In the Christian calendar, today is special in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, but I will be ecumenical and treat it also as a celebration of life after curfews, lock-ins, social distancing, intensive handwashing and sanitizing of surfaces as we have had to change lifestyles to help us survive a pandemic.
Of the many things that this period—just about a month—has highlighted is how the presence of humans has been a blight on many things. I do not need to go to the extremes of thinking about global warming and climate change. Just the simple fact that human presence changes how nature behaves. Animals look to distance themselves because humans destroy or limit habitats and compete for food, or come closer because humans provide new opportunities for food and shelter. Plants have to compete in their natural settings with new species that have to be accommodated. Sometimes, there is a happy balance, but often humans forget or despise what was there before, or prefer their well-behaved implants. Insects often just get on with it, perhaps dealing the best with humans, as pests and irritants that are hard to eradicate, good at adaptations, and sources of persistent irritations—literally, in the case of ants, bees, and mosquitoes, to name a few. If they are designed to kill or infect humans, they can happily do that more than humans can deal with them.
So, let me take today to celebrate nature. Not the reappearance of wolves in city centres; nor the sight of sheep on playground roundabouts; nor deer in shopping malls. Just what is and has been around me for the past few years in my garden. My wife, too often away from home, last night talked about how good it was to see nature ‘come back’. I had to correct her and say it never went, but she wasn’t present. I hope she learns to cherish that kind of realisation—birds chirping at dawn and dusk; ants happy to crawl over crumbs and grains of sugar. Put away the Baigon! I love to see ants haul away parts of insects that have fallen and can now be part of their food chain. I love seeing the industry in my compost heap as cockroaches and worms help once-growing matter decompose.
So, enjoy some random sights that caught my eyes this morning and over recent days. Happy Easter!
Petchary perched on sea hibiscus bush
Bees working even on a wall
Ants working to move their food