The joys of nature

The sun is shining and it is quite warm. It makes me feel so much better. This week I have watched a family of plump baby blackbirds  learn to feed themselves getting worms out of the ground and now they have flown off to make new lives for themselves. As blackbirds have more than one brood I suspect the parents are now getting ready for the next brood.

I have also seen a pair of goldcrests which look as if they are nesting close by. They come into the garden several times a day. And there are many butterflies including some orange tipped ones.

There are also lots of other garden birds too and plenty of insects of various kinds. A question posed by my son yesterday has made me do some thinking. How do the butterflies know which plant to lay their eggs on. Some butterflies only lay their eggs on specific plants so how do they know they have the right plant? The more I look at the natural world around me the more I am amazed by it and the more I realise that I don’t know about it.

I’ve also seen quite a few bees which is good. I am trying to make my garden friendly for bees and other insects but it is going to be a long job as I am limited in how long I can work in the garden at one time. But at least I have the joy of sitting and watching what is going on in the garden and that makes me feel very blessed.

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A good week

The sun has been shining and I am sure that makes us all feel better. I certainly do and getting out in the country park has helped as well. Planned visits to the doctors have also brought me what I needed, an injection in my wrist next week to help me cope with the arthritis which makes writing and doing anything in the home difficult. So all good overall.

Yesterday was spent in the garden with my son, mowing the grass and planting more plants. A walk in the country park followed, me on my scooter though but still very enjoyable.

I have watched the hedge get greener over the last week and it is now almost completely green. The birds are busy chasing each other and building nests. There are butterflies too, small tortoiseshells and some white ones that might just be female orange tips. While cutting the grass a frog jumped out. He had a lucky escape but the area where he was is very marshy and in fact was almost a pond. My son saw a grass snake in the country park and the trees there are in full blossom like the one in my garden.

It is a wonderful time of the year when nature awakes and starts to show us her glory. I feel so blessed to be in this new home and to be able to enjoy it as well. Being in nature is so nurturing and revitalises my soul. I hope you enjoy being in nature as much as I do. Today will be a lazier day but I shall spend time watching the birds and butterflies in the garden and enjoying doing just that. The simple pleasures in life are often the best.

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End of November ramblings

We had the first snow of the coming winter the other day. I woke up to a covering of white but it soon disappeared although there were flurries of snow during the day. There has been a lot of rain too and everywhere is wet underfoot which makes walking difficult for me where there are lots of wet leaves. Today I walked with a friend to Ford Green Hall a beautiful old mansion. There was a Christmas Craft Fair there today and it was very busy. We walked both ways and enjoyed the damp trees and misty landscape.

Outside my window the trees are almost bare of leaves and I can now see the many different birds sitting on the branches before using the bird feeder. This is giving me an opportunity to take photos of the birds again as I could not see them before because of the leaves. I love to see the trees now when you see their shape better and the way the branches grow out from the trunk. There is something special about them now and when the frosty days and nights are here too. On the nature reserve there are many different birds now as well as those that have been hidden amongst the leaves. There is always something to see and notice when you take a walk however short the walk. I walked back from the hospital the other day and the sky was clear. It is downhill most of the way but quite steep in places but is less than a mile to walk. I stopped and admired the view over lots of houses where there used to be fields but in the distance the moorland beckoned.

The approach to Christmas seems to start earlier every year. As a druid I should not really celebrate this festival but celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule instead. However I like to celebrate them all but more of that to come in a blog next month. The photo is of Ford Green Hall taken in the rain this morning. I could not avoid the tree as the grass was too wet to walk on.

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Changing seasons and seeing under the surface

What a change in the weather this week. Not only has it been very wet but it has gone much colder. The leaves are changing colour rapidly and trees are now less leafy so you can see the birds better. There are blue tits using the new bird feeder and I hope to see many more during the coming colder months. There are more ducks on the pond although three of them flew off this morning! But I love going up to the pond in the early morning if I can. This morning though, for the first time I could hear the drone of traffic. This could be because of the wind direction and also because there are less leaves on the trees to absorb the sound. I noticed too the spiders webs this morning as they glistened in the aftermath of the last rain shower.

