Whilst Covid 19 has brought much anxiety to many, bereavement to thousands, loss of business, loneliness and isolation, it has also produced heroic actions from our Doctors and Nurses, immense kindness and thoughtfulness in our neighbours, incredible generosity in all those who donated to Major Tom’s wonderful fundraising activity for the NHS, and it has given all of us the opportunity to slow down and appreciate our friends and family, our beautiful planet and life itself.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Out of adversity comes opportunity” and I think he is right. My friends and I have all said how much we have appreciated watching spring unfold this year. We have seen each spring flower from bud to full bloom, from the early snowdrops and Crocus, then the Celandines and Primroses to the Bluebells and Foxgloves. I’ve watched a couple of Blue Tits making practice runs into the Blue Tit box to see if it was suitable, to their babies making their maiden flight out of the box and into the Ceanothus. We have also appreciated having such wonderful weather that we are able to spend hours outside pottering in the garden or allotment, or being able to go for long walks.
I started to walk every day to prevent further expansion of my spare tyre and in doing so I met fellow residents of Hepworth that I might not otherwise have met, found new walks and scenery and discovered new places that I never knew existed. My sister and I discovered an absolute gem of a place called Market Weston Fen today. Its 100 acres of Fenland, marsh, reed beds, ponds and woodland provide a rich environment where rare orchids, the insectivorous Butterwort, Emerald Damsel flies, newts and invertebrates thrive.
We also visited Lopham Fen where we saw Britain’s largest spider, the Raft Spider, saw a Cuckoo for the first time and heard the magical song of the reed Warbler. Another day was spent watching the beautiful Kingfisher at Lackford Lakes as it dived into the shallows to catch a fish or sit completely still on a branch in all its iridescent finery, or watching the Terns darting and swirling above the lakes and the Buzzards soaring on the thermals.
I think of my friend in Sri Lanka who is only able to pace her roof top during lock down and then I think how lucky are we to be able to walk in this beautiful countryside and hear the birds singing and smell the Hawthorn blossom.
Keep safe and well everyone.