, if they’re ‘dropping like flies’ (horrible pun) with nicotinoids and unmentioned aluminium levels then the tail off will can only be drastic. I feel so sorry for the knock on effects, to lose garden song birds will be so sad. Likewise bees, butterflies, and i wonder at earthworms. I garden for birds here, strangers have told me so, yet we use the term ‘garden songbird’ when in fact gardens suitable for them, swathes of urban garden are punctuated with barren grass patches at best or paving and gravel and the dreaded dreaded membrane. People just do not seem to connect, few people plant a garden hedge, there are other preoccupations, other toys to play with nowadays. People are so THICK …
My garden is a maze of carefully thought out ‘jumble’, niche corners, shrubs, flowering things, every day of the year theres something in flower. All done at little expense, lots from seed and cuttings.
Many farmers are not the best of operators in ensuring biodiversity, often on my rambles hedges are left to fail and thin and then remain as a few straggling hawthorn sixty years later. A most useful small / mini wood at the entrance to Old B Church was destroyed a few years ago, snowdrop churned to muck, for no purpose, the Forestry Commission a hundred miles away telling me they granted a license to fell and there will be i assume grant aid to develop another artificial synthetic planting. Here in our local Park much used by urban dogwalkers similar nonsense is occurring, an obsession in destroying potential butterfly habitat ie strimming and putting out of reach leaf litter for blackbirds with an obsession with wood chippings; maybe I’m wrong, maybe it will house worms and woodlice, I shall have to check.
Likewise at a couple of separate places i visit, i place bird seed in useful rough weathered fencepost, for twenty years yellowhammer have always accompanied me along that road in spring and summer, its the least i can do. I feed horses too, initially a little neglected, twenty years ago, nowadays the owners realise they need to make an effort. Its what you do that matters, not platitudes or vacuous observations with no follow up. In the bad snow of seven years ago it was only one visit in six weeks that I missed a 28 mile round trip to feed each afternoon; snow tyres being essential.
Do kids do gardening at school? They’ve stopped the wood and metalwork decades ago. And I always wonder that once the photo-op has passed what are the results of their efforts with trowel and seed packet? The consistency, the regularity of effort?
I recall my years eleven to sixteen in a village Secondary School NE England … the microscopes only ever came out of the cupboard once in five years, the biology / science teacher hopeless and uninterested, many lessons devoted to playing ‘hangman’ while he played around with his admin tasks!
We most definitely are bringing up kids that cannot make perform simple tasks to satisfactorily conclusion, cannot complete a practical task. The term ‘using ones hands’ still carries to many a derogatory inflexion to it. Lets blame the Educationalists, they have eradicated so much that is practical and geared toward a finished piece of work, not just fannying on with the apron and plastic specs. We live in a bullshit world, we are getting what we deserve.
An American style obsession driven by big business, all sizes of business with red meat and burgers will have to be re-thought, likewise population control; likewise what we spray on the fields. Probably its too late, but i would never give in, never decline to make the effort.
Aluminium levels are much ignored, not embraced as mainstream and my interest in diatoms is just too obscure (fundamental to the marine food chain) to yield anything from online searches!
Isn’t that a beautiful rendition of the lapwing! So accurate, so characterful, a credit to the artist. Their antics, their beautiful rippling warble across upland landscape is joyful, a masterpiece of creation. To those that don’t know it, they are sadly lacking.
Too much has been taken up with the cloying sadness and ineptitude of trump ie I mean the circus that masquerades as an administration.
Its a Sunday evening here, lets refresh ourselves.
Kenneth Williams was a rare individual, a shy perhaps exquisite human being that blossomed best when left alone. Parkinson later on paired him with guests that destroyed his presence; but here we are in better times … I never realised Maggie Smith was so deliciously attractive …. maybe its cos now I’m now forty years older.
Postscript : I feel very inclined to end my trump posts, its all plain and clear for all to see how things will proceed, I’ve a great thirst to focus on more worthwhile topics than an overblown pantomime dame who most certainly will be leaving the White House under a very dark cloud.
Just heard on bbc r4 at 09:35 a most fascinating interview with Bernie Krause and his half century of sound recording, particularly how the volume and variety of natures soundscape has been declining for many years. The example given of the loss of water and habitat has rendered his example landscape near silent from a previous abundance of life and natures activity. Heres a vid I clicked at random, also we get a quote from William Dean Howells and so I also include the wiki. I actually did think of doing something with nature recordings, I’d collected a few dozen hours using my new Olympus DM-670 and was utterly impressed by its range and fidelity. I collected recordings out on walks and here several at say 04:30 spring thro early summer. Being out over the years I devised the June 13th shutdown which i’ve never read of anywhere else, its a ‘moveable feast’ so to speak. Thats why i need to get this posted ASAP, I want to enjoy the atmosphere of my own garden before the bustle of the neighbourhood arrives.
A friend asked “How do you know all this stuff ?” … easy really, I use a computer at a desk and so can jot down in my daybook or diary or scraps of paper all I find interesting. Theres always pens and paper in every room in this house, books too, lots. Yet some folk think they are more ‘civilised’ than I am … by living in stereotypical close to empty boxes !! Oh yes and no tv.
Harrowing stats, all down. An open window at night might bring in a moth, 25yrs ago there would be lots and you would make sure it was only slightly ajar at night for eight months of the year. Even toads the Guardian tells us are at two thirds down in the 30 years I’ve been visiting the pit heap, funnily enough these last few years toads have been far fewer, water is fed in at a dribble from ag land further up, I wonder if and what they are spraying?
As cited previously its difficult to find up to date news of moth decline. Silence too on Pacific seabird decline and next to nothing on my favourite topic of diatoms – a strata of base level food chain that all successive levels depend upon.
I think municipal authorities could do more, excessive verge clearing must surely not help, though I do realise sapling encroachment may be part of their remit. Our local park is poorly managed say for unhindered sapling ash sprouting out of everything yet still there is the needless strimming at mid summer of any marginal herbage. So what about campion, yellow rattle or suchlike being able to set and scatter seed? Or my pending one thousand orchids scattered as seed a couple of years ago, the repeat of an experiment conducted sucessfully elsewhere. This tells me they know zilch for butterfly conservation. Also old and dead timber is not allowed to remain, hence are adamant on minimising food supply for songbirds.