With The Wonders Of Nature
With the wonders of Nature nothing to compare
And the Goddess of Nature she lives everywhere
And the secrets of Nature not for humans to know
At the magic of Nature our wonder does grow.
The beauty of Nature is for all to see
It is all around you and it is all around me
The cold winds of Winter blow up from the sea
But how lovely the pink flowers bloom on the camellia tree.
The music of Nature an amazing thing
On trees and on bushes the birds chirp and sing
I feel that to Nature us humans too belong
Though in saying that some may say I have got it wrong.
The beauty of Nature I see every day
And I marvel at her is all I can say
The passing of her Seasons have left me looking gray
And in her dark earthy bosom my remains will lay.
As my regular followers are aware, my passion for photography gives me the opportunity to visit a variety of places in and around near to where I live. For those who don’t already know this, I live very close to an area that is a well-known as a historically industrialized city, although I live on the outskirts of Birmingham in a town called Solihull, this gives me the advantage of major transport networks across most of the Midlands and the UK in general. However, I don’t always find that I really have to travel too far outside of this area in general to be able to visit places of natural beauty or of historic interest, and be able to see a wide range of species of birds, and other wild animals in their natural habitat as well as at Zoo’s or Wildlife Reserves.
I appreciate and love nature, and I always have done. There is something about nature and wildlife that intrigues me. But what fascinates me even more is being able to watch and capture wildlife, animals, and insects on camera and being able to try to understand for instance why any of these creatures do what they do and why they do it. Everything they do must have some significance or as many believe some consequence in our lives as well as their own.
There are various other elements involved, for instance seeing the elegance and beauty of a swan gliding its way across a river or lake. But what also opens my mind is seeing and understanding why a pair of swans will be so very protective of their youngsters, or even why a cob will stand on water with fully outstretched wings proving its dominance to other male swans in the surrounding territory, and yet they can still live in harmony in such a large flock, (or to give it the correct technical name a Wedge of Swans) as well as being surrounded by other numerous water birds such as geese, ducks, coots, moorhens and even sometimes huge flocks of seagulls and pigeons. I sometimes can’t help but think that most birds are more wary of any one human standing or sitting by them at any one time than of any groups of other species of animals or birds in their immediate vicinity.
It isn’t just the beauty of a brightly coloured flower on camera that appeals to me. We all understand that a bee goes from flower to flower in order to collect pollen and the end result is for us a jar of satisfying and delicious honey, but it is also important to remember that pollination of all of these species of flowers continue, and in effect that is also what bees do, by cross-pollination they are doing their bit in order for these species of flowers to survive and continue for thousands of more years, and namely for our benefit.
I’ve watched ladybirds and ants climbing the stalks of roses and various other plants, seeing them feed and keep in check colonies of green-fly and black-fly, and thus protecting the plant at the same time. Ive seen so many different species of flowers and plants survive such harsh weather conditions, and thrive the following season.
Having said all this, I do often wonder just how many people out there, give only a simple casual glance at these wonderful things in nature taking place, and take it for granted, simply because they are there, and people have always noticed they were there and will believe that they will always be there in the future. In recent months I have begun to realise more people than I originally thought do this. If they see something funny or unusual happening with animal, such as birds or other animals mating in public, they will normally laugh it off and make a bit of a crude rude joke about it. Others like myself are amazed what habits other creatures get up to.
A few weeks ago I went to Jephson Park in Leamington with my camera. I have often seen flocks of pigeons, around parks, shopping centres and basically almost every where and although I do watch them for a few minutes at a time, I have never really had time to ‘study’ them or understand their habits.
I think most people see pigeons as a bit of nuisance and vermin, I have often heard them referred to as ‘rats with wings’. On the other hand in some foreign cultures they are treated with a huge amount of respect, and have religious significance, and are an important part of many culture.
Over many years these birds have been bred as messengers, pets, as well as a source of food. Charles Darwin was himself a pigeon fancier, used the pigeon in the opening chapter of his book The Origin of Species to demonstrate the principles of natural selection. There have been recorded finding of pigeons as far back as 3000 BC. I found out more recently that during the first and second world wars, they were involved in a major way in their use as messengers by gathering intelligence, and have been responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives, including at the D-Day landings. The first biblical reference to a pigeon was in the old testament. It was the Sumerians in Mesopotamia that first started to breed white doves from the wild pigeon that we see in our towns and cities today and this undoubtedly accounts, certainly in part, for the amazing variety of colours that are commonly found in the average flock of urban pigeons.
I could go on and on about these incredible little creatures, but instead what I want to do is show you a sequence of photos that I took at Jephson Park a few weeks ago, I had to smile when I saw the behaviour of one particular pair, and I do remember thinking to myself at the time that romance is still alive and kicking. I was watching a male pigeon ‘strutting his stuff’ so to speak, showing off and attracting a female, by puffing up his plumage, standing tall with chest out, chasing the female and ‘courting’ her before she finally agreed to accept him as her partner.
Hope you like the selection of photos, which tell a story. All photos Sue Westwood Photography (C) 2014
Thanks for stopping by.