Nature Notes

Whilst we humans are deeply affected by Coronavirus-Covid19, nature continues unaffected although it has to regularly deal with its own diseases and pests. More than ever people are discovering the joys and benefits of our open spaces and what the natural environment has to offer. Open spaces that hitherto have gone unnoticed and undiscovered. We are indeed fortunate that they are there, in times of need, remaining unbuilt over, maintained and nurtured often by anonymous small groups of dedicated volunteers.

  This period of enforced slow down, however scary it may be for many, has given people  time and opportunity to witness the effects of a reduction in noise pollution to breathe cleaner air and to feel what nature has to offer us. Even the Spring weather has been kind.

  When, as we will, return to our busy lives going to work and taking children to school, perhaps there will be wistful glances from the car windows as we pass these open spaces and maybe, just maybe we will find time to include at least a weekly walk in our schedules and a thought for those that look after them.

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This darksome burn, horseback brown,

His rollrock highroad roaring down,

In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam

Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth

Turns and twindles over the broth

Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,

It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.

Degged with dew, dappled with dew

Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,

Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,

And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft

Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,

O let them be left, wildness and wet;

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.


Gerard Manley Hopkins

Ed's Note. Although the topography of this poem is Scottish the sentiment in the final lines is universal.

Soldier beetles