Looking for things to be thankful for

in the Natural world around us

Last time I wrote I was so…distraught, really, at the state of politics in this country and the world over, what with all the #climatecrisis denying behaviour going on. (As it is still – as if the climate was the only seemingly insolvable problem – a bit daft given that all the human pollution we continue to create is a contributory factor to that and proving a huge problem in itself to solve). It was local elections at the time – and the other desperation that came into play, a desperation that it’s so easy to give into at the moment, which is the seeming lack of care of so many people, voting the Tories back in here there and everywhere – although it’s clear they don’t often giveadam (pardon the expression) about the environments we live in or create around us (sterile concrete flood zones devoid of trees or space or earth, even, so often). So yes there’s plenty to get depressed about, and it turns out I am – clinically I mean – depressed.

Now I’m getting some help with that, which I’m hugely grateful for, it’s opening the door for me to find more things to be thankful about. Little things – but along the same lines that I’ve been looking down – as so many have during and since Lockdown – for things to make us smile – in Nature.

Daisies nearly always make me smile

The fact that so many species that were once commonplace but now are in desperate decline means we can be even more thankful for spotting them – most butterflies and moths, types of hoverflies and even Garden Birds (now so under threat from avian flu). We can be even more glad to be of help to these species in their survival efforts by providing pesticide, herbicide and fungicide herbicide free environments. Poison free Oases if you like.

long grass meadow with oxeye daisies corncockles verbena and tiny wild sweet williams (top left)

I’ve found it really can be as simple as allowing long grass to grow and adding in daisies and the like. I’ve loved mine and loved adding in also knapweed, scabious, corncockles, lycnhis red loosestrife verbena the colours of which have brought a certain joy – especially when zoomed in on by insects and beetles and hoverflies and bees – and best of all (for me) butterflies. What great pleasure that brings. (in fact excuse me while I just go and look who’s about, now the sun’s come out a minute…)

The overall effect is for me at any rate, quite electrifying! And buzzing with bees, hoverflies and all manner of electric blue and green flies which I sense are glad of a home.

Nothing doing Butterfly wise just now though. Of course not everything I’ve tried (beebombs or poppies) has succeeded very well, if at all. And there are of course always some disappointments in natural life to brook at any one time. (From our sentimental point of view) I suspect that the caterpillars both Mullein and Large (cabbage) white I was carefully nurturing have themselves turned into nourishment for the hungry garden birds (and their families). So it goes.

This handsome fellow, Mullein moth went for a burton

Debating with myself as to whether to show a pic of a Cabbage white caterpillar – surely this is uber familiar to most people (even if as an enemy??) But perhaps not, these days. Not all children will be aware of how or where cabbages grow. Hopefully more will be, what with the surge in interest in gardening and own grown. Here one or two are, anyway – if you can spot them?

No longer there

They’re no longer visible – perhaps they’ve cocooned and come out already as a Large White Butterfly? But I haven’t even seen many of these, this year – once so common. Hardly any small whites at all. What have we done? Where have they all gone?

One of very few Large Whites this year so far…

Gardening does bring a sense of hopefulness though, in the recuperative powers of Nature and the power of wild things to survive. This lovely willow that I grew from a stem in a christmas bouquet, for example, I was afraid I had lost! But it’s coming back into leaf having been pretty decimated and stripped by some kind of larvae.

I find I can allow that to happen and be glad it was useful – and survived! Looking at the glorius pinks of the Magentas and Salvia and Mme de Pompadour de Brougignon (?) roses, from a normal view is like this:

Oh the pinks!

Closer inspection though in one corner shows this decimation going on, which I’m not worried about as the Rose survived this attacker fine last year:

Saw fly larvae in the roses. I suppose Nature is a process, as much as a thing. Much as living things are made of molecules of movement, at heart – at nuclear level. The best we can do at any one time is tune in. Not wade in with poisons or plastic or man made stuff at all. Tuning into ourselves and our drives – that’s one thing. Important enough. Tuning into Nature however, and becoming more aware or the wider whole, the large earth beneath our feet and the mass of life we’re lucky enough to be part of for a while, well…that’s another. Right, the sun’s come out so no more writing time, it’s Butterfly counting time!

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