It’s April!

This morning is cold, with bright sunshine and a frigid north wind .Flowering plants abound, as do newly sprouted leaves, and fill the world with color. Spring is late, following an almost non-existent winter, continuing the accelerating changes to regional and global weather patterns. Plants and animals are generally very slow to adapt to predictable slow changes in their environments and our increasingly chaotic climate bodes poorly for them as well as us.

It has been a long while since I last wrote. This has been, in part, because I had nothing new to say; I have also been far down the electronic “music” rabbit hole. I am learning new skills, abet slowly, and having a very good time doing so. Of course, my perfectionism and impatience occasionally run amok….

Speaking of rabbits, they are out in abundance. It is miraculous that between the rabbits and ground hog any of our gardens survive. That said, we like the wildlife and are willing to make some concessions to support them.

We had rain over the weekend and although it was chill, we heard the first spring peepers. We have noticed that there seem to be many fewer of them and they are less vocal. Whether they are in continued decline locally, or it is just too chilly for them remains to be seen. Certainly amphibian numbers worldwide are plummeting. The toxins we use on our lawns really do go into our water sources and impact all aquatic life, especially amphibians. Of course, as we have destroyed most of the world’s wetlands, the loss of any wetland is a loss for the natural world; the accumulated impact is staggering.

The same questions come up around the lack of song from migrating birds. We did hear a warbler last week, but only one. My ability to identify birds by their call has atrophied from disuse so I was not able to identify it.

We’ve arrived at the time of year when the morning sun beams directly on to our bed, although we are usually up well before that happens. Yesterday I lingered in bed until the sunlight got to be too much, a delicious indulgence.

It seems my email in-box is being inundated with funding requests from environmental groups seeking to save any number of species from extinction. They are all doing important work but it is not possible for me to fund all of them. There is another issue for me here: it will be very difficult indeed to stop the rapid decline in wildlife populations as long as we humans refuse to pare back our consumption and seriously begin to clean up our desperately degraded nest.

I find the collapse of so many of the species I love heartbreaking, but one really can only say that so many times before the redundancy becomes numbing. That so many people don’t notice the growing silence in the natural world is perhaps not surprising, but I fear it does not bode well for the future.

Tellingly, the president of the IMF was bemoaning the decline in global “productivity” this past week, noting a fall in consumption, and urging countries to do what they can to spur markets. One wonders what parallel universe the IMF lives in, where ever increasing consumption remains the goal, rather than a managed “soft landing”. Of course, this has long been a criticism of many international monetary policy organizations but their refusal to change remains awe inspiring.

In spite of all this, we are committed to acting as we can locally, mostly meaning in our yard. Jennie has a policy of not mowing our yard until there are ample food sources for birds and insects, a necessary strategy that few people seem to grasp the importance of. Our reward for waiting to mow is a growing quantity of dandelions and other spring wildflowers. As for me, I am committed to finally building some insect condos this summer.

7 thoughts on “It’s April!

  1. We wait to mow, too. Also I don’t cut my gardens back until spring. We are lucky that there is still plenty of bird song here in the spring. Perhaps because we live at the edge of the woods, which is part of our town’s watershed.

    1. Laurie, I am lad to hear that. Anything that is done to maintain habitat is now so crucial.
      Our local birds know us and routinely ask for food when stressed. We actually only feed now on demand due to the bird virus (which as been in decline here) and Coopers hawks.

  2. I do believe you have things to talk about. For some reason I really enjoy reading about peoples’ joys and frustrations encountered with the mundane of life. I smiled when you wrote how you stayed in bed long enough to enjoy the sun streaming across your bed. It brought back memories of opening curtains when I was young so that the full moon would shine on my face & pillow as I went to sleep. I am always interested in how you are coping with your polio return as an aging adult. And of course you are entering retirement. Always an interesting topic. Happy spring to you both.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Sometimes I really have nothing to say, which is interesting. I do enjoy sharing the everyday, yet especially now that I am retired, the everyday really is everyday. Not much variation most of the time. That’s OK but not much ot report often.

      For some reason I do not seem to be getting notices when you post. Everything looks correct but am not seeing notices.

      Yea! Happy spring to you and yours as well!

  3. There is a currently a fight going on locally to prevent a field being built on. It’s not a particularly huge field, but it’s one of the last places we have where we can switch off and tune in. In our town there’s been 170% green belt lost to housing. The feeling is that enough is enough.

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