A Biodiversity Birthday. 6 years of Navasolanature! Looking back and Looking Forward.

The New Year is well under way and I can only wish that there will be hope and happiness for us all and wisdom for those in power who can make the changes our struggling world needs. January is  named after the Roman God Janus, a god with two heads. One head looks back at the past year and the other to the future. So I have decided to look back at my photos showing some of the biodiversity at Navasola and close surrounding woodlands. January is also my blogging birthday and I am now celebrating 6 years of celebrating biodiversity! My tag line began as ‘ nature needs nurture’.  And it certainly needs this now more than ever.

Buff the buff tailed bumblebee, a character in my novel.

I thought of writing  a children’s story about all the animals that come to tea near our house or sometimes into it. I was inspired by the huge grasshopper on the old wet teabags in our kitchen, although at the time it gave me quite a shock. However, I have not fully finished it for a January deadline. Of course, the main inspiration is Judith Kerr, who recently died and the ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’. Writing for children is not easy and I admire fellow blogger Annika Perry with her beautifully illustrated story ‘Oscar’s Quest’. (See links at end of this post.) My first two photos are of two of the main characters in my novel. My novel is about the journey of some animals from our woodland to the distant North.  I am still struggling to revise it after advice on point of view and writing for young adults. I now feel it is very timely as so many young people are now so concerned and more aware of the threats to biodiversity and the effects of climate change for us all. However, I have added and updated and divided the novel into two and hope to find some interest in publishing it this year.

Abe Apio the bee eater character in my novel.

 

With our return to Navasola I am pleased to hear so much bird song and calls in the evening. It is also very wet underfoot and such a change from even two months ago. Water levels have risen and there is some water in the well now but we will have to monitor closely.

Hoopoe visiting Navasola in Autumn

My decision for 2020 is to try and cut my own carbon emissions. This is going to be very difficult because of our need to travel between family and our home here. Here, in Spain with our solar power we can almost live carbon free for electricity and hot water. But our first flight has cost me a quarter of a tonne in carbon emissions. I am going to try and write about this as a new journey this year. My desire to do this and inform myself more is because of the tragic loss of wild species and habitats and climate changes makes this life threatening for so many creatures and for our grandchildren’s future.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has implored governments to ensure 2020 is not just another “year of conferences” on the ongoing ecological destruction of the planet, urging countries to take definitive action on deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis.’ ( The Guardian’)

So for January I have also thought about diet and signed up to Veganuary. Over the past 40 years I have been vegetarian and pescatarian. However vegan is difficult for me as I love my cup of tea with milk. I also love yogurt and some cheese. I will try and post more on that and have got a freezer full of my chestnut harvest recipes. Once upon a time the little fellow below was eaten as a delicacy in the province of Extremadura. This species was on the verge  of extinction. This one turned up on our porch for his own tea.

Ocellated or Jewelled lizard

Travelling by car will also be a difficult one for my carbon reduction journey. We really need a car when living in the Spanish countryside so hopefully we will try and keep mileage down. As yet we can’t afford a new car, electric or hybrid. However, hybrids are the top selling cars in Spain at the moment. There is more political will here too as the new government has appointed a Vice President to be in charge of environmental issues and transition to a greener economy. Let’s also hope that the Doñana wetlands can be well looked after.  I posted on this last year and the issues over water management. I also think it is important to visit these areas and to try and encourage ecotourism so habitats can be saved and considered important throughout the world.  Am not sure that eco minded people should cut down on eco minded tourism. There are many difficult calls.

For the sake of all these species and for the future we must ensure a greener and different kind of economy that will secure a world that protects and restores.

Link to Annika Perry’s blog and her new book.

Introducing Oskar!

30 thoughts on “A Biodiversity Birthday. 6 years of Navasolanature! Looking back and Looking Forward.”

    1. Thank you Eliza, yes, I have got a good book by Mike Berners Lee, that is very practical and full of common sense actions too. My problem on our farm is I have so many trees I like a bit of open land. But I will try some areas for new plantings.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Georgina, how exciting to learn a bit about your children’s book and I really hope you finish it and take it to publication! It sounds lovely and as you say, very timely! Thank you so much for the kind mention of my children’s book … it was a long route to releasing this but I’m overjoyed with the positive response!

