Plymouth Branch – Indoor Meeting Review

On Monday, 14th.November 2022 Plymouth Branch held their first Indoor meeting in nearly three years following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Seasonality – A personal account of nature through the seasons.

Ian Parsons

Author, naturalist and tour guide.

The weather and the Seasons are favourite topics of conversation in Britain, but do we really look carefully and study the changes brought about as the clock ticks and the Seasons progress? What effects are there on our wildlife and how might it affect our senses and experience of our environment?

Ian has a great understanding of these questions and in his presentation, he revealed some answers to them. Drawing on his experiences as a Forestry Commission warden, bird watcher, author and bird tour guide Ian presented a highly personal and enlightening account of nature with which he shares his life. He says in the introduction to his book, namely, “Seasonality – A personal account of nature through the seasons”, “Wildlife makes me tick. Quite simply it makes me happy”.

His passion, underpinned with deep knowledge and understanding, was clearly communicated to us with great photographs, readings from his book, personal anecdotes and fascinating nuggets of information. I am sure that we will remember the story of the Devon endemic “No parking Whitebeam” tree species and the way in which the winter thrushes can discern which berries to eat for breakfast and which ones to eat for supper!

Ian is a great advocate for trees and ably shows how much of wildlife is dependent on trees and pointing out how we often take trees for granted, he phrases this as being, “tree blind”. How many of us know the Spindle Tree or that it was once subject to laws condemning it as a threat to national security in World War 2. This common component to our native hedgerows puts on a spectacular Autumn display with exotic pink fruits that when ripe open to reveal orange seeds but it is also a food plant to Blackfly which can decimate food crops. Hence it became a target for persecution during the testing times of World war when the focus on farming efficiency became paramount.

Ian concludes in this presentation and in his book, “The seasons of the year roll on regardless: an endless cycle that dictates the rhythm of life”

John Lloyd                    Committee member Devon Birds Plymouth Branch.

Seasonality

A personal account of nature through the seasons.

Ian Parsons

Whittles Publishing ISBN 978-1-84995-505-8