First February Butterfly and the need to deal with the New Green Deal.

Our first butterflies to fly above us with love in the air were two large tortoisehells. Winging their way up into the clear Andalucian blue sky. Hopefully they will mate soon and lay eggs before the next cold and rainy spell is due. With the current news on such drastic decline in numbers of insects it was encouraging to see this particular butterfly. It seems in the UK this species is almost extinct. We are fortunate to live in an area where there is little use of pesticides on crops, the main one being the chestnut trees. However, with the constant fear of fire there is much spraying of roadside vegetation. There has also been much ‘cleaning’of surrounding land and so there will be little for pollinators and other insects to live off. Here they have the ivy along our perimeter wall and hopefully many wild flowers to come. The celandines are just out and although the viburnum is a little late this year, the buds are rosy and ready.

 

Fire Salamander

Another first for me to find was this salamander, known as a fire salamander. [Salamandra salamandra]. I was busy tidying up a wood pile and underneath was this creature. It seems they can live a long time and one in captivity lived for 50 years. The colours are warning signs of a poison named samadarin and it can have nasty effects. This may help its long life as any would be predators keep away from this rather slow moving creature. Salamanders are of interest to scientists as this substance can help skin problems but these amazing animals have the ability to regenerate their limbs and this process is being studied too. Here, this tiny creature which likes moist habitats under wood, mud and leaves  was ready to burrow again and our encounter was deemed over.

 

We began the new year in a rather monstrous tall hotel with views over the eastern Algarve coastline and round to the bridge over the River Guadiana where lies our usual route back to our home in Spain. Here, we were delighted by crag martins who must have decided the hotel was a wonderful cliff face but perhaps not quite right for nesting.

Crag martins in sky over Monte Gordo

Later, on our return to Navasola we made a visit to our local village Castano de Robledo for the Los Reyes, Three Kings festival. We came across more crag martins on the unfinished church now called the monument. This might make a more suitable nesting place but is usually the home of a large colony of swifts yet to arrive from their African wintering lands.

 

We also came across a flock of blackcaps and one was busy pecking away at a rotting persimmon, which is of course when they are at their sweetest!

Blackcap warbler
View of Castano church and orchard which many birds love from the monument

With all the turmoil over Brexit and No Deal it is hard to look at the UK news. It is also hard to sometimes get the main news from the USA too. All seems so divisive and not dealing with reality. So today I was very encouraged to read through an alternative source, Eco Watch about a bipartisan vote in the U.S. on protecting public lands, wildlife and recreation areas.

Agreement across party lines on real issues.

There was also a very informative piece on the ideas of The New Green Deal and historical reference to Roosevelt’s New deal when faced with The Great Depression and the ecological catastrophe of soil erosion for farmers in the dust bowl. Perhaps the U.S.A can begin to lead the world on this as there is past experience but the current changes happening are far reaching and global.

From my understanding there seems to be more public awareness and concern for ecological collapse, wildlife conservation and the impact of the climate changing with more extreme weather across the whole world.

On Friday young people in the UK are joining in with the school strikes that have been held in other countries about the real threats posed by climate change.So many have concerns and hopefully their actions will bring about a positive response from government to listen and lead on these issues.

Cross party cooperation must be the key to dealing with the terrible environmental degradation and  ‘unsustainability’ of our current economic system. A deal with the planet is going to be a tough one but the young are crying out for action, not words and certainly not denial.

25 thoughts on “First February Butterfly and the need to deal with the New Green Deal.”

    1. Indeed, it is encouraging, finally. Just preparing for my Spanish lesson and writing about 12 years ago. I organised a funny and satirical drama called ‘O what a Wonderful World’. And the UN scientists give us another 12 year window!

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  1. wonderful post . . .. I have this horrid horrid feeling that in 100years nature will be gone as despite the efforts of the young and some of the old, our governments seem to still be listening more to the corporate organisations 😦

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  2. How good to see two Tortoiseshell butterflies! I hope they don’t become extinct here, I love them so! I saw a peacock butterfly today. We have had a few really mild days which have brought out the bumble bees looking for nectar in my Christmas Box and Winter-flowering Honeysuckle.
    I hope the young people manage to get some action from our governments around the world. I am sick of all the bickering and nastiness and inaction!

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  3. Georgina, I’m taken with all your wonderful various wildlife and the salamander is incredible! I’ve read about the young people going on strike and how it started by a young girl in Stockholm called Greta Thunberg. She has since spoken around the world and most recently at Davos … a heartfelt, eloquent and sincere speech, making much more sense than many politicians today. There environment needs such passion amongst those fighting for change. Oh, don’t even mention Brexit!! ☹️ The disenchantment amongst the general populace is so low here that no one talks about it anymore and I think most have given up watching the news! Wishing you a lovely week ahead! 😀🌺

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comments. Yes, Greta is very eloquent and passionate and I fear she is right. There needs to be urgency if not panic. Spanish news is also a bit much, another general election being called. Too many political parties here mean no overall control to set a budget. It’s quite tough all the reactions everywhere and climate and nature seem to be marginalised. The kids are right. We need to sort out the priority. Hope you have a good week too!

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  4. Beautiful butterflies! The Large Tortoiseshell is now absent from Great Britain, we occasionally get migrants but sadly they don’t breed here anymore. Your Salamander was a treasure in the woodpile- it looks lovely and plump and healthy. I find it hard to watch the news too and have little faith in politicians having the will or where-with-all to redress the balance in favour of the environment; I fear money and a ‘buoyant economy’ will always come first.

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    1. Thanks, Theresa, it certainly is a problem at the moment when we should be putting full focus on this complex problem. I think our local swifts are back and the house martins came early this year. I think here we will not get that awful blast of cold that the UK has after the warmest days in Feb. We have had rain but do need more. Am just preparing my post on asphodels in Alcoutim and will try and create the link to your post that I saw that very morning we did our short walk! It certainly made me more aware of these lovely flowers. We have just walked to where they come up on our finca but no flowers, just the leaves as we are higher and colder than in Alcoutim! Or a slightly different wild variety?

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