Some of you might know that I am a cycling fan and this week I can only sit and admire the feats of one particular cyclist. He has won the Tour de France several times now and this year has gone on to win La Vuelta, the first man to do so since the Vuelta changed places in the cycling calendar around 1995. He is an unassuming man but works hard to do what he does and always thanks his team for their support as without them he could not do what he does. I am writing about Chris Froome of course and I do wonder what challenge he will find next. He also took the time to learn to speak French and is then able to have conversations with notable people in the race management. In public he is always polite and does not have the quirky character that some other cyclists have which means that often the British public do not like him very much despite his achievements. I find this rather sad that we cannot look beyond what we see on the surface.

This applies to other things and people as well. Many of those who are in constant pain always say they are fine when they are not really fine as they don’t want to be pitied by others. Is this a British trait or do other nations have the same kind of feelings? I know I’m just as bad as often when asked if I am OK I will respond with a yes even though I might be feeling unwell.

So a mixed bag of things this week. Are you seeing and feeling the changing of the seasons? Do you see beyond the face value of things?

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Autumn is on its way

What a beautiful morning it is. The sun is shining but there is a chill in the air. The dew on the grass is sparkling in the sunshine just like gems do. There is a stillness too; it is as if the plants and animals are waiting for something. There are huge fat rose hips and juicy blackberries on the bushes as well as loads of crabapples. It looks like a good harvest.

The mallards have returned to the pond joining the pair of moorhens who live amongst the lily pads. It was so peaceful this morning when I visited the pond area. My bathroom is finished and the stress has gone so I am more mobile and able to enjoy the beautiful landscape around me. I can see the leaves changing colour now, some gold and some turning brown. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the winter months.

My neighbour and I put up a birdfeeder on Friday so we are now waiting to see what kind of birds arrive. There are many different birds around here including predators as well. But I love the tiny wrens too which nest in the nearby hedges.

My new book is finished and I am waiting for a proof copy to check for any spelling errors I have missed previously then it will be available for everyone. I will put details on here when it is ready. So now I am looking for new projects but have found a couple of half written books from some years ago so will work on those first.

This week I have also replaced one of my very large chairs with a smaller one and then moved my computer desk which I no longer use and given the swivel chair away. It has made a lot more space for me to move around and I feel better for the larger space. Little things like moving furniture around can make such a difference.

I hope you enjoy the coming days as autumn returns to our land. Tell me what you like best about the changing seasons.

 

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Dealing with stress

This week has been quite stressful as workmen have been in changing my bathroom to a wet room. The first day was the noisiest day so I went out on a trip to Trentham Gardens which I love. There were some amazing flowers to take photos of and the lake was beautiful. It was a good day to let go of stress. The rest of the week was less noisy but there were delays when materials had not been delivered so I tried to get out up to my local pond as often as I could but all the walking eventually brought on more pain.

One afternoon at the pond was really lovely. The sun was shining and there were dragonflies of various kinds flying around, some laying eggs. Another day I saw the heron but he flew away just as I arrived. Another day I watched young birds in a nearby garden. This morning I saw a wren, a blue tit, a coal tit and several starlings.

This is my way of dealing with stress and with the constant pain that I have. I find being in nature such a healing experience and I always want more even though my trips to the pond are limited by my mobility. I can see that a mobility scooter might be a good idea. I did have one once and it makes a lot of difference to where you can go but you do really need a good one for rougher ground.

My downstairs neighbour looks after  the garden in front of our flats and we have discussed having a bird feeder out there hanging on one of the trees. I think this is something we need to get soon so we can feed the birds in the winter. There are many different kinds of birds in this area because of the pond area and the nearby nature reserve.. Watching the birds will also help when I get stressed.

How do you deal with stressful days? Do you get them often?

The power of nature

Earlier this week I went to sign all the papers and collect the keys for my new home. Within a couple of minutes walk is a small country park. As I was early for my appointment and feeling a bit stressed I decided to take a look at this small park. There was a small pond with a few reeds and irises around it and a man sitting quietly fishing. There were several seats so I sat down for a while listening to the most wonderful birdsong and enjoying the peace and the sunshine.

After a while I decided to explore the paths I could see. One went back down into a street while another one wound upwards through the trees. I took this upward path noticing the blossom on the trees and the wild flowers. It was not long before I had to return for my appointment but that short break in nature had destressed me. I know I will be there often to sit and enjoy the natural world around me.

I am sure that we all feel stressed at times and science is now proving that being out in nature can help us and is beneficial for our health. I hope you know places like the one I have found and use them for reflection and replenishment. I am adding a couple of photos to give you some idea of what the park is like.