Thursday, 30 October 2014

Spinning Pops' Tale

The Big Bang in the night

Sunday night was a clear and dry as Pops I set off for our walk.  We wander around tree lined streets and were heading home. Pops was relaxed and her tail was wagging as we ambled along.. Boom there was thunderous bang followed by a circle of blue stars shot up over  our head. Another huge bangs followed and the night sky filled by green shards  creating a huge a ball overhead. Yet more loud  bangs rendered the peace of the evening.  Pops was terrified, and laid prone on the ground panting. Above us there was a chattering of starlings whirling and circling blindly in the dark.  They had been blasted out of their roost by explosion and garish light.  Their safe haven was shattered that evening..

I managed to get Pops home.  She crept along  along crouching low to the ground, while  every so often looking up at the sky fearful of more explosions .  Down the street doors had opened some people where peering out of windows.   A neighbour in that street must have called the police I heard the siren coming  nearer  as we went indoors

Next day I check on the internet for  firework and  found  lot of category 4 & 5 fireworks  to buy on-line. The description of one called The Big Ball, a category 4 firework, fitted exactly what I had seen. I could have bought one on the internet for £12.97.  Category 4 fireworks under UK  law can only be set off in by professionals.  This firework was launched in an urban garden in a terraced street.  Oh No!. I must not rant about fireworks as this a tale is about Pops dog.   But....No get on the story MerryB!

After Pops has been frightened next morning she wakes very anxious with her naughty button switched fully on.

The mystery of the missing socks had to be  solved.  
4 pairs of socks had been drying on the airer but now there was only two odd socks there. Who could have taken them?  Could it be?
 Yes, as I suspected it was Pops!  The evidence was clear. She was in the garden tossing an olive green sock and barking at it as flew up in the air.  Outside, I found three other socks, one had caught on a branch of the rambling rose one was trailing in her water bowl, one half buried in the back bed,  Other are still missing.  I had no choice but to put on odd  boot socks as we were going to the plot that morning. Oh sigh!
On the way to the plot I was dropping off some books at my friends Sue house for the Animals Asia Charity. Pops bounced out of the door full of energy ad launched herself blindly into the road. I hung onto her lead and dragged her back onto pavement and sat her down, until I knew it was safe to cross the over.  There was a look in her eyes that foretold she was ready to whirl and twirl her self into any mischief she could.  I sighed.

The incident of puddling pee.

This occurred, as I was poop scoping. I had put the two bags of books down by my feet. Pops was behind me as I scooped, I stood up and To my horror I saw a trickle of urine puddling round  the bags. Oh Pops!  I had to admit this was not entirely her fault she had peed behind me and the camber of the pavement made it run down and encircle the book.

We arrived  Sues house  without further incident but she invited us in for a cup of tea.  I was wearing my allotment boots so I was a bit wary about stepping onto her white carpets and even more wary about Pops entering in her current mood. Sue was insistent we should come in . Before we went in I explained The incident of the puddling pee and the bags of books. Sue just accepted in the casual way of a true dog lover.

The whirling dervish and the bitten leg
We sat in her conservatory which had a lovely pale pink Indian carpet on the floor.  Pops decided to yap and whirl in circles trying to catch her tail.  Pops' yap is ear piercing,  I know she uses this method of annoying people when she wants to get her own way. Pops  wanted to go to St James Green for a run and to the allotment.  she did not want to stay at Sue's while I drunk tea  and chatted!

Vintage Izzy dog had been woken up by Pops yapping and came grumping into the room. She sloped under my chair to sleep again.  Poppy pocked  her nose under the chair and yapped at Izzy. Izzy startled awake snapped at Pops and sunk her teeth into my leg instead of Pops nose.  I was by embarrassed Pops behaviour and Sue was mortified that Izzy had bitten me.Oh Pops! .

Chasing squirrels and woofing at helicopters and cats

Eventually Pops and I set off to the St James green, where she played with a very elegant and even tempered Saluki..   She and Pops played together a game called hunt the squirrel, they saw a squirrel and were off.  The squirrel darted up the tree and jumped from one tree to another before it drop to the ground in a different place   The two dogs  circled round and round the first tree sniffing frantically as they search  for  it. The squirrel seemed to wait to be spotted on the ground by the dogs.  Who eventually saw it and  ran in pursuit. The squirrel  promptly sprinted up into the tree' canopy.  The circling and sniffing would being again, and again, and again....

