Nature notes, positive ecological news, tides and moon phases
The most exciting place to visit this month is your local woodlands. Bird migrants are back, insects are buzzing, and cascading rivers of flowers are flooding the woodland floor – bluebells, ramsons, wood anemones, primroses and red campions. I recommend visiting woodlands at dawn, before work, for an uplifting of the spirit. That day you will not be the one frowning at your desk. Or go at dusk, especially in south-east England, to catch the legendary nightingale. Fact: it has over a thousand different calls in its repertoire, arguably the greatest musician of the 5,000 species of songbirds in the world. Biologists tell you the complexity of his song is to attract a female and tell her how good of a father he could become. In Greek mythology the nightingale’s song is said to be in memory of Orpheus’ difficult journey to the underworld, and I’m told they sing brightest over his tomb at Lesbos come nightfall.
Treat yourself to strawberries, gooseberries and imported alphonso mangoes this month – earthly delights that will wane by the end of June, so seize the moment.
Positive Ecological News
Extinct woodpecker returns
After a three-year hunt, a team of Louisiana researchers found an extinct Ivory-Bill Woodpecker in the forest. Their leader, Steve Latta, conservation director of the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, said: “It flew up at an angle and I watched it for about six to eight seconds… I was visibly shaking afterwards.” Its distinct call in the woods is described as like hearing a child puff into a tin trumpet.
Nature wins in Panama
Panama has declared that nature has “the right to exist”. President Laurentino Cortizo signed a ruling that all laws and policies have to consider their impact on tropical forests, rivers and mangroves. It defines nature as “a unique, indivisible and self-regulating community of living beings, elements and ecosystems interrelated to each other that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.”