Thinking about our ancestors

This morning I went to visit an archaeology dig at a local site, Burrough Hill. This is an Iron Age hill fort. But today I discovered that items had been found which dated back to the Neolithic era. I have often walked on this hill as the views from it are exceptionally good. But there is also a feeling of the ancestors as you walk where they walked. This has happened to me in other places too.

But I started to think about how they live and whether they fought battles and if so when did these battles start.  Before the advent of the Bronze age, people had weapons such as arrows and spears. They used these to kill animals for food and but did they also use them to scare away other tribes? It seems that large-scale battles only started when iron and bronze weapons were made. What did they fight about? Did they fight over land? Their lives were much different from ours and they lived closer to the land. Have we not learned from our ancestors that fighting should not be necessary and that we should live in peace. After all there was much more land available for them to live on unlike today. Now wars are fought about different things but are mainly caused by greed. An interesting point revealed this morning was that this site had been used for hundreds of years by Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman peoples. There was something special about that site, mainly its position I suspect.

How do you feel about these ancestors and how they lived?

burroughhill

 

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Expectations

It is Midsummer and we have had the longest day now. The days will get shorter and the nights longer. But it does not feel like the middle of the summer. We still seem to be in the spring time. We expect hot days and lots of sunshine during the summer but this has not happened yet here. What other things do we expect in our lives?

I am often told that my expectations are too high. But if we don’t have high expectations what will happen? Expecting someone to do something well, encourages them to do well. If you expect them to fail then you are putting the thought of failure in their minds so they do fail.

Is it wrong to expect our water to be clean, our food to be healthy and uncontaminated, our clothes and houses to be well made?

Is it wrong to expect our politicians to be truthful and care about those who vote them into their position of authority? If we are honest, caring, compassionate and loving, is it wrong to expect others to be the same? There is a lot to think about on this topic. Going with the flow is good but should that stop us from expecting better things? Does going with the flow allow things to happen that are not good for us? Are there times when we have to make our expectations known to those in power so that the flow becomes better and smoother?

My photo this week is taken at a local stream. On that day, the mother moorhen had climbed up the steps and on to the top of the weir. Her 3 babies could not get out of the stream and join her. They were still trying when I left. Did the mother expect too much from her babies?

weir

Changing weather and how we deal with it

It has been a strange week where the weather has been concerned. It is nearing Midsummer Day but we still have very heavy showers with hail as well as heavy rain and bitterly cold and gusty winds. My peony has been flattened just as so many crops will have been. Some plants have stood up to the heavy rain while others have given up the fight.

In one of the daily newspapers this week was an item which caught my eye. The headline was ‘Britain to press EU to relax GM crop restrictions’.(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-the-agricultural-revolution–uk-pushes-europe-to-embrace-gm-crops-8654595.html) This move has come because of the disastrous year for growing crops. But is GM the answer?

Personally I don’t think so. Yes, we do need to look at how our climate is changing and how we grow crops, what type of crops we grow and how we also work with our livestock. But how do we ourselves deal with the weather as it is currently? Do we dress as if it was hot like we feel it should be in June or do we dress to fit the temperature as it actually is? Or do we accept that this is what it might be like in the future and change our ways of thinking about the summer time? We all feel better when the sun shines but it does shine in the winter too. Grey days can be very depressing but perhaps we should look at the overall picture and see what these changes can do for us. They do make us think more about what we eat and how we get our food as well as looking at what we wear and how we get our clothes. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I feel sure there are many of you who read this blog will have a lot to say. I hope so. Discussion helps to clarify many points of view and ideas.

The photo below was taken before this weeks heavy rain but shows some good reflections. Let’s take some time to reflect on the changes the weather is bringing and how we can deal with these changes.

asfordbystream

 

Understanding the connections of the natural world

Several items in the news this week caught my attention. One was a photo of a koala bear standing in what had been his home. Before the felling began, koalas had been removed and taken to a new area. This one returned to find his home had gone. This happens in many parts of the world. Many animals go back to their homes; frogs go back to the pond where they were born. It is an amazing sight to see hundreds of frogs hopping along to their home pond to mate and lay their eggs.

I also noted that a site which has not been used by its owner for many years and had been designated a site of special or scientific interest,  was now to be used to build houses. The ‘occupants’ of the site will have to be moved elsewhere or find new homes for themselves. Also our government has decided to route a new high speed train through several nature reserves. We are told that the reserves can be moved to somewhere else.

Have you ever looked at how the food chain works and how each species often depends on another species and how some species work together? Do you know what happens if one species is eradicated? Do you understand that soils are different in composition and plants and animals like only certain types of soil? Everything in our natural world is connected in many ways and with all the knowledge that is available for us to learn, there should be no lack of understanding about how  the food chain works and how all species are interdependent. Yet, those in power think they can control our natural world! I have greenfly on my roses but resisted the purchase of something to kill them. The greenfly are the food of another species. If you use weed killer, have you noticed that when the weeds come back, they are stronger? Any way, what is a weed? It is an unwanted garden plant and it is a wild flower in many cases. But many have beautiful flowers and a field of buttercups looks wonderful. This year, the cow parsley is doing well and graces our hedgerows with colour and beauty.

Some good news is that Prince Charles wants us to turn some of our fields into meadows so that the flowers and insects have a good place to work together.

Here is a photo taken along one of my local footpaths.

publicfootpath

Sunshine and hope

What a difference the sun makes! You feel so much better and cheerful when the sun is out. The flowers are starting to bloom and the fledglings are learning to fly. I counted at least 10 this morning on my shed roof. It brings us all hope in this troubled world. The natural world carries on and grows throughout whatever the weather does. The cold has made the spring growth happen much later but nature has survived and shown us that we can survive too.

There are many people in our world struggling with one thing or another. Some have lost loved ones, others have lost their jobs and some have lost their homes for various reasons. But out of this mire will come something new. Each disaster we have in our lives, makes us stronger and we learn how to live in a better way so that some of the disasters which are of our own making, do not happen again. Look around you and see how nature has survived the long cold winter, see the flowers blooming, the tiny fledgling birds learning to fly. Let them give you hope and strength to move on and work your way through any problem in your life. Visualise yourself living in the way you want to live, caring, nurturing but strong and connecting with everything around you.

The peony in my garden is now flowering and gives me joy every day as I look on its beautiful colours and petals. Look around you to find something which gives you joy too.

peony