We were there for an hour before Pops always took herself off to the gate indicating that she wants to go immediately. So ever obedient I set off to the allotment with her bouncing along in front. Once she had her brunch, she woofed at the coastguard and navy helicopters flying to and fro from the harbour.  Whirled and twirled as passing cats came into  sight and yapped to  to get someone to play with her. Eventually she laid down bathed in dappled sunlight under the cherry tree.  I worked on the plot, for an hour before our lunch  Afterwards she lazed again, until it was time to set off for home. Tail  up she power walked home in a relaxed and happy mood. The naughty button switched off..

I hope you enjoyed The Spinning Pops' Tale

With Reiki golden light and blessings to you all

Merry b

Thursday, 16 October 2014

What Use Are Wasps?

Last Friday was a day of sunshine and showers here in Hampshire, fortunately while I was at the plot there was mostly sunshine.  I enjoyed being there with Pops, she was noisy at times because there where a number of navy and military helicopters flying overhead,  far more than usual.  However focusing on digging a bed ready to plant broad beans and sitting with Pops for lunch I  was happy.  I  harvested some vegetables, and cut the last of the sunflowers, then Pops and I started for home.

When I was walking through the allotments a man came up to me and asked were plot 141 was I showed him on the map and asked if he had been given that plot.  His reply was:

No I am a pest control officer from the council we have had a complaint, I have come to destroy a wasps nest."  

My mood plummeted  I felt  saddened, there is too much casual destruction of wildlife with a puff  or a splash of  chemicals. I asked him,
"Why?  All the wasps in the nest will be dead in couple of weeks when it gets colder."
his answer was

We had a complaint so we need to destroy them.   Anyway what use are wasps?  they are not like Bees!
I was stunned and tried tell him how useful wasps are..   He was not listening and two plot holder there agreed with him.  One echoed the question “What use are wasps?

I felt angry and worried for my girls, wasps, on my plot who have never caused myself or my neighbours any problem. when the Queen left the nest and the last brood of  new queens and drones flew away, I made the female workers a fruit pile semi buried in the soil.   Neighbours often give me windfalls from their fruit trees to give to the girls.( See post 1st August 2014 )
Willful and destruction of wildlife at the allotments is carried out not  just on wasps, some people poison rat and, though illegal, foxes. On other  plots caterpillars, and insects stand no chance.  These plot holders wage a chemical war on all creatures.  Often putting out double or triple the amount of poison  recommended by manufacturers.  

I have very few pests on my plot thanks to the wasps and lady birds, other predators and birds..  However, before I being rambling or rant back to the questions- What use are wasps?

Bees, wasps and ants are among the most important animals on the planet and are essential for the health and survival of countless other species - ourselves included."   BWARS' patron George McGavin 
The usefulness of wasps is something people often wonder about.  Wasps play an important role as early pollinators in the UK,’ However, wasps eat caterpillars and aphids. Gardeners should welcome them with open arms!  Matt Brierley, RSPB
We should celebrate wasps and all creatures if we wish to conserve our plant.  If we believe in the importance of conservation of the living World, we must recognize that all creatures matter.

I was  taught to love the natural world by my parents. When I learnt  Reiki one the Ideals was

Be grateful for all living creatures.
Later I explored Druidry and deepened my connection to nature. the wheel of the year and to our planet - Mother Earth.  I celebrate the World's diversity and care about conserving all living things.

   Chris Packham's answer to the question:"What are wasp for? "  is:

My reply is, "What are you for?" I'm a great fan of wasps. I have a nest of them in my stables and they're very happy; I'm very happy with them, too.
I am also a fan of wasps, I  feel privileged to have a nest on my plot.  I remember as a child we had a wasps nest in the roses that grew over the front of the house I did not get stung. Now Bee stings!  But that is a ramble for another time.

With Reiki Blessing 


Pied Flycatcher's catch wasps
as do brave Dragon Flies

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Autumn meditation

This morning it was a misty, chilly dawn, I could hear the fog horn of ships coming and going to and from Portsmouth Harbour. The spiders webs were fringed with dew drops and I had to put on a jumper before I went outside.  Pops dog stayed in bed until the sun came out.

