Birds and the Bees · 30 Days Wild 14 – 16
It’s hot! As I said to a friend earlier, the problem with English heat is that we never get it long enough to really acclimatise to it. As such, I’ve been in a bit of a daze for a few days. The combination of heat and my pasty complexion has meant I’ve stayed pretty close to home most days, so rather than doing individual posts, it makes more sense to combine them.
I spent time in the garden idly watching critters come and go, all the while being watched by a young starling from the roof. Sadly, my search for bugs left me pretty worried. Our garden has been free of chemicals for over 10 years, and left to go pretty wild, but the decline in insects is noticeable. I spent time peeking in the undergrowth, carefully lifting rocks and moving plant pots, and the lack of life was alarming.
Whilst the human population of the planet has doubled since 1970, the insect population has halved. This is bad news for all Earth’s inhabitants as insects play a vital role. Last year I wrote a post called Ditch The Killer, Love The Weeds about the use of carcinogenic pesticides such as Round Up and I feel it’s time to draw attention to it again. Whilst weed killer isn’t the only contributing factor, it’s undoubtedly one, and we’re at that time of year when people go mad for pesticides with little thought about the damage could be doing. I’ll be writing a longer post about things we can all be doing to help soon (more than likely next month), but in the meantime please consider leaving the pesticides at the supermarket and let at least part of your garden grow wild to help.
The first wild activity of the day involved working on orders for the shop. Over on Oddity Closet, I make and sell these bat bag charms with £1 from each sale going to the Bat Conservation Trust so that they can continue doing amazing work to help the UK’s declining bat population.
Later, in a bid to do more to help the wildlife, we decided to go and purchase some more plants. There’s no shortage of greenery in our garden, but there’s a slight lack of flowers.
Nearby, a little old lady sells plants she has grown, though sadly she tells us that no one has been showing much interest in buying them. Always preferring to support local people over big corporations, we decided to see what she had on offer and came back with a mix of Lysimachia Ciliata – Loosestrife “Firecracker”, Delosperma – Hardy Ice Plant, Red Geranium, French Orange Marigolds, mixed Petunias, and some chillies.
We’re aiming to fill the garden with as many plants as possible and make it the best haven for wildlife it can be. In contrast, our neighbours sadly seem determined to replace any sign of nature with gravel.
We had to take a trip down to the minor injuries unit at the local hospital to get my a cut on my mum’s arm looked at so decided to combine it with a walk to Porthpean. We took the scenic way there, going down a little footpath I’d never previously walked where I came across a stunning red-legged shield bug.
Once at the hospital, I had to wait for an hour or so, but instead of feeling annoyed I sat in the sun, killing time watching a crow face off with a seagull, and bees collecting pollen from one of the plants in the hospital grounds, thinking about how thankful I am for the NHS and all that the staff do to help. The increased waiting times really drive home how much pressure they’re under, my mum’s nurse had to keep stopping in between treating her wound in order to answer phones and man reception.
After the appointment, we wandered down the bridleway into Higher Porthpean, a lovely little parish on the outskirts of St. Austell, following the steep road down past woodland until we ended up at the beach where we spent the rest of our evening watching the tide come in as crows perched on the clifftops.
As we were leaving, I spotted two seals playing in the sea – sadly too far away to get a photo of, but the perfect end to the day all the same.