In All Things Of Nature There Is Something Of The Marvellous

As most of you know I have always been an early morning commuter frequently travelling before sunrise but those hideous Monday morning blues have always been made a little more bearable with a lone Heron flying home above me so low in fact, that I can hear the soft beating of wings just like an angel passing by.

Hedgehog Des Res Dyson Abbey Style

Hedgehog Des Res Dyson Abbey Style

In those quiet times as night makes way for the morning an urban fox also used to troop pass me pausing only to sniff the air before hurrying on about her business and squirrels would expertly trapeze in the trees overhead. There’s nothing more magical when in the light of dawn mother nature reveals her secrets just for you alone. Sadly my early morning companions are all gone now as a new housing estate has sprung up almost overnight on the fields that they used to occupy leaving them with a rapidly shrinking environment and nowhere else to go. No doubt, when the new householders take up residence many will complain about the nuisance foxes who rummage through their refuse on what would have been fox territory long before it had ever been theirs. Whenever I’ve been fortunate to have an unexpected encounter with a wild creature I feel that I’ve been blessed with a tiny miracle and it saddens me that our children’s children may never experience the joy of seeing many of our indigenous wildlife within their natural habitat during their lifetimes.

Thinking of renting it out as a summer let!

Thinking of renting it out as a summer let!

Frogs, slow worms, shrews, moles, badgers, weasels were all an integral part of my country upbringing and I realise now that I was indeed fortunate to be raised in a rural community with nature on our doorstep. In fact, much of it was taken for granted and it was always assumed that there would be plenty of horse-chestnut trees during conker season but these too have now been felled to make way for yet more houses wiping out even more wildlife habitat. So how can you help? The hedgehog population has fallen by 37% in the past ten years which in real terms is a faster rate of decline than tigers in the wild. Want to know how you can make your garden hedgehog friendly? Then pop over to Hedgehog Street, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website for some really useful tips on how to help these delightful creatures. Remember, remember the 5th November and please check all bonfires for sleeping hedgehogs before lighting them.

When the last tree has been cut, when the last river has been poisoned, when the last fish has been caught, then we will find out that we can't eat money

When the last tree has been cut, when the last river has been poisoned, when the last fish has been caught, then we will find out that we can’t eat money

36 thoughts on “In All Things Of Nature There Is Something Of The Marvellous

  1. This is one of most favourite quotes!!!Here is another quote that goes along with yours. It seems that we are the most dangerous species! “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
    Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee

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  2. Your post touches on so many important issues, I don’t know where to begin. But, I don’t think we have hedgehogs here, only raccoons, ground squirrels, deer, and the neighbor’s cats who think my garden is one bit litter box just for them. (The raccoons think so as well, but they are just as apt to poop in the rain gutter or on the roof, as in the garden!) And of course, no bonfires in drought-stricken California! I remember well the same feeling you expressed, when as a young child the large field at the end of our street was wild and we would play there and I discovered slate for the first time (those thin sheets of gray rock were a marvel to me) and saw my first snake (it was little!), and we would crawl through the culvert which carried rainwater down to the river. The view out the back of our second story was a field of grasses and trees all the way to the river. All that went away in junior high, when they built a hospital and large parking lot there. I can so relate. While it was progress to have our own hospital in town, nature was pushed back.

    Here, too. They build subdivisions deeper and deeper into wild country and the people who move there displace wild animals and then want them killed if they come round. They force municipalities to strain fire, water, and power services to serve them. What’s the answer? Slow population growth, for one. Peter Jennings, our acclaimed news reporter (back when news was news not sensationalism and downright lies), said on “World News Tonight” in the mid-1980’s that having two children was sustainable for the planet. Many well-meaning people took that to heart. I did. But, where does the blended family come in? The husband who abandons his first family for a new wife and she deserves to bear children, doesn’t she? But, now one man has bred four or five children. This happens across the economic realm. My nephew and his wife, missionaries in Haiti adopted the first two children of a man whose wife died in childbirth to the second child. He said he couldn’t take care of her. They took her and made plans to adopt her. A year later, he brought the son to them because he’d found a new wife and wanted to have a family with her. They made plans to adopt him, also. It’s all so complicated. We all feel we have a right to a home and children, but at what cost to nature and the environment? Where does our responsibility lie? – Kaye

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    • We live in such a disposable society whether its children, old folk or animals. We need to remember we are just caretakers for the next generation and so far we’re not doing a great job; I know that this is something you feel really strongly about. I love what you said about our childhoods and even your old local newspaper. We have become a celebrity and self obsessed society but I do think that there is a glimmer of hope. People are becoming weary of the sensationalism transmitted onto their televisions hence the success of programmes such as Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Keeping Up Appearances. Many and I’m one of them long for safer and gentler times which always reminds me of the song by the Judds “Grandpa”. Now if we can just get them to apply it to real life where common courtesy, respect and care for all living things, the world would sure be a better place. I follow your lovely nephew so do you want to post the link so everyone can check out their work?

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  3. In the heart of Baltimore, a few blocks north of the train station and a few blocks south of North Ave, home to some pretty impressive urban blight, Falls Rd. spills out onto Charles Street. I’ve walked, biked and driven Falls countless times, as it’s a great shortcut and a great reprieve from city life. Falls Rd. follows a river, and passes old mouldering former mills, the remains of the city’s old hydro-electric powered tram system. It’s leafy and green, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you can see herons, foxes and opossums. In the heart of the city, on land that’s been the site of industry since the late 1700’s. So take heart for future generations- nature’s harder to rub out than we think!

