Category Archives: Nature

Everything that is in a state of becoming.

Birds move into their new home

I welcome my first wild tenants to a nesting box.

Home Sweet Home, blue tits have moved into their new home in my garden to raise their young.

Home Sweet Home, blue tits have moved into their new home in my garden to raise their young.

I have decided to move into the real estate business letting out nesting boxes to wild birds in my garden.  My first customers moved in to their new home in the last few days.

I encountered birds nesting in metal boxes designed for smokers to dispose of their used cigarettes last year, which prompted me to supply nesting boxes in my garden as healthier places to nest for wild birds.

I miss my garden fox Amber, who last year spent many days sleeping in my garden in the sun.  My new visitors taking up residence are a pair of blue tits, who are currently building their nest in the nesting box, situated in an apple tree.  The nesting box cost me less than $5 to buy, something rough and natural, so I purchased three for my avian tenants.

Having wild animals living in a garden can provide hidden benefits for the gardener.  The blue tits can have anything as high as sixteen young in a nest, each requiring 100 caterpillars a day for food (or 1600 caterpillars a day for 16 young), which would significantly reduce any caterpillar problem in a garden.  Rather than use chemicals, a family of blue tits can offer a sustainable natural solution to a caterpillar infestation problem.

Look beyond appearance and prejudice

Looking beyond appearances and prejudice.

Everything in nature is good says the philosopher Heraclitus.  Humans love to divide everything into good and bad, thus missing the beauty of what nature offers in the blindness of their prejudices.

Everything in nature is good says the philosopher Heraclitus. Humans love to divide everything into good and bad, thus missing the beauty of what nature offers in the blindness of their prejudices.

A few years ago, I intervened to save a baby crow from traffic and school children, taking it to a veterinarian surgery, who had the contacts of people who could look after it.  The receptionist annoyed me on seeing the bird describing it as “evil.”

In fact, if people can look beyond the superstitious nonsense surrounding these black feathered birds, there is an intelligent empathy lurking inside these beautiful corvids.  If humans, dolphins and octopuses are in the top division of “intelligent” animals, the corvids, including magpies, jackdaws, ravens, crows, choughs and rooks, are in the same division.  The corvids use tools, play, can problem-solve, express empathy and have a rudimentary sense of self based on experiments showing they recognise themselves in a mirror.  The BBC recently reported how a child had developed a close relationship with crows she was feeding in the garden, birds that were leaving her gifts.  A flood of feedback by readers revealed that gift-giving by corvids to those showing kindness to them was common around the world.

The symbol of my town port is the raven. My business carries the logo of the raven, a symbol for me of its intelligence.  The stories of various archetypes such as Apollo, the Celtic Mercury and Odin had ravens as their messenger birds, who symbolised memory, thought, wisdom, intelligence, and the gathering or delivery of knowledge.

The sad situation is that most people blind themselves to the beauty of a living thing like a crow or raven, based on appearance and prejudice, so that they will do it harm, even though it might manifest the very qualities of intelligence and empathy that humans admire but often appear to lack.

Live life laughing and in play

A sense of humour and play makes life easier.

river_colne_colchester

I slipped down the river bank close to where I took this photo at the River Colne in Colchester.

Hunting in nature with a camera.  The plants looked soggy and droopy, like they had a big hangover.  The animals played hide and seek. It was a fruitless photographic journey.

At the river bank, chocolate biscuit in one hand, camera in the other, I slipped.  I rolled, my coat and trousers covered in solid mud, my chocolate biscuit and camera covered in the brown stuff too.  I laughed.  Nature grounds you, sometimes literally.

A sense of humour is useful when things go wrong.  I throw my muddy biscuit in the river, an edible opportunity for a creature from my misfortune.  I wash some of the mud off in the river.  I play with flints, each making a unique sound, rock and roll at the river bank.

I walk past a man with an Akita dog.  I signal with my eyes and face “play”, “fun,” “friendship” to the dog.  The excited Akita strains at its lead in my direction.  The man looks at me and my instant disinterested poker face.  I repeat my hidden signals to the dog, the bewildered man is struggling with making any progress with the Akita, oblivious of the communication between me and his dog.

Play is a universal language in nature.  Play builds bridges of trust, sharing and closeness between animals.  I have been playing with the Akita.  Play is good with animals if they show interest and enjoy the interaction.  I turn the corner, the dog is constantly turning then looking in my direction.

Life is often hard, laughter and play the honey that soothes those times of bitterness.  I walk past a recently dead pigeon, its legs comically sticking in the air.  The game of life is over for the pigeon.  My life rolls on.

Challenges always hide opportunity

All challenges are hidden opportunities.

The challenge of learning to photograph offered an opportunity of photographing this robin in 2012 that I turned into a card.

I faced the challenge of learning to photograph in 2012 and encountered this hidden opportunity of a robin, which I have turned into a card.

A friend rang, it was the year anniversary of a house fire that destroyed everything he owned.  He had no insurance.  Life is full of harsh challenges, which are in my opinion disguised opportunities.  The fire that destroyed his home and belongings gave my friend an opportunity to move on to a new situation without the baggage of the past.  My friend prospered and like a phoenix has rebuilt stronger than he was before.

My friend is also involved with a wood, one that my business wishes to pay for tree planting in.  My friend faces another challenge that the woodland is for sale.  The woodland sale provides an opportunity for the wood to come into ownership of a local, an environmentalist who is working with my friend.  I sense from my telephone conversation that the sale is running into technical obstructions, though like all things I see opportunities hidden inside challenge. I believe all will turn out well in this woodland sale, and I shall plan to visit this wood in a few weeks time.