    I admire your aims for the year and as a huge fan of Greta Thunberg and her work, I think the onus is on us all to do more. And yes, for governments to act and not just enjoy the cosy conferences! The Norwegian government, for instance, has helped subsidise the cost of hybrid/electric cars and they are now a common sight there, as are charging points!

    As you can tell, this is a subject I could easily rant on!

    Happy 6th Blogging Anniversary and — I started my blog 5 years ago and can’t believe how the time has sped by!

    All the best for the new year, your ventures, travels … may you and your family have a wonderful time wherever you find yourselves! xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Annika, it is going to be a tough year but hope there will be more action. I like the news from Norway and think it important we spread news of action. Your book was a delight but the children I gave it too haven’t reviewed it yet! My granddaughter is rather young at two but can enjoy the pictures as she likes birds. The other two were 5 and 7. I will give it a review soon, just settling down to a cold and rainy Spanish winter. Cannot complain!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carbon emissions are a knotty problem. My daughter lives in Spain and it’s unthinkable not to see her when we can. We were determined to travel by train this time, but in the event … it was prohibitively expensive. At least our flights were completely full, which was a very small consolation. Here, we live in a village with exceedingly limited public transport. England is in general appalling at affordable and user-friendly public transport, I think. I love your hoopoe. We saw some in Valencia a few years ago and I was so excited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the flights get all the subsidies and the comparative ease of no changes and 2 to 3 hours in the air. When I looked up the train the lowest cost was around 200 euros booked several months in advance but all the changes and overnight somewhere add to the hassle. I might try it but do a proper stopover for a break somewhere in the south of France! Bus transport in our Pennine borders is quite good as part of Greater Manchester but Northern trains have become so unreliable. It is difficult and we do need government to push for a greener infrastructure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed. Public transport round here is not at all user friendly, and the train network and infrastructure needs properly addressing. HS2 will do little for the average traveller, but be disastrous for the environment through which its proposed route goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree on that one and have heard a lot of northerners thinking the same. I think it is an extra line for business and more capacity and cheaper trains needed on our main city routes. I often travel Euston to Manchester. It is quick enough and easy. Problem is getting to and from the main stations!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Peter, as I delve into carbon emissions, it really needs governments now even if individuals can change some habits. Many of us do live away from our families too and changes happen where we are needed more now. Will ponder on with this but not get too hung up as governments can initiate greater use of renewables.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year! You express well some of the dilemmas we face as we try to be more environmentally conscious. Hybrid cars seem the way to go but disposal of the batteries is also an issue; so many factors to take into consideration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post and plenty of food for though – the flight issue is such a challenge. However you are doing what you can and that is what is most important.

    On the cheese front my stepdaughter had the same problem and so she started a vegan cheese company. Her cheeses are not only delicious but they freeze really well so maybe when you are next in England you could get some, freeze and then take back with you. Alternatively she runs cheese making courses if you wanted to learn more about it yourself. Good luck!

    PS and can’t wait to see the book in print

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    1. Thanks, reducing everything at the moment is a challenge, calories and gigabytes included. We are trying a mobile wifi contract. And I just lost my previous reply to you. I am quite happy with vegan at the moment so would love to try your stepdaughter’s cheese and workshops sound good too. Is there a website link?

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  5. Happy blogging anniversary, Georgina! Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier. I’m following Annika’s blog and will now follow yours. I’ll be in Spain mid-March, with one stop in Seville. I think you’re near Seville. If you’re interested in a coffee/ tea blogger meet-up, please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It warms my heart that there are people in this world who are conscious regarding the ecological status that is happening right now. I encourage you to do what you can. And happy Anniversary! Keep on being an inspiration and good luck with your books!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes you feel like you’re going round in circles with all the environmental issues. I find it quite difficult to stay well informed. One minute I’m really impressed with advances in science and the next I’m looking at petitions to censure some businesses and generate action. We do what we can in a small way- car sharing to walks, buying local produce, and recycling but the issues regarding flights are a worry. Thank goodness the youngsters are taking an interest, and good luck with your book! 🙂 🙂

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