The fungus and bacteria tackling plastic waste – BBC News

Plastic is blighting the world. I try to avoid it, but my bin is still shamefully full of it.

I have managed to avoid some by not using plastic bottled soaps, shampoos and toothpastes, but it is literally a drop in the ocean.

I have tried writing to cat food manufacturers to ask then to make pouches of cat food in biodegradable packaging , but got no where, so I was heartened by this article that particularly mentions Nestle who make the cat food that my planet destroying fur balls demand.

Fungi maybe the answer to concreting over the world by making building materials and it might just save us from plastic rubbish too .Why future homes could be made of living fungus

Here’s to the mighty mycelium!

Bacteria, fungus and enzymes can all digest plastic, but can they work at a useful commercial scale?
— Read on www.bbc.com/news/business-57733178

Up and down

The teasels are flowering.

The circle of purple flowers opens both up and down the flower heads and they remind me of the wonderful lines about the candle burning at both ends.

“My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –

It gives a lovely light.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thistles: 1918.

When the brief firework of flowers are over, the seed heads will ripen and the dried heads will stand all winter long to feed the meticulous goldfinches when there seems nothing left to eat in the world.

The prickly, unpromising Teasels really are a “lovely light” at both ends of the year.

Cosy in compost

This wonderful shining knot of slow worms were coiled up together in the warm compost bin. They aren’t worms or snakes, but harmless legless lizards that share our garden and eat the slugs.

We used to be delighted if we saw one basking on a sunny day all golden smooth in the bright light. Winston the cat used to bring them to us occasionally, unharmed but tailless where they had dropped their wriggling tail in the hope of distracting a predator while they escaped. He seems to have grown out of that habit and the slow worms have happily raised families in the warmth and safely of the lidded plastic compost bin. There were at least six when the lid was raised to deposit the daily offerings of tea leaves and potatoes peelings and most just slid away amongst the cuttings and warmly decomposing compost. You can see three heads of the ones who were slower to move.

Apparently they can stay intertwined when mating for 10 hours, so there may have been good reason for their sluggishness!

I like to think of our kitchen “rubbish” breeding such beauty!

“Eye Eye”

Some mornings the moth trap produces a real wonder.

While noting the usual suspects ( footmen, yellow underwings, magpie etc etc ) I saw a hawk moth on the egg boxes. At first I assumed it was a poplar hawk moth, but it’s body was curled up like a convulous hawk moth so I took a closer look . As I gently took out the egg box on which it was sitting , it flashed two extraordinary blue and pink eyes at me.

The eyes were startling and bright and were unexpected enough to deter most predators. Just as quickly they were hidden again under dull coloured fore wings and the eyes were closed.

Many moth names are expressive or simply odd, so it was a little disappointing to find that this wonderful creature has been given the pedestrianly obvious name of Eyed Hawk-moth Smerinthus ocellata

Maybe you can suggest something more fitting to this eye catching beauty!

Suggestions please?

Adam Zagajewski

This is the only lily that survived the hail storm . It is damaged but it’s perfume is undiminished and breathtakingly lovely.

It made me think of this wonderful poem by the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. I was looking for a copy of the poem on the Poetry Foundation Website and I found that he had died only a few months ago. This poem has circled in my head since I first read it . The poem is universal , deeply human and the author was a great poet .

Try to Praise the Mutilated World

By ADAM ZAGAJEWSKITRANSLATED BY Clare Cavanagh

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

While I wasn’t looking.

Nearly a year ago, on a very hot day, a solitary wasp built a mud nest under my kitchen window sill. It filled the mud dome with food for it grubs and then it sealed the young in and flew away.

I have checked on it periodically, hoped it was still alive after a very cold winter and an icy spring. It was well sheltered from the hail by the overhang and while I was busy doing something else , the young bit their way out of the rock hard dome and literally flew the nest.

I wonder if a new wasp will be back to build again. It is cool and wet this year and these wasps are on the edge of their range, so maybe they will not venture north again this year.

The moths are about three weeks late this year. I have been mothing in this garden for so long now that I know when each species should appear. The yellow underwings are here: the large and the broad bordered: the first fan foots are here, the ubiquitous hearts and darts are here in proper numbers and the uncertains are definitely on the wing. Dark arches are appearing, common footmen and little magpie moths are in the moth trap and on the windows. Orache moths have turned up and today a lovely furry headed poplar hawk moth took a liking to my pencil and sat on it all rainy day. You can see my note book of species noted each day under his wings as he sheltered the endlessly rainy day away on the dry garden table.