Posted by: Admin | May 20, 2011

No Silent Spring

Sorry for the radio silence. My head has been all over the place the past couple of days and I just haven’t been able to order my thoughts sufficiently to put fingers to keyboard (don’t you miss “pen to paper”?) In my brief absence, WordPress have made some changes to the admin screen, so I’m feeling a bit disorientated and not a little discombobulated!

Anyways, I wanted to post about the weather. No, I haven’t run out of things to say – here in the UK we are experiencing the warmest, driest Spring on record. According to the BBC weatherman, in East Anglia just 15.7mm of rain has fallen during the Spring months against a 134.9mm average expectation – just 12%. Not only is this causing problems for food production, but dairy farmers are, in some cases, having to feed their cattle with hay normally stored for the winter, or sold on.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published her seminal environmental essay Silent Spring, widely credited with starting the environmental movement. It’s major premise was that birds and wildlife would be decimated by the uncontrolled use of pesticides (not to mention the risks to human health). Science has since proved many of Rachel Carson’s theories, but I’m waiting with interest to find out how environmental degradation and climate change are affecting birdlife.

This is purely anecdotal evidence, nothing more than my perception, but this early Spring has seen a spectacular revival of the Dawn Chorus in this neck of the woods. I wish I had sound so that I could play you the symphony being performed outside my window at 9.50am – they’ve been at it since sunrise and will continue until sunset.

I’m not suggesting that climate change is a Good Thing, far from it. But my goodness, the sound of birdsong is a blessing. I hadn’t realised how silent our Spring was becoming until it suddenly sprang into cacophonous life again this year. Whatever you do today, do try to take 5 minutes to sit outside and listen to the birds sing!

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Responses

  1. My poor friends in Ohio are drowning in daily rain at this point…funny how different parts of the country (and the world) are facing radically different weather challenges!

    We have a lovely bird choir here as well. And they have been performing beautifully each morning, rain or shine…or SNOW! (Yeah, they came back a bit early this year…or else the snows are a bit late.)

    By the way, Jo, spending time outdoors seems to help clear my head…hope it does the same for you!

  2. Hello again! Whereabouts are you?
    Yes, I do find being outside the best antidote to being overwhelmed (my default setting at times!) I am very fortunate to live in the countryside, albeit in a large village. I can hear nothing but birdsong and the odd vehicle at the moment in my study, and within walking distance from my front door there is a large reservoir with a trail that stretches for 7 miles.

  3. what a lovely place to live—in a village but close enough to walk into the countryside 😀

    “Our” little corner of New Mexico is high elevation desert so it is rare to get rain. Snow is not uncommon (because of the altitude) but it usually “sublimates” (evaporates rather than melts) which does nothing for precipitation amounts. The vegetation here looks radically different than that in Ohio (where we lived most of our lives)…but there are still zillions of birds! And a special treat here is that we are a summering-grounds for hummingbirds. YAY! (Another treat is seeing mountain bluebirds—males are electric blue!)

    • Wow – I’ve never seen a hummingbird in real life. Or mountain bluebirds. Something else for the bucket list! x


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