Hawthorn berries (or botanical pomes).
She’s there. I can hear the familiar peep of Blackbird, even under low light. I can just make out the colour brown and not black, and a dullish beak, so she is female.
Small by comparison to others perched in this same gnarly hawthorn, she spies all the berries as she flicks her tail feathers and hops from twig to twig. Mine is the quietest of observations I think is possible. Hers is an instinctive judgment of self within the whole floloca, and an internal vision of the safe movements required to get from where she is now to the red haw ‘pomes,’ to put one in her beak and then inside her belly. … Read more
It’s barely possible to imagine the hem of her black or white dress resting close at the knee of a leather boot belonging to a soldier with so many children borne to another woman.
Metallic scents of expensive ink on expensive paper linger not in her room, but in her father’s office downstairs. She writes by hand, of course, in her bedroom, at a small, crafted desk and seated on a chair that is cut and waxed from some of the grandest trees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The glories of lilac and generations of bees flavour an ordinary lead pencil, maybe a sharp knife too, laid on the desk to carve a point. … Read more
Lighting a candle.
A year of grief, over. It means we have loved, and we need not be fearful of loving again.
2020 has been a year of mass grief; grief for changed bodies and bodies lost forever. I am writing of people and teresapien lives, through pandemic and the vagaries of the Anthropocene. There will be more to come, no doubt.
It takes courage to love again when the love that came before has pierced the skin with a hundred needles. Grief can feel like that. But without giving and receiving love, even love for ourselves, we are all dust. It’s just the way it is, the way more complex lives have evolved, who knows, maybe all life. … Read more
This Christmas, I just want to pay tribute to Tenovus cancer support.
Two years ago, my very existence seemed uncertain, and I was lonely as I underwent extensive palliative treatment for a type 3 aggressive womb cancer at Velindre Hospital, Cardiff. Velindre staff were always lovely to me, but hugely busy, as they treat more than 5000 people a year.
I knew few people in Cardiff, and didn’t want to burden anyone. So I rang the Tenovus helpline. Ex-cancer nurse and confidant, Elaine, was a godsend. We discovered a shared love for nature ~ she even has a very special thing for red kites! … Read more
Alder, Wye, and Ben. Photo by me.
I am thinking about Alder fixing nitrogen at the roots next to the flowing, swirling river. They are in symbiosis with all realms of friendly powers to do this. True.
Fixed, rooted, “they have figured how to live trapped into place,” says one of Richard Powers’ characters in Overstory.*
They are stillness in the ground, and unable to outrun us. They are vulnerable to pestilences, including our terrible machines. They evolved to be hardened, poisonous and giant to all who may assault them, yet they are losing this race brought upon them. True. … Read more
Cardiff Bay Sluice Gates. Photo by me.
The Anthropocentric mode of being. Norm of the Anthropocene. A problem.
Anthropo, of the human. Mode from modus “measure, extent, quantity; proper measure, rhythm, song; a way, manner, fashion, style” (in Late Latin also “mood” in grammar and logic), from PIE root *med- “take appropriate measures.”
Tethering any potential vitanance of ecosystems to an ill-ecological disunion or dominion of human behaviour ~ mistake.
Economies, law and other human modes of existence are not fully diverse, inclusive and based on ecologism.
… Read more
Bogland, Hay Bluff to Waunfach. Photo by me.
Is it possible to forge a new kind of relationship with the ecological community we in English call, perhaps, unceremoniously, peat bog?
Here in cool Britannic islands, peat has been forming since the last Ice Age, when luminous green mosses took over the quagmire. Fibrous layers of arrested entropy are fuelled by the surfacing of a froth of bryophytes, metabolizing through an exchange of oxygen with carbon dioxide, sunshine for sugar, nutrients, bacteria, and plenty of water. As each generation and their symbiotic partners die down, the decay is slow but sure in locking in carbon. … Read more
Large pebbles washed up on rock platforms at Llantwit Major Beach, South Wales. Photo by me.
Simply, the noise rocks make when they are washed in and out by a wave or tide, or down a river bed.
… Read more
Sheep field next to the River Wye, nr Hay. Photo by me.
There seems a renewed and furious human chauvinism by some, rejecting the material reality of ecological processes to the extreme, including the principle of Rewilding (Soule, et al).
The fury seems based on NGO dominance in the field (they are certainly not democracies), plus purchasing power without local consent or participation. NGO’s aside, because alternative treaties for collective and local management are possible, without ecological succession we are talking about the proliferation of anthropogenic urbanization, suburban expansion, farming, fishing, and forestry as the default position on a central plank of Human Rights. … Read more