Beauty and the Beast …………

The thing about the Lake District is that although we appreciate its raw natural grandeur, it has also felt the hand of man strongly in its appearance, economy, conservation and management. The fact that it is a national park should not be taken for granted. Mining, industrialisation, intensive farming and tourism have all taken their toll – and the park as we all appreciate it these days is guarded by the forces of conservation against the irrepressible march of modernisation. If this sounds like a Romantic diatribe, it is only because we face, once again, a choice point in our history. Do we sacrifice the material gains of the present for the welfare of the future, or do we continue to plunder Mother earth’s bountiful riches until the chest is empty, and the well dry????

Answers on a postcard please.


The life of a duck ………..

Ducks are amazing creatures. We are busy following the development of six ducklings who have settled in our back garden. They are watched over by their mother. She has incredible protective instincts as she talks to them in that bubbling duck tongue. They learn to trust as they come to us for food. And we have learnt from them – a reminder that life is wonderful – and we are grateful for all its blessings. Thank you our ducks !!!!!

You don’t know what you’re doing………..

The male Osprey watches over. Holding his perch with surefooted clarity of purpose he knows what he is up to. Unlike the EU – threatening now to remove the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) grants to farmers for wildlife friendly practice. This move would have dire consequences for much of our rural wildlife, including species such as skylarks. The RSPB has organised an email campaign. Please help. See here

Bob Dylan’ AT THE FEIS

The familiar whiff of marijuana drifting over the evening skyscrape. A ghost in the eye of the Feis lady slouched by the Guinness stand. Shane McGowan has slunk off after a rousing set on Stage Two with the glint of the glimmer in his eye.  The growing growl of anticipation as the crowd prepares for the visitation. My mind flickers to the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that when I last saw him. And I thought how worthy to keep this going – this constant round of touring and supporting. From one city to the next. Treating it as a job because it is a  job. Keeping things professional – for a whole host of reasons. And here it comes – the rising of the rhythm curling through the crowd. The grabbing for the lyric – yes it is  “Gotta Change My Way of Thinking” I told you, I told you. The bobbing white hat, the stretching black leg, kicking like a mule. He never tires of it because its what he does. Its work, but not work. It’s a calling he can’t resist, or deny. And at the end, something special. A word from him to us. Rare and invaluable. Just ‘Friends’.

Thank you again. Sir Bob.

Things that glow in the night

Finished my overnight protection stints with the Lake District Osprey Project. Being alone with the falling night and riding day connects with nature and the real rhythms of life in a way few other things can. At least that’s true for me. To appreciate the gift of life – perhaps sometime we need to spend some time in contemplation of the miracle that’s happening all around us, and what better time to do this than during the small wee hours when everything slows down and the sky turns. Its a little scary too. One glimpse of the sky reminds us how infinitely tiny we are in the perceived vastness of the universe. It’s a call back to our primordial nature and interlinking with the greater than usness of existence. No glow worms in the trees – just the glowing and turning of our own wormness.