richardkell (richardkell) wrote,

My love of nature, landscape, the outdoors.

I posted this elsewhere this morning ie 21st October 2018 as two comments and as it makes such good sense its a shame not to allow others to read these words. The subject was the loss of insect life and climate change.

Quoting myself ....

Its saddening to see so many gardens turned to block paving, gravel or a sterile 'nothing'. I like abundance and a 'jumble', lots of nooks and crannies for the Vanessids (butterflies) to over-winter and goodness knows how many other things too, Lacewings etc; all are welcomed. Likewise I always allow autumn leaf litter and organic debris to aid soil life such as microbes, algae, molds, worms etc. If we are obsessed with eliminating leatherjackets, wireworms and daddy-long legs (all the same thing) what will bats and birds have to eat?  Theres few pests in this garden, I think the birds get them all. And try not to cut back too far in the autumn, its natural to have leaf fall and some debris. I've many layers of flowering things here hidden beneath the soil that unfold as the year progresses, in fact I would like to put a 'no-dig' covenant for one year onto the deeds of this house.

For instance, being mindful of encouraging a healthy soil and its inhabitants, each hand fork of earth when weeding always exposes lots of earthworms, often a Robin or two following me around in this garden and feeding from next to my feet, even landing on my boot! In winter or when feeding young i will deliberately be in the garden turning over a couple of forkfuls each day to assist their survival. But note i am hesitant at the near universal promotion of 'garden compost' as per say Gardeners Question Time on bbc radio (not a favourite programme of mine) as a wonder 'do-all' ... it will in fact destroy crocus bulbs and as a very old compost is little better than 'dust'. Maybe dug-in for a veg patch but otherwise i would say merely replicating natures way ie leaf litter, twigs, organic debris is by far the wiser route; the worms would agree with me.

Often the best route to encouraging worm activity and loosening up a heavy soil is FYM / muck left exposed on the soil surface over winter.

After a half century of tv gardening programmes how is it most ppl garden as ten year olds?

I'm a bit sceptical of how Local Authorities eliminate dead or decaying wood, strim and cut back as they do. I'm sure it can be tweaked to aid insects, invertebrates, molds, fungi, algae, diatoms. Mindful or the fire risk of course, vandals and firebugs.

Gardening should be a subject at school, I mean to some depth, with spirit and detail, the interconnectedness of things, not just as punishment for the backward lads as it was fifty years ago; it would also aid in helping the kiddiwinkies to actually settle to a task and get something done, something achieved with their hands and something to observe over the months as to their success or failure, the results of their efforts. Something to nurture and not just some one-off exercise that is seldom re-visited.

Even the smell of freshly turned soil is theraputic.

Here I added to the above ...

  • Oh yes and my hobby horse - diatoms. These are a fascinating google image search, wonderful for children to learn of. Its my opinion that the diatom collapse with their symbiotic relationship with Bryozoans ie the coral reef is also at the base of all marine food chain collapse ie in the Pacific. I've not been able to specifically find this connection in general media. The massive Pacific seabird collapse of say three years ago also is hardly reported, huge numbers of ocean going birds flying to shore (whole populations?) ... all stomachs empty. We can assume diatiom collapse again? As James Lovelock explained diatoms also generate ocean cloud formation and with other microscopic algae convert 20% of the worlds CO2, check out James Lovelock and DMS. And please fact check all I say, only my hazy recall to depend on.

    Its a horrible irony that we obtain 70% of the worlds oil and gas from ancient diatom deposits deep within the earth, the worlds best paid diatomists work for oil companies.

    With climate change theres now too great a timelag between data being collected, peer review and publication. As Sam Carana tells us the situation is dire and we need action very quickly; the IPCC does not stress sufficient urgency and totally ignores impending methane release fom the shallow East Siberian ice shelf. Likewise the IPCC most recently discarded material written by the worlds expert on Arctic ice ie Prof Peter Wadhams.

    When the President of the USA knows nothing other than golf courses and a ten second soundbite and is a total climate change denier then the outlook is bleak. The canary is screaming and all they can do at the EPA is deny, dismantle and wreck ....

    As you can imagine, as an engineer / toolmaker these incredible items ie diatoms fascinate me. For eight years say 1994 - 2002 freshwater biology and the microscope were my hobby, an excellent adjunct to my rambles out with my first beagle.

Tags: climate change, diatoms, ecology, home gardening, pacific sea bird collapse

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