Giving time to helping wildlife

Each individual can make a small difference helping wildlife.

It is my hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

I hope Amber my garden fox will return to my garden in 2015.

The British climate after the New Year grew teeth with hard frosts and a climate that sent my mood crashing into the hard ground.  As I eat breakfast I visit the places I planted spring bulbs in my garden, a mood of anticipation like a child waiting for sweets. I watch the slowly emerging green shoots with near religious fervor, wishing, nay praying, their flowering would drive the cold jagged beast of winter away.

The foxes every night emerge with noisy announcements, fighting and marking out their territories whilst pursuing a mate.  One fox includes my garden in its large territory, then circles its kingdom of many gardens with its vocal calls from sunset to deep into the night.  I have seen the fox, but it is too dark to see if this is Amber, a fox I have not seen for many months.

The wild birds have returned to the garden, fighting for food, they are hungry.  The time of winter through to the end of the nesting season in June is a time when wild birds in the UK need the help of humans for food.  Regardless of where one lives, with wisdom, the little creatures appreciate the kindness, so food is always available in the feeding stations; I replace fresh water or break the ice of the water bowls to help birds so they can wash and drink from them.

Today I purchased a nest box which I shall soon put up.  Human development rarely acts in harmony with nature so that yearly the potential nesting sites grow less for wild birds forcing them to nest in such areas as the metal ashtrays of the communal flats in Colchester.  Birds appreciate nesting boxes if located with wisdom away from predatory interference.

Small acts of kindness for the wild animals in our gardens and community takes little effort but has a huge impact on the lives of the animals that benefit.  It is worth thinking how you could help an animal and impact their little lives in a positive big way.

What is abundance?

Abundance is something created such as food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

People often think abundance is money or material possessions, they are wrong, it is a thing that is born out of creativity such as growing food.

New Year and I bless people with the three elements of prosperity during 2015: health, happiness and abundance.  Health and happiness are easy to understand but abundance can confuse.

Abundance has nothing to do with money or material possessions.  Money is a measure or a token of trade, rather than a tangible or concrete thing.  We measure money either in pieces of paper of debt, a type of IOU note; base engraved metal or as figures on a computer database; all which can become instantly worthless in a financial crisis.  Money really is debt, which is the opposite of prosperity.

Modern civilisation embraces the paradigm that qualities of prosperity such as happiness comes from the constant consumer purchase of material possessions.  Human beings clutter their lives with possessions that brings about anxiety of their loss, protecting them from fire and theft, having to find room, often in paid for storage facilities of something of burden rather than happiness.  The paradox is that there is little prosperity in material possessions.

My local museum is full of images of gods with symbols of abundance, one common example is a cornucopia overflowing with fruit.  The ancient coins of the ancient Celtic rulers of Colchester shows an ear of barley, another symbol of abundance reflecting good soil fertility in the Colchester area.  From these images abundance means something you create: harvests; children; poetry.

When I wish abundance to you my readers in 2015 I mean that what you create, work at and accomplish results in an abundant harvest.  If you love growing fruit, may that fruit be plentiful.  As a result of abundance, money will come to you, and so will the material possessions if that is your goal, but it is useful to have in mind that abundance is directly related to creativity, what you create is what you harvest as abundance.

Overcoming challenges by doing it

Procrastination, fear and obstruction overcome by activity.

Human society loves immediate gratification but nature shows that the reward is often delayed in coming after action.  The acorns I planted sat silently sleeping for many months before manifesting as an oak sapling.

Human society loves immediate gratification, but nature shows that the reward is often delayed in coming after activity. The acorns I planted sat silently sleeping for many months before manifesting as oak saplings.

You achieve nothing in life without intelligent action.  After time away I faced challenges to writing on Liberated Way again: fear of losing writing form; procrastination formed from the fear and inertia of writing inactivity; the changes to WordPress that made the blogging platform strange, complicated and clumsy, changes that I totally disliked.

Change is a universal truth in nature, Heraclitus observed  “everything flows,” a motto I have adopted for my business.  Living things adapt to change or fail in the game of life.  It is for us to flow with the changes, adapting in harmony with nature.  Change has no master, it is useless complaining, and worse, doing nothing.  Regret is painful to those that make no attempt to meet a challenge or seize an opportunity; by attempting something and failing such as getting light out of a potato a few days ago, provides relief from regret.

The only answer to challenges in life is activity, getting your hands dirty, taking the cuts and bruises; learning through failure; expending energy, tears, sweat and sometimes blood through a painful, sometimes boring process against relentless obstacles, opposition and pain.   It might seem that after a massive expenditure of time, energy and money in a painful fight resulting in abject failure the individual might question why they bothered, but hidden treasure such as wisdom born from experience in the attempt, and a tough mind born of the strife of the stressful experience is the least of rewards no book or easy walked path can give you.

In this game of life those who act are the hero, those that complain and do nothing are the zero.  The rewards of life come to the hero who has acted because they have planted seeds that often reward them later on with a harvest of benefit.  Those who do nothing, plant nothing, and often harvest nothing but regret.  It is also the case rewards in life are rarely immediate, manifesting months, years even decades later after the attempt just as my acorns I planted took many months before manifesting as oak saplings.

It is good to use intelligence in action, by following a path with intelligence increases success and reduces the pain suffered by a process of action.  The flowers I planted in my garden I intelligently decided to plant in the right season, the joy of watching them slowly manifesting as spring flowers is born of this intelligence.

The only answer to these challenges against my blogging was plunge in and get writing again, it was hard and messy, with mistakes, but now I flow again as I write this latest article.