“The world has gone mad.” I am hearing this often in my particular sprachraum (the Anglosphere, at least), off-line and on-line, an almost daily occurrence from one quarter or another. Along with a sharply rising global temperature mean, record breaking norm-shattering meteorology and ice-melt across consecutive months, we are witnessing regressive steps in socio-political relationships; intolerance and prejudice gaining traction as some kind of reactive protest against uneven wealth distribution and increasing migration of the dispossessed. The far right have their heads up for the main-chance. This is deeply worrying to those with a conscience. … Read more
There are people who know the world in specifics – not gull, but black-backed, (lesser and greater), black-headed, common, glaucous and herring. There are people who know the woods – not trees, but oak, willow, hazel, aspen, and lime, and not oak but sessile or pedunculate. There are people who learn the names, the Latin, the genus, the cultivar, making lists for countries and years, and the life-list with all the ticks – the bbjs, and the gaps they need to fill. And then, there are other people whose hands and eyes know everything, who taste the wind for salt or coming rain, who find the right leaf or root or berry for health or flavour, without a word spoken. … Read more
“One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” Aristotle I’ve just returned from a short stay on the Channel Islands. We made our sea crossing in a fast catamaran ferry which departed from a distinctly sunny St Helier to a particularly cloudy Weymouth. About mid-journey, mid April, as I leaned on the portside railings to brace myself from high winds, I noticed we had just passed a small sailing yacht also bearing north, bobbing in and out of a medium swell. Just above the inky water, between the two moving vessels, I glimpsed a pair of small dark birds, wing tip to wing tip, flying faster than the yacht and slower than the ferry. … Read more
Vernal equinox has come and gone for the year and we tip more towards the ball of fire that is the Sun than we do away. Longer days stretch out before us. My daughter and I chat about our hopes for dreamy days by the river, fresh sandwiches and pink lemonade moments interspersed by cool, wild swims in a seemingly perfect halcyonic existence.
We look forward to natural abundance, to the lime green glow beneath overarching alders, and to finding our feet on slick pebbles through a cool, shallow flow.
There will be the buzz of Dipper and Kingfisher wings. There will be Beautiful Demoiselles alighting on sedges. … Read more
A few thoughts on people/nature conflict resolution, exposed to the elements, hounded by storms and, perhaps, to be scoured by a flood of anthropocentrism.
“Nature OR Agriculture” “Birds OR People” “Rural OR Urban”
I’m certainly hearing these demands more frequently over the airwaves. Career politicians, wrapped in the perpetual maelstrom of an adversarial system, appear hellbent on continuing to present financial and moral arguments based on A versus B. Of course, they never clearly define A or B, but intentionally reenforce prejudice and encourage division amongst the populous for their own gain, even if simply for a first-past-the-post vote.
Emissions, biodiversity loss and lack of natural resilience, all contributing to the problem and action is overdue, but it is now crucial that knee-jerk decisions should not be made in exchange for short-termism. … Read more