|Tiny warbler in the fennel|
This summer there are fewer butterflies and insects but a lot more warblers. My sister was visiting from Sweden and we both remarked on the eery silence and lack of bees buzzing. The buddleia otherwise known as the butterfly bush, has had no takers. Every other year it has been laden with them.
This week I did a happy dance because one butterfly appeared in the kitchen.
It is probably no coincidence that the land around here has been cleared and fertilised having been a boggy wilderness for years. Although designated as a protected wetland, the local authority did not see any conflict of interest with clearing for "agricultural purposes." This consisted of the removal of a willow wood, a number of acres of boggy wildflower meadows, ditches, hedgerows, and numerous trees.
Farmers can't be blamed if the relevant authorities fail to educate and monitor how farming should be managed. At this stage our couple of wild acres are an oasis of cover for small animals and birds on this boreen. There are other small farms around here but there won't be any talk of conservation when the younger generations finally inherit them. I suspect instead that all the shiny bulldozers and diggers will be out in force again.
I came across this prophetic wisdom from New York celebrity artist Andy Warhol, and I thought of the vulnerable landscapes of Ireland.
"I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want."