Now the sun has burnt  through the mist and it is a beautiful sunny day. The seedlings in the green house have needed to be misted over again as they dried out since early this morning.  It is a day to relish and enjoy being outdoors which is what we have been doing this afternoon. .I love to crunch through the fallen leaves and Pops plays and tumbles among them enjoying the scrunch of leaves beneath her feet..  The vintage trees in the park have leaves of  of green, yellow, orange and copper brown. The autumn display is beautiful, however  as I look at them I see how much we need rain the trees are so dry the leaves and branches hang listlessly.  Autumn's colours may  last longer this year, but that is not a good thing it brings the reality of climate change right to our doorsteps. In September, here in Hampshire, there has been only about an inch of rain altogether. The earth in my allotment and garden is dry and dusty. I love the sunny days but the trees need rain.

We are being eased into the Autumn by fine weather.   At first  there is equilibrium between day and night,   Eventually the dark evenings will edge into afternoon.the weather will become rainy, cold, windy The last of the Summer flowers will be caught by the frost and blacken and die.  The oaks, chestnuts, beech and silver birch will drop their last leaves. The seeds they dropped at the beginning of Autumn, will be covered in leaf litter, or wind. mice, squirrels or children will have  spread the seeds far away from the parent tree ready to germinate next Spring.  When the trees have prepared the fruit and leaf buds for the next year the sap will turn
inwards and they become dormant.   The bare outline of the trees will be will be seen stark against the  Autumn sky

Now and then I catch a myself feeling,a  hint a  regret, because this lovely  year's Summer and  the Indian Summer we have been enjoying is coming to an end.  As the wheel of the seasons circles round.  Each season is special brings has its own  purpose and delights.  Autumn and Winter are dreaded by many people.  The Dark nights are feared and associated with  ghost ghouls, and even danger.  But inside our homes we feel safe once the doors are closed and the windows shut and the curtains drawn.

My  Celtic ancestors saw the darkness differently:

 "as a place inside us where we touch and experience our spiritual roots and was known as the Mysteries." (Glennie Kindred) 
RSPB -  Christmas present 
I am blessed with a warm and cosy home, with those I love around me. I have books to read, I write and review my journals and practice Reiki and Mindfulness meditation. I love coming in after I have been outside on a cold wet day and relish the:

:... cup of tea in my two hands.
Mindfulness held perfectly 
My mind ad body dwells
In the very here and now
Thich  Nhat Hanh

I am outside a great deal in Winter as I garden, have an allotment and Pops dog to walk.  Many times I look outside and want to stay warm and cosy indoors.  . Autumn and Winter are important times in the garden preparing the earth for spring clearing and mulching beds for next years crops pruning  or planting spring bulbs.

Once I am out doors  I am at peace  and well being.. one of my joys is planting spring bulbs .  Each year  I buy more  bulbs for my allotment and garden and the wildlife area at the allotment.  I love choosing the bulbs and taking them home ready to plant.  When I go out to plant them I  place each one carefully and mindfully. My mind is filled  with  imagining the beautiful flowers that will greet us Spring.

Planting them can be shared as well with loved ones.  Children love doing being involved and the expression on their face when they see their bulbs flowering in Spring is wonderful.  These hardy early bulbs will come to flower through whatever the weather throws at them snow, gales relentless rain. They brighten the coldest wettest darkest grey day in late winter early spring

Mindful Meditation Planting Spring bulbs

 Takes a  Spring bulb and looks at it closely,
 the texture, The colour, is it firm or soft…
Imagine you can see the person who grew this bulb.
The person who packed it, the people who transported it to the supplier
The person who served you at the store or the delivery person
And be grateful to these people. 
And to the sun, rain and earth that nurtured it

Pause for a moment and examine your past year,
 What have you learnt, what was good, what things did not flourish?
What is a project or dream you want to achieve by next Spring?

 Place the bulb in the pot or into the earth 
And cover it with soil  
 See the bulb growing under ground sending down strong roots
To nourish it and anchor it firmly
To begin the work of growing
To allow the leaves and buds to push though the earth
to emerge safely into the light

Imagine yourself also putting down essential roots 
to grow your project  into a reality next spring

(This can be done as a group meditation where each person in the circle reflects on the past year and  tell the others of a project or dream they want to achieve by next Spring)

With Reiki's light and blessing to you all

Merry B