Allowing Nature to have her Say

June 29, 2011,
Claire Montanaro

For me the bullfinch, a round black-headed bird with a vivid red or buff breast, is one of the most beautiful birds I know.

It is bigger than a robin and while being part of the finch family is rarely seen, which is why an occasional glimpse of a pair (for they usually travel together) is such a delight. They are seed eaters, and it is at this time of year that they are most often to be seen in the garden when their food is plentiful.

A family of four bullfinches is a regular visitor to my wildlife garden at the moment and I have been able to observe the birds closely, as I do every year when they are here. While there is an abundance of mixed seed on the ground and in feeders bought in to help the survival of farmland and garden birds, some of which are endangered by changing farming methods and lost habitats, I have noticed the bullfinches do not touch it, preferring and indeed relishing the seeds of spent dandelions, herb robert and other common weeds.

I mentioned this to Kevin, our wonderful gardener who helps to maintain our small nature reserve once a week. He told me that there is more richness in the seeds of a weed than in any “acceptable” flower or plant that has been introduced which is why they are so prized and indeed so important to many birds, for they can make the difference between life and death.

As I thought about this it made me realise how judgmental we can be about nature, deciding what is desirable or undesirable because of conventional opinion and aesthetics without, often, thinking about the purpose a plant may have in the natural hierarchy. It does not mean we must allow weeds to be rampant, but to encourage a small area of wild growth where we can will only bring good.

Having inherited an immaculately tended and weed-free garden when we arrived, as I have gone about trying to make it as wildlife-friendly as possible the greatest problems I have encountered have been not with weeds, but with ornamental plants that were introduced as part of a careful landscaping plan such as bamboo or rhododendrons which are invasive and difficult to eradicate. It has taught me that sometimes trying too hard to achieve our idea of perfection can have unforeseen consequences, and that allowing nature to have her say in how her land should be benefits every body, of all degrees.


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I am a spiritual teacher, channel and writer with a special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition, who loves nature and wildlife.  My aim is to help your human and soul journey through spiritual wisdom, spiritual connection and the raising of consciousness.


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