Spring too early
Woken by the blackbird singing for the first time in months, I realised Spring has sprung too early. To prove the point, as I did Chi Gung I spotted two snails, the first I’ve seen since autumn, making love. As I slowly moved my arms, three coal tits flashed before me to settle momentarily in a shrub before flitting around my head. Were they doing a mating dance or scolding me for forgetting their seed? I continued my exercise as fat bumblebees, two moths and a single white butterfly spun around me.
Farmers talk of lambs being born too early, swallows have been spotted over the south coast, species found in mainland Europe are making their way into England. These are all signs of change. They are indicators more precise than climate statistics, for creatures shift because it is favourable, which means England is warming up and they feel at home here. This might seem a good thing to holiday makers and lovers of hot tubs, for they will be able to stay at home and enjoy the weather they once sought in France.
Some might argue that it’s been a naturally mild winter, after all, this time last year we were under snow. Some might say there are cycles in the weather, next winter could be as cold as last. But migrating birds are arriving here weeks ahead of schedule because it’s heated up too much for them in the south. Africa is boiling, not only are farmers suffering, but so too are the insects and birds and every other creature. Poor Africa, Global warming will be far, far worse there than here, which is why already people are migrating out and Europe is a great green place for them whose farms have burnt up under the harsh sun. This true for the many species seeking a life, rather than dying back there south of the Sahara.
This problem is vast and our inability to face the fact and live accordingly is accelerating it. Soon Global Warming will be unsolvable. Yet we keep importing CO2 greedy goods upon CO2 greedy transport and we keep our homes too hot and we insist on using our greedy cars all the time. Not that long ago people in this village used the bus to go shopping once a week, now they buzz about in their cars all day and thousands of vehicles carry visitors and goods down the main road. Returning to England after 12 years in France, we’ve been astounded by the increase in traffic, the increase in wealth during our absence. Even in comparison to France, this is a wealthy country, there are more shops, people are better dressed, cars are newer and bigger, there’s loads more of them.
If we have gardens we can do some good and help creatures such as those little tits survive by feeding them until there’s enough out there for them. We can cut tiny holes in our fences to create passageways for hedgehogs. We can leave a little natural zones to encourage species in and upon it, rather than taking garden litter to the dump, we can pile up sticks and leaves to create an area where insects will thrive. We can leave a rotting branch beside these micro-habitats. And if we have space, even a small pond 2x2 paces wide will do wonders for the environment.
If everyone reading this blog around the world were to “Think Nature” when tending their garden, their urban yard or city balcony, countless little beasts around the globe would be helped. High up in Chicago, such actions have encouraged falcons to nest on balconies. In London, window-boxes filled with plants which attract insects have been perched on tiny windowsills. Go on, join the groundswell. You will be rewarded by a burst of natural wonder each time you look outside.