Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Life Difficulties

Living things are so fascinating.  How does a fungus suddenly materialise, that can kill huge Ash trees?  How do parasitic worms mutate to become resistant to worming medicine or bacteria to antibiotics?  Life is interesting but it is so closely linked to death.  This is played out daily, right outside my living room window. The badgers snuffle in the lawn eating the worms, the bats eat the moths, the fox stalks the pheasants and the Sparrow Hawk makes regular sweeps of the feeding station to catch unsuspecting birds.  It is a side of nature that I find hard to come to terms with but the need for sustenance is intrinsic to life so has to be accepted however brutal.

This poor pigeon was not quick enough to avoid the agile Sparrow Hawk and was taken down just inches from our living room window.  The Sparrow Hawk remained devouring its prey, even when I went out to get the clothes in from the washing line, which was about 12ft away, and it carried on eating well after night fall. When he eventually flew off there was not a bit left other than feathers.  How can one begrudge a hungry bird like this its supper.

Another recent,  rather macabre scenario, happened in our bathroom the other day.  I went in there one evening to see a rather chunky spider walking across the ceiling.  It was cold outside so I left him to his wanderings, telling him not to go in the bath (I usually catch them and put them out the window..I never kill them). Sure enough the next morning, Chunky was in the bath, so I slung a towel over the side and left him to find his own way out which he quickly did, disappearing from view.  Then a little while later I noticed him, back on the ceiling again, heading fast to where a thin, long legged spider had made a web in the corner.  They started fighting but in an instance and before I could rescue either of them, Chunky had been killed..I felt quite sad and thin legs was, needless to say, deposited outside!

It really is survival of the fittest and this is the one thing that makes me feel better about all the death in nature as not only does it assure a the strength of a species but it can also save a lot of suffering by ending the lives of sick, weak and injured creatures that may otherwise suffer long painful deaths.  The trouble is, humans mess it all up, even for our own species.  I don't know what the answer is but it worries me that, with an ageing population, I keep meeting old sick people who are very unhappy and say they are tired of life and just want it to end and yet on the other hand there is my son's partner wondering if it is ethical to have children when the world is overpopulated (my opinion is that is is vital to have at least one child as we need young people to carry the country forward and provide for all the old people:)

All this deep thought about life and death has come about because my 89yr old mother, after two years of struggling with Alzheimer's, has now got a place in the best care home I could find but she is very unhappy and is desperate to go back to her bungalow again.  This has left me in a quandary.  Do I give up everything and become her full time carer (but is that fair on my husband) or do I get people in to care for her (something she is adamant she doesn't want) or do I make her stay in this lovely care home even though she doesn't want to?  I don't know what to do and I feel overwhelmed and very upset.

All the problems with my mother hasn't left anytime to do my livestock volunteering with the Downlands Project and I am missing it greatly.... I feel the need to hug a sheep:)))  We have just about managed to keep up with our livestock checking though and with two flocks of sheep and the two ponies to visit, it has been a welcome break from the stresses of my mother's predicament.  The ponies, who are now back on Saltbox SSSI, are suffering with burs caught in their manes and tails, particularly Tavey who now looks like he is wearing some odd kind of hair accessory:)).  They will eventually fall out themselves, although, when they allow we are giving them a helping hand as they are quite prickly so probably a bit uncomfortable.

It is around this time of year that the rams are put in with the ewes so I hope that all goes well.  I have heard that the young Jacob Ram has a lot to learn about females!!:)))))

It is so nice at the end of these rather distressing days, to get home and snuggle up with hubby and a glass of wine, in front of our new wood burning stove.  The room still needs decorating but that can wait.  At the moment we are just enjoying being warm:)))

Lastly ( if you haven't got too bored) this is a poem I found when I was cleaning my mother's bungalow today.  She had carefully copied it out from somewhere (author unknown) and it sums up how she always tried to look on the bright side of life..I hope she can again:))

The best is never over, the best is never gone,
There's always something lovely, to keep you struggling on.
There's always compensations, for ever cross you bear,
A secret consolation, hidden well somewhere.
Ends are new beginnings, and one day you will see
The best is never over, the best is yet to be.


Anonymous said...

Hi sound like you are going through such a tough time at the have my sympathy.

My horse gets a few burs each year but they don't seem to bother him. Does Tavey mind having so many?

Wish you well with your mum...Sam

Helen said...

Hi Sam

Tavey doesn't seem bothered by the burs at all, even the ones under his tail. It is more me and other passer-bys, so I spent a very enjoyable half hour combing them all out the other day.

Thanks for you sympathy re my mum. I am pleased to say she was a bit happier yesterday which was strange as the night before she had been on the phone to us in tears pleading to come home although she didn't remember anything about this the next day)She is still very confused but we've been assured this will improve as she relaxes. I hope so as it is very distressing.