Doom deferred

Someone wrote a letter to The Press recently expressing alarm at the absence of moths. They no longer fill the house if you leave a window open and the lights on at night. I waited for responses to flood in – but there was silence. Was it a “yes, we’ve noticed it too and it scares us” silence?

I wrote a blog post, “Inexcusable Ignorance” (Aug 11, 2019) expressing similar alarm about the absence of insects and our ignorance of them. Garden centres still advertise pesticides. I never use them. Famed gardener Monty Don doesn’t use sprays, saying that he lets nature do what it does to balance out life in his garden. I make a point of noticing insects in the garden now.

I found the husk (link: life cycle) of a cicada on the trunk of a pseudopanax. The second link on this caption takes you to a Ted Talk by 12 year old NZ entomologist, Olly Hills, who has written a book about cicadas.

Last week I bought a watermelon which had a beautiful pattern on it. The woman at the fruit and vege shop didn’t know what it was, so I looked it up. Turns out it is ring spot virus, previously known as mosaic virus, spread by aphids but not damaging to the fruit. The word “virus” is likely to cause alarm but, if I put my inner amateur scientist to work, it is just another symptom of how things work in nature – and I can admire the artistry of the aphids.

The book I wrote about in my last post still haunts me, but there is plenty to distract me from doom and gloom.

And a sunny spot for ‘comfort’ reading.

5 thoughts on “Doom deferred

  1. Good on you, Anne…I have been gardening my plots now for eighteen years in Macandrew Bay. I have never used any kind of spray….or pesticide. The pesticide companies have created myths about damage that have resulted in ‘believers’ thinking they have to buy their sprays…Nature has ways of taking care of these things….nature’s own chemical workshop.

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  2. Ah, so nice. I love the melon (and chickens and flowers). Your previous post arrived in the same week that I felt a horrible doomed feeling about the world that I’d never felt so keenly and personally, when I saw that more big established trees in my area had been razed to make way for more housing. It seems that ‘the people’ know better how the world should be run, and kept, than those in power, and companies keep on doing what they do for money, as no one is stopping them (like making and selling pesticides). I too shall find solace with the gardens around me, and pleasant books, company and my cat.

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