An Unsilent Spring. Blossoms, Bugs and Birds. Nature Support raising the bar with banners and song.

Blossom trees in Marple

I cannot believe we have spent nearly 5 weeks in the UK and with no rain falling. I realise now why the blossom was so beautiful and for so long;  no wind and storms to blow the blossom away. We certainly had our fill of spring flowers in our new home in Greater Manchester and I got to spend plenty of time with my 18th month old grandaughter. She is now a chatterbox and knows the names of so many different animals now; ra ra for the pet rabbits and others, bear, maow for cats, ba and sheep too. Some confusion with the variety of dogs with a long eared one being called a ra ra. She is also learning some sign language in a fun signing class for under twos. Lets hope we can all support action to improve the future prospects for the planet and all the young ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed being in Marple and we met up with friends and new neighbours.We went for a walk by the River Goyt and saw goosanders, very elegant and love clean, fast flowing water.  We even went to a RSPB ( Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) talk with photos about the Donana wetlands that is close to us at Navasola in Spain! The speaker had visited many times and built up a very good range of photographs. He also looked at the concerns there are about protecting these precious wetlands. ( if interested look at my post in March on Donana) Another talk at the Marple History Society was about the Vale of Avalon by Glastonbury and the wetlands now have visiting birds like spoonbills, ibis and egrets that can be found at Donana. As the crow or ibis flies just over 2000 kilometre more to fly from Southern Spain to Middle England. The RSPB also have a bird song cd out which they want to top the charts this spring and create awareness for the songbirds and others that migrate such long journeys and their numbers are in decline.

Meanwhile in London over Easter the protest group Extinction Rebellion was building up massive support for understanding and acting on the consequences of climate change. Greta Thunberg visited parliament and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party spearheaded meetings. The BBC presented a documentary with David Attenborough talking about the facts of climate change and the changes he has seen for the natural world.

Finally, as the Brexit farce cooled down over the Easter holiday the real issues that we face were raised to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness in a variety of ways. I feel proud to be in my country and experience such support for issues I have long been concerned about. But action is needed and this is if anything far more complex than Brexit

Declaring a climate emergency is only the start but the ideas for a citizens assembly are well founded. All of us will have to make decisions and change our habits to minimise carbon emissions and restore nature. This may be better received if not just from politicians and their supporters and ideologies. A mix of people with access to well resourced information could help with moving forward ways to support people and change our habits.

On our trip back to Sevilla via Brussels there was a young persons climate protest. As I have followed these issues for a long time now and am an ecologist at heart it is heartening to see the young becoming engaged with this and gaining knowledge about many facts.

Youth climate protest in Central Brussels

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we are now of limited means on our pensions and live  a rural life the cost of new  hybrid or electric cars is phenomenal. Also on looking into the cost of taking the train rather than plane between the UK and Southern Spain it is exorbitant. Why? Alternatives to flying must br found across land masses like Europe.  We used to travel on long train journeys in India and these were often great experiences. Ways forward are not impossible but need to be planned to avoid our present ways ‘costing the earth’ and creating more inequalities. For me some travel between our home in our woodland and back to UK is crucial.  Travel for many is one way of opening up our awareness to other cultures and to differences.

 

It was interesting to visit Brussels and see a very multicultural and multilingual city at work and play. The Atomium seems very symbolic of the advances in Science of the 20th Century. Some of these with devastating consequences. It is true that we haven’t quite managed to ban the bomb and there are too many wars and conflicts and displaced people. But the EU was a very European way forward to bring different nations together after WW1 and WW2.

I was very moved by meeting a man of Palestinian heritage. We ate at the restaurant where he worked or managed and ate some delicious middle eastern mezze food. On talking we discover that he was born in the Lebanon in the year and month that I visited in 1975. He went to Beirut University and learnt some English there but 20 years ago left for Brussels. His parents had come from Jaffa a place he has never seen. So many changes and conflicts for a family. He was very welcoming, friendly and so similar to the many people I had met those many years ago in my travels through Syria and Lebanon. His past,  almost 45 years,has been very different from mine. I feel I should look at this more and create a short story about this meeting which affected me deeply.

The Atomium from the mini europe park

One of my reasons for being in Brussels was to take some photographs to turn into drawings for my novel. My artist friend and I are now trying to create some illustrations as the fantastical journey of my animals takes them to many key areas of  Western Europe. In mini Europe where there are small scale reproductions of famous places throughout Europe the weasel manages to ‘pop’ over many of these and then find the old toad. These areas were the old wetlands for many toads and now there is so little left for them.

