Featured

I’m not sure a straightforward re-wilding is the answer.

You’ll not get many if any people that work in the countryside to agree with re-wilding. Its another one of those subjects turned into something emotive, something that its no longer so easy to get the activists to embrace the full story. I wonder if the web has aided tribalism? …. of course it has.

A myriad of life can exist in a multi-purpose landscape, goodness how difficult it would be to fight ones way through sheep walk turned to hawthorn scrub. Nor do I want to have my progress straight-jacketed into pre-cut walks and pathways. Nature and all its little participants is very clever, theres a habitat for just about everybody, barring of course the hopeful additions that we heard Chris mention yesterday, Lynx, goodness what else and oh yes he tells us bears and wolves! Oh dear, how silly. I always think it a bit corny when an army of kids are enrolled to march upon The Palace!

In a practical real-life situation it has been the fifty years of excessive drainage on upland areas that to my mind has caused great harm, eradicating the upland sponge that minimises flooding. Likewise for decades farmers were paid to eradicate old hedges. How silly and blind!

Another point that I’ve never heard anyone speak of is the universal municipal spraying at any feature of grassed pathways, ie signposts, lampposts, fencing, kerb edges, all of these are microhabitats for tiny things which in turn would be a source of food. I’m talking about the nooks and crannies that have been rendered useless, not neccessarilly a complete re-wilding as per recent experiments. Here of course I am assuming the insect count is down compared with unsprayed, I must be vigilant here, as a great byword of mine is ‘don’t assume’, which is probably the most basic and elementary understanding in any rational and scientific treatment of any subject or situation.

Good quality front gardens are in great decline, concrete slabs, block paving and gravel as standing for cars has eliminated I guess a full half of what might have been a convenient hop off point and source of food for garden birds. A decent garden much like the washing line is becoming a rare thing. Even rarer is the ability to allow leaf litter to remain, to be adding an extremely beneficial upper organic layer that returns soil to what it should be, it was never intended to be naked.

I wonder to what extent ‘nature’ is taught in schools, I know in my early 1970’s UK Secondary School it was poorly dealt with. I could do a far better job myself. If art, practical handicraft (ie wood and metalwork) have been near eradicated and music in great decline at state schools then what of nature study?

My usual hobbyhorse of diatoms is a no-fail way to get kids interested.

Featured

My clothes pegs are of bamboo…

Sounds like an excellent cryptic password for two spies meeting but in fact its the reality of a new pack of pegs for my washing line. They are of bamboo, good pegs too, stronger more longer lasting than the previous softwood always pinging apart junk. A joy to use actually.

So there it is, bamboo has infiltrated into what would be a mundane and seemingly simple article for use in an English garden, something initially we think parochial but in fact universal, what country on Earth could function without clothes pegs! I wish the manufacturer well in their effort, a good at a reasonable price product, not plastic either, the plastic pegs as they remain outside 365 eventually degrade and snap.

If only more households were so keen on outdoor drying and the clothes line as I am, the wind is free, it does a good job at drying my laundry, sometimes maybe the indoor (wait for it …) bamboo pole strung up in my kitchen is needed in the winter months to help things along; people regard me as a man always with fresh pressed shirts, never a mess.

I do not have a functioning washing machine, the near never ending spin cycle irritated me so once the m/c itself failed to work it was a blessed relief. I enjoy laundry by hand, it was all our forbears had and so its good enough for me. I also think of carbon footprint. Looking around this small estate where I live neither immediate neighbour puts anything out on the line, I wonder if many do this at all? Thinking of our forebears, surely its obvious a Biblical lifestyle would have solved all this planets problems, but I would think too late now for what ever changes we can make.

postscript … COP26 Glasgow coming up, well intentioned but I fear just a ‘talking shop’ and platitudes and mission statements will abound but the nett effect I fear … ‘not much’.

How many ton of carbon will it take to mount, hold and assemble all the likely bods from around the globe for this climate love-fest?

Andrew Glikson writes with sense over on http://arctic-news.blogspot.com highlighting the difficulty of … a) climate scientists making themselves heard and … b) the fear of being defunded or dismissed.

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2021/10/glasgow-and-global-warming-to-2c-and-beyond.html

Featured

Siberian fires and carbon particles.

The title says it all, just about the last thing we need is the accumulation of carbon particles on Arctic ice with its increased absorption and hence melting all the quicker, as goes for a myriad of other interconnected feedback loops ie impending methane in its three forms, permafrost thawing, jet stream alteration (now very much in change) and Greenland ice loss, the demise of algae and plankton, bees and insects in decline, none of those things we need right now.

We have upset this chemistry set called planet Earth with its fag paper thin inhabitable zone as if a one thou cigarette paper clinging to a child eight inch diameter football as demonstrated by simple arithmetic.

Below, fires in Siberia 8th August 2021 … https://go.nasa.gov/3yHx2Kt

Fires in Siberia 8th August 2021 … https://go.nasa.gov/3yHx2Kt F

Featured

My evening window …

… is open!

But no moths in two hours whatsoever have entered into my kitchen and this is from a large garden full of established shrubs and including beyond countless various nooks and crannies.

There is something wrong, that is for sure.

But a google search reveals next to nothing of up to the minute (or year) moth decline here in the UK.

Luckily my garden displays maturity, complex planting ie a great jumble of many different things and many many niche environments, all mostly never disturbed by any human ie me.

As per usual after the summer solstice the nights seem to be cutting in quickly. This is not something I revel in, luckily a couple of nights ago I treat myself to a car ride up to where for near twenty years we fed horses and me n whatever pet dog went round on our circular walk of an hour. The place is loaded with memories, I fully realise the value of this ‘extra-curricular activity’ and am moving toward when time permitting to ‘get out more’ to stay in touch with this focus of location from years gone past.

The June shutdown of birdsong seemed early this year, I generally name it as the ‘June 13th shutdown’, but this year things seem a bit off course, earlier. A pigeons nest I suspect rock pigeon, was found destroyed and eggs scattered in my garden this morning. I wonder at the new tenants in the let property next door, very cat orientated but also I suspect against garden birds and their song. Why do I think this …. leylandii next door felled to zilch, I suspect her complaints, a dark woman I suspect wanting her own way, I doubt she’ll have much to do with me. Also obviously ‘very set in their ways’, as if at thirty five going on seventy.

Good news is that both birdboxes on rear of house host bee colonies. My garden provides lots of flowering plants, but I look further afield at neighbouring gardens and its a pathetic spectacle, I look around and all is barren, ignorant nothingness and I reckon the birds, insects and small animals likewise think the same. I think its fair to say they vote with their feet so to speak and most winged things flock to my place.