The night time is the right time

Wow. Another amazing night of biodiversity in the Dyfi Valley. I’ve been out on an organised walk looking for night jars and glow worms. Thank you Caroline at RSPB Ynys Hir. Night jars migrate here from Africa in Mid-May and stay throughout the summer months. They are a dramatic exotic bird. A beautiful reminder of the connectedness of life on planet earth: just like the housemartins nesting in my eaves. Glow worms are one of our most popular beetle species because their tails glow in the darkness. They glow because the females create a chemical reaction inside their bodies to attract a mate. They used to be so numerous people would gather them up and place them in jam jars for a natural source of light. It’s like something straight out of Lord of the Rings. I can just imagine walking across the Estuary where we walked tonight with lamps powered by glow worms, with mists and bogs and squarks and the bleating of sheep. But alas the glow worm is another of those species whose stock has dwindled. We saw only three tonight – each one a haunting reminder of what we used to have. Its 12.30 and I’ve just been listening through the recordings I made on the walk. The hushed excited voices, the sounds of the night, a train pulling into a station, footsteps on gravel and the sound of our nocturnal world in flight. I love making our podcasts. They concentrate the mind on sound but also on silence. I remember that silence is a dwindling resource too. A few years ago I made a pact with myself to spend as much of the rest of my life as possible enjoying what our bio-diverse world has to offer. We are at this incredible peak of bio-diversity. And soon it will all be over. With 30% of species likely to be extinct by 2050 under conditions of climate change we will never again see the world as it is today. We are the generation that can appreciate it truly before it disappears. We know more about it than any previous generation and no future generation will experience the range and number of different species of our own. So an organised nocturnal walk looking for night jars and glow worms isn’t just a stroll around the neighbourhood, it’s an encounter with our past, present and future. The destiny of man is to live through what has been called The Age of Loneliness. Enjoy the age of conviviality whilst it lasts. Get out on an organised walk or just head out yourself and breathe in our dramatic, beautiful and pitifully unloved world. And maybe while you’re out there record what you see, hear and think. Make a testimony for the future, and if you feel like it send what you write, record of photo to the decision makers at the G8. The presidents and the palace dwellers. And show them what they’re missing. This is it guys, remember why the earth is worth saving.

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