When they come, don’t fight

It sounds like a quote from Ghandi or a Buddhist monk but I can’t find an owner anywhere. It struck me as quite powerful when I saw it daubed on the side of a warehouse in a run down industrial site north of Swansea Docks. It’s the sort of thing that appears on the walls of some oppressed city. It should mean something. It’s almost the opposite of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’. I wonder who wrote it and why? It’s certainly stuck with me since I got home, and I feel I should do something with it but I don’t know what. So for now it’s the title for this blog entry.

I set out first thing this morning to walk the part of the Tennant canal I’d missed while they were replacing electricity pylons earlier this year. It seemed like a nice quite stroll, no hills, a good path. Nothing too testing for the last day of my holiday.  The sun was shining, there was no breeze to disturb the water and as I walked, a quartet of ducks swam alongside me in the canal. The only people I met for the 90 minutes I was out were two dog walkers and a guy collecting blackberries. He had a carrier bag full and as we chatted I noticed he’d tied a knot in the bottom of it. He explained that there was a hole in the bag and he was hoping the knot wouldn’t give way under the weight of his harvest. Clearly a one bag household, which is good for the environment.

Where the tow path turned into a road, I decided to stop. A quick look around to determine where I was revealed the graffiti and after taking a couple of photos to remind me of the context, I headed back along the path again. I passed the blackberry man with his knotty bag and much further on, the four ducks. Only now they were flying past me in formation and at low level.

The weather forecast predicted heavy rain for today so I wanted to make the most of the sun while it was out. I headed off to Mumbles and enjoyed a coffee overlooking the lighthouse. I could live this life all the time – I don’t need to work!

And I wish they’d written ‘When they come, do not fight’. The contraction spoils it a bit for me.

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What’s lurking in the garden?

Life is hard. Not my life. I am mature enough to realise I have a pretty good one, as things go and I’m so grateful for that.  No, just life in general. And what has prompted this philosophical approach to today’s blog? Bear with me.

I’ve mention my ailments before. On top of that, last night we gigged so this morning at my usual waking time, I was fast asleep. I got up late, had a lazy breakfast and despite the sun, didn’t immediately rush out for a stroll in the countryside with Rufus. Instead, I caught up with some domestics and took a very short stroll in the garden. On a whim, I decided to take the camera and on another whim (and after reading an article in a magazine) I fitted the macro lens and a teleconverter. (That’s the only technical bit so you can read on in safety).

I found a bee and snapped a few portraits. I found a Meta Segmentata (spider) and snapped a few portraits of it, too. They were both warming in the sun so they sat still.  Then, just out of the corner of my eye I saw a sharp movement. I looked to see a huge specimen of a garden spider racing up it’s web to catch a bee that had landed and become stuck. As I watched, (and brought my camera up to my eye), it wrapped the bee up in silk – so quickly that I barely saw it. By the time the camera was ready (a few seconds) the bee was a white cocoon.

The spider was then able, at leisure, to move it’s prey down to a more secure spot.

Nature is cruel and fascinating and practical and always manages to surprise. When I turned around after watching the kill, there was my friend the little robin watching me.

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