Nothing else needs saying.
A trail of corpses
Tree by tree pond by pond
Ditch by ditch field by field
Hedge by hedge bush by bush
Verge by verge copse by copse
We chop, we culvert we cut, we mow
We fill, we build we rip, we bulldoze
Without a thought
A thousand tiny cuts
Leaving a trail of corpses
Opher – 27.6.2020
The wettest February followed by the sunniest May
As the Indian Ocean fuels the jet stream.
We’re going too slowly, with feet of clay;
We’re moving as if in a dream.
The bleaching of the coral reef.
The clearance of the forest tree.
Defies the psychology of disbelief
As levels of carbon rise upon the breeze.
The rising of the oceans,
The changing patterns of weather
Should focus all our notions.
We need to act all together!
Opher – 5.6.2020
This is all the wondrous life that is being destroyed by climate change, big business and corrupt politicians.
Being a zoologist who just loves animals having the opportunity to go to Australia was paradise. I was able to see a whole range of Australian animals before the politicians in cahoots with big business kills them all off.
I saw some spectacular wildlife. A big thank you to Pete and Trudy who made that possible. I’m forever in your debt!
As the world population soars towards a projected 10 Billion.
As the world’s mammals have been decimated to 44% of what they were 40 years ago!
As the world’s invertebrate population has crashed by nearly half in the last forty years!
As the elephant and lion now join the tiger, rhino and jaguar on the endangered list!
Are we approaching a day when the natural world will be nothing more than a footnote in the history books?
Will we be showing our children and grandchildren the remnants of our wild-life in zoos?
Will we be pollinating our flowers by hand?
Does anybody actually care?
You can read about my own observations and feelings about this in my book:
Please give it a read and pass it round to all your friends. It is time we did something about it. We can alter the zeitgeist!
A little bit of England
Hidden away, to the side of the road,
By the side of the canal,
Next to the river,
There is a little area of swampy land, with ponds,
Trees, reeds and bushes.
Nobody wanted it.
It could not be farmed.
It could not be built on.
It was a tiny bit of England
Home to frogs and toads, to fish, birds and voles.
Where butterflies and bees play,
Snakes slither and fish dart
As herons fish and ducks dabble.
It is a tiny haven,
A piece of England
Left intact from days gone by.
Once it was all like this
Now this smidgen has to do,
To provide us with a glimpse
Of what once was everywhere.
Opher – 23.4.2020
Somehow I believe we have got the balance wrong. We have become too numerous, too invasive. We have not managed to find the balance. We are destroying too much of the natural environment.
The world we live in is unnatural. Even the green fields are planted, sprayed and devoid of life. We have taken over every habitat. From the tops of the mountains to the shores of the seas we swarm in great numbers and destroy or disturb the natural ecosystem.
Once England was covered in forest. There were glades, heathland, moors, swamps, streams, ponds and rivers. It swarmed with life – everything from wolves and bears to frogs and newts. It was complex, vital and so alive.
We have tamed it – chopped down the forests and killed the beavers, wolves and bears. What we now have is the tiny rump of what used to be. If we are not careful that will be destroyed too. Nature will just be the crows, pigeons, seagulls and foxes, who are able to exploit the human environment.
To stumble across a tiny area of nature, a vestige of swamp and river, so full of creatures, was so wonderful. It reminded me of what the whole of Britain was once like ……… and what we have all lost.
Day 19??? – 28th Jan. The incredible white sand beaches and fresh water lagoon.
I’ve lost track of how many days we’ve been going or what day of the week it is. Once you’ve lost count of the days you can never be sure.
I did my early morning sweep to find a number of moths, butterflies and grasshoppers.
Today was a bit more hectic. The ship was in Alto Do Chao. This was a totally different stop. The place was a popular quality resort – on a par with the Maldives – white sand, thatched huts, beach umbrellas. I mean, white sand on the Amazon? How’s that possible.
There was a sand spit separating the river from a lagoon. It was blazing hot.
Liz wasn’t well. The fruit juice obviously had contained more than just juice. We’d been warned to only have drinks from cans and bottles! Though unwell, she valiantly battled on with the help of immodium. She decided to go out and take it easy.
We walked off the tender boat and immediately found this pond with herons, a jocander and flycatchers. We walked along the white sand beach with its trees, yellow orioles and other birds. Then decided to avail ourselves of a cheap hour-long trip in a motorised canoe out into the mangrove swamp that was at the side of the Emerald Lagoon. There were exotic birds, a troupe of monkeys and lots of interesting half-submerged trees. Equally importantly there was a very refreshing breeze, supplemented by fine spray from the bow-wave, that kept us cool.
A wasp’s nest.
In the dry season this water world recedes to reveal more white sand beaches.
We were deposited on the sand of the main beach, found a suitable tree to shelter under and settled in for the day. It was rather like one of those tropical paradises you see portrayed on telly.
Liz was not feeling well so lay down in the shade and went to sleep. I had a wander round photographing birds and the beach. Then I went for a swim.
The water was fresh water – even if it was a little green. There were fish swimming around your feet.
Liz couldn’t eat. I bought some chips. They were £7!! You can tell when you’re in some fancy resort!
We moved to be under an umbrella at the front with the water lapping round our feet. I went in for a swim, came out and had a coke. That’s when I was assaulted!! Yes assaulted!!
This very large and jocular black lady decided that I looked tense! Before I could speak, she’d sunk her fingers into the muscles at the back of my neck, proceeded to apply oil and tried to squeeze the life out of those muscles and then rip them from their anchorage on my bones. Her fingers were like steel pincers – obviously honed in some torture chamber or other. She said that she had detected knots that she would free up! This seemed to involve tearing the flesh! The pain was a notch up from agony as she proceeded to work her away from my neck and back to my arms and culminated in trying to pull my fingers off! If I could have found some breath I might have screamed.
At least it perked Liz up though. She seemed to find it amusing.
Seemingly this torture was called massage and people actually pay for it!
I’m still aching today!
Liz decided that we’d been out in the sun too long, it was too hot and we should start heading back. I was quite keen to get away. I was worried that lady might come back again!
We boarded a canoe and were paddled across to land by a friendly guy and then wandered back to the ship.
On the way there were more orioles, flycatchers, an iguana and a multitude of vultures (probably hoping my aching muscles or Liz’s illness might prove terminal!)
Liz is worse – had a temperature and went to bed with no dinner! That’s what you get for being naughty and drinking unwashed juices!
Despite the arrogance and bluster of man,
When Gaia shakes her mantle
We are helpless.
When fame and wealth count for little
And power is brought down,
We are at the mercy
Of nature’s whim.
We’ve ripped her, torn her and burnt her,
We’ve plundered, slain and scorned her,
But when she stirs,
To shake loose the parasites
That cause the irritation,
We are helpless
And our power counts for nothing.
Beware! The planet lives
And we are but microbes on its skin.
Beware!! She prepares the antibiotic
That will bring our onslaught
To an end.
For she is not helpless!
Opher – 12.4.2020