When Charli invited her followers to write a story to show what it is to protect nature around us, I thought I’d tag mine onto a recent post addressing that theme. But both of those that sprang to mind – see below for links – already had a 99-word story or two attached. I could have used the prompt to develop my skills in nature writing – I certainly need the practice – but more pressing projects – again, linked below – meant I didn’t have the time or headspace. Although nature cues my creativity, I’m more adept articulating human nature than weather, animals and plants. So I’ve gone for a predominantly pictorial post, based on my garden, leading to my flash fiction contribution about distanced dating, a prompt from the early days of lockdown, and clashing concepts of what protecting nature actually means.
What I should be working on rather than farting about uploading images:
A glimpse of my garden in April
A bigger glimpse of my garden in June
A glimpse at my garden in July
I hope you get a message that, although there are several cultivated plants, especially those for food, we’re trying to protect nature in the process, with lots of wild areas (including my vegetable plots) and flowers attractive to insects. But let’s get to the words!
My story jumped out at me when I noticed a couple of wine corks on the kitchen counter by the backdoor as I set out to patrol my vegetable garden early this morning. After heavy rain last night, I was expecting to slaughter a few slugs, which got me thinking about how we pick and choose about nature conservation. A particular bugbear of mine is the war against the plastic carriers at supermarkets (which are actually quite useful), while we continue to purchase food double-wrapped in cling-film and throwaway bags for dog shit and lining bins. All of which I’ve thrown into the word-salad of my flash. Why not listen to the song while you read?
Come into the garden, Maud!
He showed her his outdoor Jacuzzi. She showed him her wildlife pond. She gave him a tour of her birdfeeders. He commended the pellets that kept his hostas slug free. He presented his PVC decking. She volleyed with her woodpile, a haven for hedgehogs, she hoped. The advantage of lockdown dating: exploring his habitat safely online.
She made a tisane from her herb garden. He poured wine from his well-stocked cellar. Where was his commitment to conservation? Was his profile a lie? “I never buy wine with a plastic stopper. Preserve the cork forests to save eagles and linx.”