Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On full whiskers alert!

Hello, it's Chloe here . . . and I really need your help.
You know my Mum, so could you please have a word with her?  I'm sure she'd listen to you.

Let's put you in the picture.  I'm sure you've noticed the leaves changing colour and the trees dropping their nuts.  Conkers are coming down from chestnut trees, acorns are coming down from oaks.
Now, and this is the important bit, hungry squirrels feed on conkers and acorns, and field-mice feed on the chewed up bits of nuts that the squirrels leave behind.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

Our garden has lots of chestnut trees and oak trees . . . so, at the moment, it's full to bursting with hungry squirrels and excited field-mice.  And I need to be out there, paws on, keeping things in check and making sure they all know who's boss!


The problem lies with my Mum, she will insist on bringing me indoors for what she calls 'cat naps'.
'Cat naps' be blowed!  Have you ever heard such nonsense?
She just wants more time with her computer, that's the truth of the matter!
Any conscientious cat, with the needs of the garden in mind, must be outside in the autumn . . . and it's a full-time job!

To show you what I mean, I actually caught three field-mice last week.
Well, I did and I didn't . . . the trouble was that my Mum tried to help me!

I asked her to keep quiet, and stay in the background.  But what did she do?
She grew all excited and, each time I lifted a mouse out of the ivy, holding it carefully in my mouth, she stuck her fingers between my teeth.

A cat's mouth isn't big, it can't possibly cope with mice and fingers simultaneously.  So, when this happened, I promptly dropped the mouse.
Off they went, scuttling away to tell their friends and families about lucky escapes and clumsy cats     . . .  believe you me, I could do without an over-excited Mum trying to help!

However, when it comes to the squirrels we're tackling something quite different.

Squirrels are tricky.  I don't like to criticise my fellow creatures, but, unlike well-behaved cats, I must say that squirrels are noisy and cheeky . . .  very cheeky!
And do they respect my need for privacy when I try to dig a toilet hole?  Not on your life!

My Mum and I met one of the cheekiest squirrels last Friday when we were enjoying the sunshine by the pond.
I was stretched out on the ground, eyes closed, minding my own business.  It was all beautifully peaceful . . . 'tranquil' is the word I think my Mum would use.

All at once, a pesky squirrel came rushing out from under my Mum's seat and do you know what it did?
On its way to the oak tree it leaped right across my backside!
It then shot up the tree, positively jabbering in triumph!

"What a nerve!" exclaimed my Mum.
She took the miaows right out of my mouth.


So, as you can see, I need to be on 'whiskers alert' in the garden to keep those cheeky squirrels in check . . .  and to tell the mice in the ivy that I've got my eye on them.

And I'll tell you something else, all this activity gives a cat a very good appetite!

But I can't stay here chatting . . . those conkers and acorns are still falling and I must round up my Mum.

So, please . . . now that you understand the importance of the situation, will you have a word with her?
Full-time in the garden, remember?
There's more than enough time for 'cat naps' and computers in the winter.

Many grateful purrs from your loving and very busy friend, Chloe.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Good news . . . green news!

I wonder if you share my sense of trepidation when you turn on the news?
Never before have I used the television mute button with such enthusiasm!

On the surface, our current world appears chaotic and confrontational . . . which, when taken together with the hurricanes and volcanic activity, makes it also seem rather scary.

So . . . how about some good news for a change?  I think it's just what we all need.


When we last exchanged ideas we pondered on the crumbling walls of our political and social society.
What I didn't know then was that a special kind of wall is being constructed in Africa, one that's wholly beneficial.   It could, in fact, be looked upon as a wall that's coming to our rescue.

No, it's not a stone barrier, nor is it a divisive wall made out of brick or constructed from mud.
This is a wall that is living, growing and uniting, it's a green wall . . . a wall consisting entirely of trees

Since its inception in 2007, this inspired project has spread.  It now involves eleven African countries and has already transformed countless lives.

At total variance with Donald Trump's plans for a restrictive barrier along the Mexican border,  the Great Green Wall is wholly welcoming.

Eventually it will span the entire width of Africa and, from Senegal to Ethiopia, the countries participating are confident that it will help to counter some of the world's most pressing problems . . . problems such as climate change and the current migration crisis.

Not only that, amongst its many other benefits will be the restoration of arable land, the provision of economic opportunities and the stabilisation of communities.
Click here to read  the impressive details for yourself.

This ambitious enterprise could be termed a social and economic miracle, one brought about not by man's technology, by quite simply by the unquestionable power of trees.

As a wise person once said, 'it's not the survival of the fittest, but the survival of what fits best'.

Trees, as Africa is discovering, not only produce the oxygen that is vital to our existence, but can help our communities to survive if we're wise enough to fit them into our lives.


Could it be that we're finally waking up to our inter-dependence with the living world, our total reliance on the myriad life forms that share this planet?
If so, Africa's Great Green Wall is leading the way, and it's one we all should follow.

So, where should we place our trust . . .  in the branches of a poplar or in the hands of a politician?

No, I don't think we need to answer that question!