If you want to feel good and be uplifted by the human spirit to overcome in ingenious ways, take a few minutes to watch this.
When the proverbial cat’s away, the otter will play…
(For source link, click here.)
Whether you blame the English as some do, avaricious Scottish lairds, or indiscriminate sheep, it is a fact that the Caledonian forest went into severe decline. Thanks to wonderful people like my friend Jenny, and organisations such as “Trees For Life,” a tree has been planted in the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands to celebrate my birthday today. Many, many thanks Jenny for the lovely card and a present with depth and meaning that goes straight to my heart.
Jenny knows that the Scots pine is my favourite tree but did you know that it may become the national tree for Scotland? Read more below or click on this link for the full piece.
To find out more about “Trees for Life,” click here.
“The Scots pine could become the country’s official tree, if politicians support a plea by a nature lover today.
MSPs will be invited to begin the process of designating the tree, the mainstay of the Caledonian Forest, as one of the country’s official national symbols.
The Public Petitions Committee at Holyrood will consider a plea by Alex Hamilton that calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the government, “as a symbolic commitment to our woodlands and natural heritage”, to proclaim the Scots pine as the National Tree of Scotland. It would be the first time that Scotland has had a national tree. Seventy countries across the globe have one.”
I’m thinking about the summers of my youth, looking out the window and remembering warm days, freezies (ice lollies), endless hours that were never enough to, ride bikes, swing to touch the sky, play hopscotch or spin hula hoops, build forts (dens), go to the beach and only come home when it was dark and parental threats compelled us. Summer would not have been complete though without a bug catcher. In the interests of strong narrative I have searched for the aforementioned item to show you. What a joy when I found it, transporting me back to the cruel and wonderful years of my childhood. It was misnamed really, that innocent looking plastic container with the air holes (it also had a removeable lid, and usually came with a tiny plastic magnifying glass and yes, the plastic plant with plastic bugs, just to encourage you). It would have been more aptly named a bug crematorium or maybe a bug mortuary. I would spend hours looking for irridescent beetles, ladybirds (they always left a little yellow pee-like stain on your hand), hairy black and orange caterpillars, or my favourite, the inch worm. I would gather a small jungle of foliage to give my captives a comfortable home, put a bottle cap lid of water at the bottom and be satisfied they could not find better accomodation elsewhere. Except perhaps their own habitat. It is a heavy burden of guilt I have carried all these years, a wonder it makes me so happy to look at these torture devices. You will have realised what my four year old self could not - that being behind the plastic only concentrates the heat, that I didn’t have a clue what insects needed to live and theirs was a slow death at the hands of well meaning ignorance. Yet, despite the guilt I should be feeling, all I can do is smile at my photo find. For this meant summer, long days and the promise of fun, scraped knees, climbing trees and freedom. Not for my prisoners though.
Sand, under a 250x microscope
One of my favourite things to do as a child was to pick up a handful of sand, get really close and stare at it. Unfortunately I didn’t possess sight that would maginify it 250 times, but still, it looked like a miracle to me. All those beautiful little fragments of shells and stone and inevitably glass, battered and smoothed, having traveled many miles to reach shore. A long journey to end up under my feet and in my hand to delight and fascinate one young girl.
Thank you “voyageunderthestars” for following me. Thank you for your beautiful blog too, your enormous, kind heart and for your dreams. You say it so well, “not all those who wander are lost.” I hope your wanderings take you where you long to go, particularly to Egypt, high on your Bucket List. I offer you an image of Egypt as thanks, evocative in that it is warm and yet there is a wind blowing, the wind of change. Catch the nearest breeze and you may be there sooner than you think.