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One of the great events in the annual cycle of life in our garden is the arrival of a pair of Canada Geese in March. We don't know if its the same pair every year but they seem to see our garden as their home. Usually, sometime in mid April they disappear for a few days, or we just see one of them. Then they reappear with a bunch of 5 or 6 chicks in tow. This year the first appearance was yesterday when proud mum and dad showed off their five chicks - enjoy..
Another warm spring day and a walk around the garden to reveal some little gems- all self-seeded and growing without any hep from me. All they want from me is to be recognised, appreciated and enjoyed.
Looking at the photos on her phone,my wife suddenly remarked that the Canada Goose chicks had arrived this time last year. The Canada Geese have returned, as they do every year, but so far there are no chicks and I just saw the pair of them in the garden so they are clearly not nesting at the moment. While the annual cycle of life continues each year the details of how life unfolds are different.
Its another beautiful spring morning.I took a walk around my garden and saw the bluebells in the woods for the first time this year. When they are fully opened in May they form a deep carpet on the north side of the wood. For now there are just a few flowers open. They are a sure sign that spring is here.
It's mid April and we are enjoying some warm weather at last and spring is arriving fast. For an Englishman its the most important time of the year: full of hope and renewal. So Inspired by my uplifted spirits I have decided to start a new blog which will record my observations and interactions with my garden.
Commitment like this usually comes from the confluence of several things and this week several things happened to inspire me to turn long held thoughts into productive action. Firstly, I am trying to encourage my daughter who is interested in ecology to appreciate the natural ecosystems we have right in front of us. I was once a practising geologist and I know the value of field work in inspiring deeper engagement and imagination to understand what the natural world provides. I figured that by keeping a notebook and making it public my daughter might share her scientific knowledge of how to study natural ecosystems with me and perhaps contribute a post of her own from time to time. Well thats my hope.
Secondly, I discovered a wonderful citizens science project led by Cornell University, which aims to encourage ordinary people like me to literally map my back yard. Their mapping tool which I will share in a future post inspired me to begin creating a habitat map of my own back yard and to invest time and enargy in understanding it. I talked about this tool with my daughter on a walk we made and she seemed interested in it and the idea we might collaborate in studying our garden.
Thirdly, I started reading a book called 'The private Life of an English Field MEADOWLAND by John Lewis-Stempel. Its a beautifully written book and I imagined the pleasure John gained from trying to read the everyday life of his field and then share his understandings through his writings. I thought I might try something similar in my blog.
Fourthly, and to relate this project to my educational work, I have become deeply interested in the idea of learning ecologies and the idea of ecology and ecosystems seems to me to hold huge potential for understanding how and why we learn and practice. I sense that devoting time to study myself in my environment with all the life and drama it holds can only benefit my educational idea and theory making.
So these are the most important reaons for embarking on this project, now all I have to do is do it!