Mini europe with atomium in background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture I might use for illustration of a weasel’s eye view of the atomium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If my grandaughter lives to be 100 in 2117 she may have to witness the loss of so many of the animals, birds and trees that she takes such a delight in now and a world changed beyond what we would hope  for future generations. We are already seeing drastic changes now but are to some extent sheltered from the reality of loss of nature and caught up in the short term issues of business as usual.

My Three Pivotal Points for Planetary Progress

Cut carbon emissions drastically from now. Work together and recognise the urgency of this.

Restore nature for nature not just for us. Natural ecosystems when working well will support life for all on this planet. Rainforests, all native forests, the ocean, coral reefs, wetlands. Peat bogs capture carbon naturally.More wild places are needed. There are many NGO groups that have been working for decades and with some success in holding back the tide of human destruction and conserving many important places. More must be done and especially for the oceans.

Circular and sustainable economies as the foundation for all  human activities. Food, agriculture and waste are key areas. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation has been working on ideas from sailing of the circular economy and many other groups too have very positive ideas.

These are issues for all of us and we will need to reach out towards these three pivotal points for planetary progress. For politicians these are cross party issues and lets give those politicians their due who recognise this. And decry those who still dare to deny. I have still to find out how the Donana wetland issue has panned out but the Spanish elections are now over and hopefully all will focus on what must be important to us all. A long term and healthy future for the living  planet and all species. This will not be easy in the current economic climate but many businesses, local councils, the British parliament ( recently agreed on a climate emergency but needs the government to also accept this) and many others also recognise that action needs to happen now.

I will look into my travel options and cutting more dairy from my mainly vegetarian diet of the last 45 years and look at more ways I can be involved to improve conservation of the natural world.

A beautiful green beetle back in Navasola. Insect decline is  one of the most worrying aspects of climate changes from Costa Rica survey and pesticide use in Europe.

10 thoughts on “An Unsilent Spring. Blossoms, Bugs and Birds. Nature Support raising the bar with banners and song.”

  1. Oh – how desperately we need to work together to stop this terrible destruction of nature. It distresses me to think of so many creatures being destroyed in this way. It is tragic. But so many people deny it is happening – it is all just a political con. Trump has a lot to answer for.
    I hope the novel is progressing well!
    All the best Georgina.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thought I replied to this but was through my laptop not iPad. Technology so erratic really. I hope this is something that could and should bring our island together. There are house martins busy now and the swifts. But seems once there were bee eaters all along the local roads. Not so many and little by little the numbers can fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to hear from you. I hope the UK can do something respectable and urgently move all the climate issues forward. Brexit has wasted time and denial is dangerous for the future. Novel is stuck in publishing doldrums but it is part of this climate and nature awareness awakening. Will focus on the self publishing soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyable read – thank you 🙏
    Ps: go Vegan ASAP – it’s never been easier but may cost a bit more if you want to have Vegan cheese & spreads substitutes for dairy products.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am partly vegan but do not want substitutes really. I also see local organic growers with their hens struggling to sell their organic free range eggs and the chicken ‘shit’ is best fertiliser for their plants. I also do not like soya as base for so much vegan food. I can grow chick peas here and use that as well as our chestnuts for protein sources. Am trying to think local too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful, thoughtful, vibrant blog, Georgie. It encapsulates many of the issues, campaigns on which I have worked for many years. Awareness greater than ever but lack of joined up thinking & vested large shareholders, holding back practical change! Only govt, EU & big business can ordain the big shifts necessary, with civilian buy-in. Consumers have already shown some willingness to cooperate but cannot shape the infrastructure, systems required. Meanwhile surrounded by the beauty of late spring here in the Languedoc, cherries about to ripen – the annual competition begins between man & bird for lion’s share of juicy dark red fruits. Pessimism of the intellect but optimism of the will remains my modus operandi. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good to hear from you, Brigid. Languedoc sounds as if it beautiful in the spring but hope the birds fare well and aren’t shot! When we were in the Azores the island bullfinch had been reduced to a few pairs because of eating all the orchard crops. And dairy everywhere. A microcosm of what farming does to the wild. But as you say there can be solutions if there is joined up thinking. The birds are singing here and the old cherry 🍒 is too tall for us to reap fruit! Keep the optimism as the protests in London seem to have raised more awareness. Thanks for commenting and sorry slow to get back as have been busy outside in this glorious spring before the heat sets in.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your granddaughter is such a little sweetie. You have been so busy! I’m with you on train travel .. as a child I loved it and would love to do it more. A book? Marvellous .. I am so saddened with what we are doing to our beautiful world .. it amazes me so many are in denial

    Liked by 1 person

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