There is hard weather all over the world: for myself I do not mind the constant rain which is hanging over the British Isles but I care for its impact on our wildlife such as bats and swallows which struggle to find food to feed their young in these conditions.
I was reminded of their difficulties through a letter I received from the Bat Conservation Trust, of which I am a member, on Saturday, in which they wrote graphically of the many reports they were receiving from the public about bats in need of help and asking for financial help to provide the support required. I was saddened to read confirmation of what I had suspected, and my concern was reinforced when I found a tiny baby bat dead on my office floor having crawled through a slit in the chimney wall and become stranded.
Because I love all our fellow-creatures, it is easy for me to get caught up in their suffering and I have to work hard to detach from emotion, which serves neither them nor me, when they are in trouble and I can do little to help them. I know that this is nature’s way, and that some summers cause species to reduce while others which are more balmy will enable numbers to expand again.
I know too that as part of Gaia’s transition we are coming into a period which will be like a mini-ice age, true climate change, when we will experience extremes of weather concentrated into wind and water and cool temperatures with occasional flashes of thundery heat: this summer is extraordinary in many parts of the world for floods and fiery heatwaves, and, with winter weather also becoming polarised, the trend will continue as a result of increasingly forceful solar activity. Nature will adapt to the changing conditions, and man will have to do the same.
So, I intend to be realistic and not sentimental about the creatures I love and which may need help. I have sealed the cracks in the chimney, prepared a bat box for any starving bats I may find, and have responded to the funding appeal from the main bat charity. Last night, at dusk, I stood outside my house and watched the mother-bats fly out from their maternity roost, which is in the tall chimney I have referred to, to feed on bugs under the trees in order to make the milk they need for their babies – one each only every year. I counted 106 in a half hour and was pleased: our bat population seems healthy despite or perhaps even because of the conditions. Sometimes nature is stronger than she appears, and I know I must accept, not judge.