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  4. It saddens me as well to see what we’re doing to the planet and the creatures we share it with. Some folks really need it pounded into their heads that you can’t eat money. I feel truly lucky that there are still some wild places left near me here. I wonder just how long they’ll stay that way.

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  5. I love the wildlife in my backyard too, even if my father does not. I’m not sure about the deer population in England but it has exploded here, mostly because there aren’t many mountain lions and wolves to keep the population in check anymore (you tend to find those more west of the Appalachians). This means they eat everything and anything in our yard, much to my father’s frustration. But they don’t really care about my dad’s scare tactics (even if my father thinks he manages to instill fear in them which is not the case) and come back to eat our delicious grass. It’s not really a case of overdeveloping the land–I just think the population of dear has skyrocketed so much that they are running out of room in their natural habitat (most of New York State is made up of forests and is uninhabited) and have wandered south into NYC suburbs where the land is overdeveloped. You see them everywhere now–along the highway, at the train station, on school grounds.

    We have coyotes too (which were a problem a few years ago when they attacked two small children in my town) and they’ve even been spotted in Manhattan! Not sure how they managed to make it into the city.

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    • I remember seeing a beautiful post from you with pictures of all the local deer and thinking then how lucky you were. We do get herds of wild deer here but they tend to hang around the industrial estates which are situated on the edge of the woods but there are some wicked individuals who have gone up there hunting them with dogs but I’m pleased to say they’re being prosecuted by the RSPCA

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      • We actually do have deer hunting season in the US but it’s only about a week and licensed hunters are allowed to go out in the country and shoot deer. Not sure if there’s a limit to how many deer you can hunt but it is legal during that time period. We do have an overabundance of deer so it’s a way of controlling the population since there aren’t many natural predators around. Just last night as I turned on my street, a few deer darted out from the middle of the street and there were a bunch that darted away from the headlights of my car as I turned down my driveway. They have caused several car accidents by jumping out in the middle of the road so it can be precarious driving around at night when they tend to be very active.

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  6. Progress! HAH! It seems as we take more & more land & occupy it the wild creatures are forced to into some unpleasant behaviours. Their habitats destroyed; they try to adapt….
    An issue in the Province where I live is coyotes…they are bigger than foxes but not as large as wolves….unfortunately the coyotes are coming into town & suburbs & mauling dogs & cats & eating them….Coyotes are very intelligent & have adapted…I am waiting for the shoot to kill order that I am sure will be issued….it is not the coyotes fault….
    We too had a subdivision appear seemingly overnite up on the West Hill….all the blackberry bushes were ripped out & of course the wildlife driven away…
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue

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  7. Having just visited the UK and spent most of the time in rural areas which we absolutely loved I was amazed to discover that we saw more wildlife there than we see back home in SA. The amount of roadkill astounded me, not surprising that some people consider roadkill a free source of protein. Even at our holiday home on the banks of a river there is only the odd mongoose and otter to be seen. Occasionally a small deer might be spotted. There is plenty of bird life though and we love hearing the fish eagles calling and watching them ride the thermals high above us.

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    • Sadly we don’t have any sea eagles (plenty of land gulls though) but we did have a family of buzzards but I haven’t seen them since they felled all the trees which is pretty poor considering birds of prey are protected species here. Did you enjoy your visit to the UK & where did you stay?

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      • What a shame that the buzzards are losing their natural habitat. We loved our visit, mostly in the Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire area. Lovely picture perfect villages and very peaceful. One of the highlights was the Bedfordshire Steam and Country Fair. What a visual feast. Hundreds of beautifully restored steam engines of all kinds from miniatures to huge monsters chugging around the grounds of the Shuttleworth Estate. Also vintage caravans, motorcars, motorbikes, trucks and buses. Wish we could have had more time there. We also spent lots of quality time with our daughter and granddaughter and caught up with friends and family. And had lunch in a 600 year old pub in Goldhanger, Essex that my great, great grandfather once ran. Now desperately saving to fund our next trip.

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      • Sounds like you had a great time; are you thinking of visit any other places on your next visit? We have a fair similar to the one you went to and it has grown over the years but in true Devon tradition, it absolutely pours down on the big day so the tractors come in very handy moving all the cars that have got stuck in mud.

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  8. “Life is change; growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Sometimes it seems there is not too much choosing going on; rather a lot of barging ahead. May you always be blessed with opportunities to witness the heavens declaring the glory of God and the earth showing forth His handiworks! (Psalm 19:1). So appreciate your tender heart ❤ .

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  9. I so agree. If the wild creatures ever turned on us we would be powerless & that would be the end.
    Humanity is selfish as a whole; it is people like us who try to make things right.
    Sherri-Ellen

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  10. I am just back from my hometown and some of the villages around are unrecognisable. The residents were all celebrating their brand new coffee houses and concrete apartment blocks while we mourned the loss of natural habitat and a way of life that we had cherished growing up. Your concluding verse is spot on.

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    • Living in a small rural community it breaks my heart that its changed so much in my lifetime even the thatched cottage (Mother Hubard’s cottage from the nursery rhyme; she was a housekeeper at Kitley House also in the village) is now a chinese takeaway

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