Thursday, 14 October 2010

Mini creatures

Spent the day outside so of course the lovely weather had disappeared: cooler, overcast and light drizzle-much more appropriate for this time of year but I missed the burst of sunshine and warmth from earlier this week.

It was an autumn clear up day with no little people, just little creatures to keep me company. Had a large area of production beds to clear which kept the robin happy-all the insects and worms were laid out buffet style and it certainly made the most of the bonanza.

Next I moved into the walled garden and found the most gorgeous little lizard hiding against the wall-I could have watched it all day it was stunning. The saying small but perfectly formed is true!!!

Reluctantly I carried on with my task of weeding, large numbers of nettles most of which stung me as I pulled them out! However it was worth it because kneeling low down, hidden by the plants I was suddenly surrounded by a flock of long tailed tits chattering away incessantly-checking in with each other all the time, and then just as suddenly they were gone, only to be replaced by a wren, less than two foot away from me.

Its certainly been a day for small creatures all of which gave me infinite pleasure...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Mists and all that

Another stunning day. Last night was much colder and there was a real chill in the air as I left the house at 730. The mist over the fields waxed and waned, in some places so thick you could only see a foot or two from the roadside, and watching the sun rise above the mist reminded me of how small we are and I was thankful to the queue of traffic for my enforced slowing down so I could savour the view.

Why as adults do we find it so hard to slow, where does the pressure to go faster and rush from place to place come from? I have spent the day with children who could happily spend an hour examining a maple seed. They played helicopters and then carefully dissected the seed from its locomotive source, and then wondered allowed how difficult it was to open the seed case and how did it happen without any help. Finally they prised them open and were rewarded with the bright green 'tree' all curled up, waiting for the right conditions to grow.

Just like our children, who also need the right conditions to grow, including the opportunities to slow down and stop, and equally as important, adults who are prepared to slow down and stop with them-sharing those experiences.

As American naturalist Rachel Carson wrote: "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." My pledge to my children, and all the children I come into contact with is to be that adult-can you slow down enough to make the same pledge.....?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Autumn Beauty

What an amazing day. Dragons breath this morning much to C and W's delight-our first properly cold night and as the sun rose the sky was the most dazzling blue. The leaf colour is becoming more intense every day and because its been so dry the leaves that are on the ground are crinkly and crunchy, perfect for wellie walks. W has discovered that a conker is a whole tree in his hand and is avidly collecting them to plant a whole forest. Another child I know can't wait and instead of collecting seeds, picks any seed head he finds and plants it instantly-he is desperate to spread the beauty of trees as quickly as he can.

The birds seem to be making the most of the plentiful insect supply and are ignoring the feeders-a large flock of longtailed tits spent a happy hour hunting under the peeling bark of our neighbours eucalyptus with much chatter and frivolity. They are a household favourite-how could they not be when they are so fluffy and they bob with that ridiculously long tail!

A definite day to stand and stare...