|Southern Hawker Dragonfly|
|Eclosing from the nymph case|
|Tree Bee On Astrantia with rather full pollen basket|
|Hummingbird Hawk Moth!|
|Salvia Hot Lips|
|Clover, with Small Magpie moth hiding under its leaf :o)|
|Part of our garden|
|Pop, Cat Watching|
|Flowers from the garden in a vase|
|Soggy Starling in the rain|
|The New Bed :o)|
|Brand New Cygnet|
|Home grown broad beans|
|Black Forest Gateau. Comfort Food.|
It's not been a great few days. Our referendum on EU membership has split the country. Whatever Boris and co say, it is not a ringing endorsement for the out vote. Over 48% of us wanted to stay in and now over 3 million of us have signed a petition demanding a second referendum because the result was so close.
I've written before about what Europe does for our wildlife and the environment so I won't repeat myself too much. Suffice to say successive UK Govts have displayed a complete lack of interest and concern for both in the 35 years since the last piece of home-grown wildlife legislation (1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, hard fought for by wildlife lobbyists in the face of strong opposition from both the NFU and the Govt of the time), and have instead demonstrated an eagerness to shove wildlife off the agenda altogether in the ruthless pursuit of power and money. Think Boris Johnson stating that you can cut down an ancient woodland and plant a new one in its place, replacing like for like with no problems, or Eric Pickles giving the go ahead to houses being built on a piece of protected woodland where nightingales nested, stating that the birds could just be moved elsewhere. Conservationists will tell you that relocations do not have a high success rate and the animals concerned often die or disperse.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of all of this is that, without the protection the EU gave to our wild places and wild creatures, there will be no deterrent to people who don't care about them not to misuse them. Protection under law means law breakers face criminal proceedings. If that disappears from the statute books (and what's to stop Boris and friends repealing the European Habitats Directive, or the Birds Directive, or even our own 1981 Act now?) then there will be nothing left in law to prevent them chopping up woods and building on sites that are home to rare and endangered species, or to species that aren't yet rare or endangered, but who soon could be.
I find this so unbearable and so frustratingly short-sighted, because we are completely reliant on our wildlife for the provision of the soil we grow our food in, the water we drink, the air we breath, the food we eat, the regulation of temperature we rely on not to boil or freeze to death. Simply put, if we keep losing habitats and species at the rate we're going we won't survive ourselves.
Where was information about what the EU does for our wildlife in all the campaigning? One reason the Conservatives didn't champion it was because it would have thrown their own shameful lack of legislation in that area into sharp relief.
Beside wildlife, we've also lost all the EU funding that has gone into our universities and scientific and medical research projects in recent years, the free movement of people, including scientists, medics and academics and all their expertise (reported in the papers as one-way immigration when in reality we have all had free movement to 27 countries which we will now lose), human rights, climate change legislation, farming subsidies, trading rights. The list goes on.
I know our association with the EU wasn't perfect and there were things that needed changing, but this total severance feels like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Our young people feel utterly betrayed by the older generation; the country has no leadership and the squabbling over who steps into the vacuum left by David Cameron's resignation will tear us further apart; the shadow cabinet is in tatters, with Hilary Benn being sacked this morning and half the shadow cabinet expected to resign today, and now it looks like Scotland will seek independence too, and quite frankly who can blame them?
It would be easy to despair, but we won't. We'll keep fighting :o)
The garden and the land hereabouts has been keeping me going in the face of this needless mess. The Southern Hawker in the top pic took all day to get out of its nymph case; a Stag Beetle dropped (out of the sky?) at my feet on the path and required moving onto the log pile; crickets have been jumping onto my fingers and showing little inclination to move off; honey bees have detached themselves from the swarm which we think is living in the chimney pot and found their way into the house so have required rescuing, as did the Tree Bee in the photo. And then, cause of much excitement a Hummingbird Hawk Moth turned up on the small Daphne.
I took Ma for a walk along the river and we saw a baby Little Grebe sitting in his nest, a vole which ran over to my feet and seemed totally unconcerned to find us on his path, and the Reed Warbler in the pic. Hard to photograph because they are usually seen and not heard so we were thrilled. No watervoles sadly, but we did hear a Cettis Warbler :o)
Anyway, dark days here at present, but hopefully things will settle. I'm not a pessimist by nature and I refuse to be beaten by politicians who have no principles.
I hope everyone is well and recovering from the shock a little?