Feelings of awe

My blog is late as I have been staying with my son for a few days. The days were busy as we went to some nature reserves on the Saturday and worked in the garden on the Sunday.

The first nature reserve was Felmersham gravel pits where the old pits have been filled with water and the surrounding trees and meadow land provide homes for many insects. I have visited here before and that time saw many different butterflies. This time we were able to get down to the waterside and watch dragonflies and damselflies searching for food and for mates. I loved the way the sun shone on the water and also on the backs of the dragonflies as they flew around. Magical and awesome.

We then went to a country park which also has a nature reserve but we decided to walk by the river first. Here I was astounded by the huge number of mayflies going up and down in the air like bouncing balls. It was my first sighting of a mayfly and again it was magical and awesome. As we moved away from the river we found a large group of demoiselle dragonflies. I love these with their dark blue wings (the female is green) and I have never seen so many in one place. Another magical and awesome sight. We also saw a heron but he was disturbed before I could get a really good photo of him.

My son has made his garden a haven for wildlife and he is constantly working on this. He has a lovely large pond and it was amazing to spot one morning, a newly emerged dragonfly, drying out on a stalk before preparing to fly. We watched it over a period of time as it adjusted its body and wings before suddenly it was up and away. It flew onto the nearby hedge where it looked golden as the sun shone on its wings. My son has a photo of it on the hedge so I wait for it to arrive on my computer. But it was a really profound experience to see the dragonflies (there were three in total) as they emerged from their skin in which they had spent time in the water as larvae. There was also a red damselfly to watch and then later in the day while we were sitting indoors a jay appeared. He dived into the pond twice before settling on the fence to dry off. Beautiful!

Arriving back home with a large number of plants to put in the garden I had a nice surprise. Last year I had a bed of cosmos flowers and they grew strong and like a forest so I was unable to de-head them after the flowers died. I had noticed before I went to my sons that there were a lot of seedlings growing where the cosmos had been last year. When we got back I saw that the seedlings had grown and were definitely cosmos. I shall leave them to grow peacefully and look forward to their flowers in the summer. It was a wonderful time in nature, magical and awesome.

I have so many photos that it is difficult to decide on one to place here but I will show you the newly emerged dragonfly getting ready to fly away.

Reaching a crossroads

Crossroads are so different from a fork in the road. A fork in the road only gives you three choices, back or one of the forks. A crossroads gives four choices, back, one of the side roads, or forwards. Big choices to be made then.

I remember several years ago I was out walking in the woods with my friend Simon. We reached a crossroads on the tracks so sat down on the convenient bench that was there. We were undecided which way to go so I said that I’d sort it. I stood in the centre of the crossroads, invoked Great Spirit and asked for a sign for which road to take. As I sat down again on the bench I heard Simon say ‘Wow, just look at that’. I turned to see and there was a huge hare sitting in the centre of one of the tracks. As I looked the hare disappeared. There was our sign so that was the track we took. It led us to see deer, a slow worm and many different birds that we had not seen there before.

But sometimes, it is not so easy to decide which way to go. Do I go forward or do I take a road to the left or right? Or do you go back as you are not ready to take one of the other roads? Sometimes you know instinctively which is the right road. I do think that whichever road we take will be the right road for that moment in time. Later we may think it was the wrong one but I expect we learned something from that decision. I always feel that whichever way we choose, it is one we take to learn something and is part of our ever winding path of discovery.

This blog is rather short as I have a shoulder problem which is making typing difficult but hope to do more next week after a few days of rest away from home.

It’s not just about plastic!

Whether you believe in climate change or not, scientific facts show that over the ages of the earth, the climate has gone cold then warmed up then gone cold again. A few years ago I attended a lecture about this and saw all the evidence. However this current rise in temperature is more steep than ever before so it is believed that we have something to do with that. But I want to look at other things. Take our rivers for example, it wasn’t until about 1960 that polluting our rivers was made an offence, but the rivers were still polluted for another decade. It is still an offence but out rivers are still polluted in many places. Accidents happen at factories which discharge water into the rivers and canals. When this happens fish die and all the other life in the water as well. River water is often used for our domestic supplies after some filtration but the drugs we take which pass into our urine don’t disappear so that some of these drugs, hormonal ones for example, affect the life in the rivers as well.

And look at our oceans, full of plastic, stuff that has been thrown overboard from cruise and cargo shipping. Natural disasters like tsunamis also pollute the oceans filling them with debris washed from the land.

So what about our air, the air we breathe? In some cities air pollution is so bad that people wear masks to help stop the polluted air from entering their lungs. One day last week I walked into town down a fairly busy road. It was a busy time of the day and the fumes from the petrol and diesel filled the air and I felt I was choking. Now where I live is only a small town so what is it like in larger towns and cities? School runs are bad for this. When I was young there was little choice in which school you went to. You went to the nearest one and walked or cycled. Central heating and factories all put out pollutants into the air. At least we now have cleaner air than we had when I was a child and the factories belched out dense smoke every day. Other air pollution is caused by radio waves especially those used for your mobile phones. Mobile phone masts are a huge source of air pollution and radiation.

So how can we change this? If we were not so greedy and wanting so many material items, such as clothes, new phones and other gadgets, there would not be the need for them to be made. Mobile phones are made using rare materials which will run out eventually. Why do we need to devastate forests to make items for our use? Do we need these items or are there alternatives that do not destroy our forests? We have to look at what we wear, eat and use. Do we really need a lot of clothes that we might wear once a year? Do we need to eat foods that have to be imported? Do we need to fly to exotic places for holidays? Do we need to have large petrol guzzling cars?

I’m sure you can think of many other things but these are just a few for your to think about.

Some food for thought

This blog is somewhat different from normal. Over the last week or so I have been pondering various questions. I am still thinking about some of the answers. So my blog this week is going to list the questions I have been pondering. The answers are for you to think about. They are not in any particular order.

Do you know who you are?

Are you ready to work for change?

Do you work with nature?

What is your vision?

How does what you do feel in your heart?

Do you trust what is in your heart?

Do you dare to dream?

Do you do things for yourself at the expense of others?

What is your vision of the future?

Do you take time to sit in silence and listen?

Do you need more or do you have enough?

Finally, I am a grandmother and have been thinking about what I want for my grandchildren. If you are a grandmother, what do you want for your grandchildren?