'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir

I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Plant It and They Will Come

In the recent RSPB magazine, Simon Barnes (author of the fantastic 'Bad Birdwatcher' series of books) wrote about The State of Nature Report. It's the work of 25 conservation organisations, a 'wildlife health check'. It said that two thirds of everything living is now declining. More than one in ten species are threatened with extinction in the UK. The document shows the decline clearly and incontrovertibly.

This morning I spent a dreamy half an hour watching 16 small tortoise shell butterflies feeding on the purple Buddleia. They were joined by a red admiral, two painted ladies and a peacock, not to mention several whites (I don't like to mention them, their caterpillars have decimated my cauliflowers, though they do dance beautifully together, like pale ballerinas).

I have some 'sea holly' plants (Eryngium species), blue as the summer sky, that are covered in bees and hover flies and the lavender bushes seem to buzz in the breeze.  

Bees and butterflies are struggling.  If we all planted a buddleia, some lavender, a few eryngiums, just think what a difference it would make.  And, if you've never spent time watching bees land on blooms, flit from one to the other, making that lovely, deep 'sound-of-summer' buzzing, then you've missed a treat.  You'll find your heart beat slows, your shoulders drop and the furrows fall from your brow. 


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