Strange times indeed

Whilst sitting eating my breakfast toast I found myself wondering in this strange time of stress and loneliness just how many folk might notice aspects of their environment usually outside their ‘radar’. How many folk will stand outside their door, step out onto their balcony, their garden, or walk a few yards up the deserted country lane and notice nature.  Those previously unnoticed  sights and sounds, and wonder just what is that bird singing that is usually hidden by traffic noise, what is that flowering tree that they have only glimpsed from the daily traffic jam or that pretty ‘weed’ growing in the gutter?  How many people will go back indoors and be tempted to look it up, to learn its name? How many people will be encouraged to log onto that famous search engine and type in ‘yellow daisy like weed’ and find that it is called Ragwort, that Oxford Ragwort was a plant that ‘escaped’ on wind-blown seeds from the biology department of Oxford University many years ago, or that it is one of the few food plants of the yellow and black stripped caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth? Who will reach for that long forgotten book and read about birdsong or trees and find an completely new interest so that when all this ‘lockdown’ crisis has eased and the daily commute, the hustle and bustle returns, will be able to say ‘I have found something new in my life, that bird is a blackcap and that tree is a horse chestnut, let us go for a walk there might be cinnabar moths to be found’.

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