Friday, 12 October 2018

leaf blowers, flimsy nests and windfalls ...


An oil slick has spread across the surface of uncovered ponds. Even the  rain water in an old tin bath is affected. A greasy thin covering. Wood pigeons have increased in number over the last weeks. Their communal bathing on the pond edge leaves the oily, dusty residue from their feathers. I have netted a couple of our smaller ponds that lie directly under trees to prevent them filling with leaves. The pigeons must bathe elsewhere.Yesterday four magnificent buzzards hanging above the trees, noisily mewing sending finches and pigeons up in alarm when they passed too low.This must have been a good year for breeding goldfinches. Many birds on the feeders have the scruffy look of juveniles transitioning to adult head plumage.Bucking in the wind, a lone rafter in heavy swell, our wood pigeon steers her late, flimsy nest of twigs to the safety of the morning harbour.Tonight an express train wind roars in the resistance of Scots Pine needles. I have misjudged and not picked our abundant apple harvest in time. The majority of the glorious, heavy fruits are now windfalls in the grass. I pick what I can reach with my wire-basket-on-a-stick contraption. Tomorrow I will collect windfalls in the knowledge that they won’t keep.God’s own leaf blower chases dried sycamore leaves across the lawn. In Camden during the week I shook my head in sympathy with a resident who failed to understand why a park worker was spending the best part of a working day using a petrol leaf blower to blow leaves off grass. The leaf blower brigade are out in numbers now. Will there ever be a time when we evaluate the impact of our activities on the earth? From questions around whether we can: justify the embodied energy needed to make then dispose of the leaf blower at the end of its’ life, let alone the petrol needed to power it; through to the shameful waste of HS2; or the shocking cull of badgers ....? 

Hugh Grant recently suggested that all owners of leaf blowers should be required to carry them rectally with the blower full on.
I saw Richard Wilson (aka the curmudgeon Victor Meldrew in vintage UK comedy ‘One foot in the grave’) reading a script in Regents Park in the week.
His catchphrase ‘I do NOT believe it..’ catches my mood perfectly.
Perhaps our planet is truly doomed, we should give up and just party like it’s 1999?

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