Happy Beltane – Nature Awareness Update 1st May 2013

1 05 2013

As its Beltane I decided to do my nature awareness hour today. It is warm and sunny today, with no clouds in the sky and very little wind. In fact it was warm enough to have no jumper on. When I arrived there were birds singing as usual. I noticed the horse chestnut had begun to flower and many of the trees buds had burst over the past week. In fact all the trees now had leaves or the beginnings of leaves on them. Sea gulls were flying overhead and there were a few wood pigeons in the trees.

English: Greag spotted woodpecker in Pyhäjärvi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The moot swan was stood up on her nest for the first 20 minutes I was there. She was cleaning herself and then adding bits to the nest. She eventually sat down on it. I noticed that she has been alone since the first week I went out. The blue tit came to its nest box again and went inside for a long time. I saw a male blackbird and a crow/ raven/ rook (not sure which). There were quite a few small birds flying around and one was definitely a wren which was flying among the reeds. I saw a magpie and a great spotted woodpecker as I was leaving the conservation area.

Having talked to a horticulturalist, I discovered that what I thought were white blue bells last time are not actually bluebells (though the pink ones are) because they have a triangular stem. There are still some daffodils out too. There were lots of little insects in the pond and on top of it today, two of them appeared to be fighting. I saw a pond skater on the top of the pond too. There was a big bee flying around and a small one too. On the way home I saw four butterflies, two of which looked white but they were all too far away to identify them.

The sun was very bright today and I have sensitive eyes so I realised I need to bring sunglasses next time. I again forgot to take an offering too but I did speak to the nature spirits and spirit of the place. It was a nice relaxing hour and definitely felt like a festival of flowering.





Dedicant Path Week 6 – Mental Discipline

26 04 2013
Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

The Dedicant Path requires 5 months of consistent mental discipline practices to pass the course, with practice at least once a week. I decided that I would try to do more than once a week if I could but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t keep to a daily practice. I decided that I would combine the morning devotions of the Solitary Druid Fellowship with some meditation sat in front of my altar. I first light a candle and follow the morning devotions. Then I light some incense and do the Fire-Water focusing from the Dedicant Path manual. I say the Druids peace prayer and then do a 10 minute sitting meditation focusing on my breathing. I have been trying out the 4-2-4-2 sequence this week. I finish my time with the prayer “fire, well and sacred tree, flow and flame and grow in me.”

On Saturday (20th) and Sunday (21st) I did it. I also did it on Thursday (25th) Friday (26th) but was too busy to do it on the other days. All four days went Ok but I was losing focus often and I’m having a lot of tension and pain in my back. I also found it hard to keep the 4-2-4-2 rhythm going. I decided that as I am not able to do it in the morning very often, I will only use the second part of the SDF morning devotions rather than the whole lot. I also came to the conclusion that I need to do it for a slightly longer period because I take a few minutes up just relaxing so I’m going to start doing 15 minutes instead.

Nature Awareness Update – 25th April 2013

I went out a little later this week (6.45pm). It had been sunny all day however it was turning cloudy as I headed to the nature reserve area. The sun did continue to shine throughout my time there. There was very little wind today and it felt a lot warmer.

Bluebells

Bluebells (Photo credit: bestyphotoman)

As in previous weeks there were lots of small birds singing in the trees. There were sea gulls flying over head and many wood pigeons. Ducks and a moor hen came to the pond and went several times. I even saw the ducks taking off and landing today. The moot swan was still sat on the nest and added bits to it. There were a lot more insects today than I had seen previously and I think they were mosquito’s. I also saw a bumble bee – the first I’ve seen this year. It only ever goes to one flower on each plant and leaves the rest. The daffodils were still out and there were a lot of blue bells out on the way there – as well as some flowers that looked similar to blue bells but were pink or white. Having researched them it appears that blue bells can be white and pink too – the pink ones are probably Spanish! But they can be more aggressive then blue bells and take over the area which isn’t good.

There were lots of small birds tweeting to each other today – I think they were chatting lol! Many were too far away for me to identify. I saw a few blackbirds and a couple of Great Tits came back to their nest box again. I also noticed that there are quite a few trees that are only just bursting into bud now. I also noticed that there were a lot more willow trees than I’d previously realised – maybe 8 or 9 in the reserve. I can’t tell the exact species of willow but they have long yellow branches which dangle down, thin green leaves and catkins.

As time went on, dark clouds began to come over and the sun set as I was leaving. It was definitely warmer today than previously and there were lots more insects out. On the way home I noticed many of the dandelions are going over now and you can see the seeds on a few of them.

I didn’t remember to take an offering with me today, but the pond was looking very horrible and polluted and I think I need to bring the spirits an offering and do something to help next time.





Nature Awareness Update 19th April 2013

20 04 2013

So I went out again on Friday evening. It was warm and sunny, apart from the rather chilly breeze. The sky was blue with a few white clouds. The birds were singing and I could see the moon rising in the east (at midnight it was in the west – this is the first time I’ve paid attention to the way it moves on a route through the night sky). I was very surprised to see so many Wood Pigeons around today, along with the Sea Gulls. However there were very few other birds around.

There were a lot of insects out today, especially over the water, although the were very small so I don’t know what they are. It’s the first time I’ve seen insects this year. The Moot Swan was on its nest again, mostly sleeping and enjoying the heat of the sun I think. There was a Blackbird by a small stream and there were a couple of Moorhens and Mallard Ducks swimming around on the pond. The Daffodils were beginning to go over and I saw a large blackbird fly over which I think was either a Raven or Crow.  I noticed a large area of nettles which I hadn’t realised were there before.

I greeted the spirit of the place and said I’d like to connect with it. I felt a positive feeling. There are new signs up saying not to feed the birds because it attracts rats so I’m not sure what I can bring as an offering to the Nature Spirits and the Earth Mother now.

A Blue Tit came to a bird box but didn’t go in. Instead it just landed on a tree nearby and then flew to trees around the box in a circle. After that it flew off and I didn’t see it again. I saw what I think was a swift which is the first one of those I’ve seen this year too. One of the Moorhens was hidden in some reeds and was making a lot of noise for a while and I suspect that is its nest as it is the correct time for them to be laying eggs.

butterfly

I saw a couple of small brown birds darting between trees and then later sat on a tree eating what looked like small leaves or catkins. I’m pretty sure they were Dunnocks.

On my way home I saw some bluebells which I associate with Beltaine so it reminded me that my first ADF high day is coming up….and summer is beginning. I also saw my first butterfly of the year. It had red wings and what look like four eyes on its wings so I’m assuming it was a Peacock Butterfly. It was a very calm and peaceful experience today and I relaxed so much I yawned a few times lol.