The Planet’s Gut Feeling

There are so many values, so many points of view in the world that it’s sometimes hard to know where we stand. There are extremists of all kinds, and even the moderates can be a bit too extreme in their view! Maybe not take any values at all and allow all? No thanks, that doesn’t sit well with my gut feeling. My conscience has a very physical presence in my body, you know.

And if the world listened to its body? I don’t only mean my body and your body, though that’s an important part of it, I mean the Earth itself. There’s a deep correspondence between our bodies and the world, something deep in our nature that responds to the planet’s wellbeing.

And if we look at what happens in the world and take notice of the sensation it gives the body? I think there are signals there that we don’t always pay attention to, something that we are taught not to pay attention to.

We ignore what our gut tells us and we ignore what the planet tells us, and I’ve got a gut feeling these are connected somehow, lol.

Dragonfly Survey

Click on this image and you’ll see Mika’s blog on the same thing in Spanish.

The other day Josep and Ricard of Oxygastra came to do a survey of the different species of dragonflies and damselflies. Also a friend of ours, Jesús Ortiz of CEN, also came along.

It was interesting collecting samples of empty nymph skins, and perhaps most fun of all was  going round with nets trying to catch living samples! (I caught two).

In the end nine different species were found in two different places on the land. Here’s a list of the different species and their Latin names.

In the naturalised swimming pool  we found:

Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) – one beautiful damselfly if ever I saw one! Also one I caught myself.

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) – one I’m sure I’ve seen in England.

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum canellatum) – another one I caught.

Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea) – we saw this distinctive red one for a while wondering what it could be.

Common or Southern Darter (Sympetrum striolatum/meridionale) – from what I understood this could be one of two species.

Behind the house is a small stream where we found a few:

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) – we saw a female laying her eggs. We’d seen their nymphs recently, and what ferocious lookers they are!

Keeled skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)

Onychogomphus sp. – another that I believe wasn’t properly identified. There are various species of  Onychogomphus.

Andrea and the Gnomes

A little while ago I mentioned that I’d entered a story writing competition with Catalonia Today‘s Write On competition. All stories had to start with “Andrea knew today would be special.” And from there you could make up any story you wanted. For me it was about some troublesome Gnomes who lived at the bottom of Andrea’s garden.

Since the competition has already been published in the latest magazine I can now share what I did, with you (btw, I didn’t win, but there’s always another time!).

Andrea knew today would be special. Today she would be leaving Snailfield village to go to work in London. It was such an exciting prospect! Except of course she’d have to break the news to her neighbours, who were sure to protest. Not the neighbours of 15 or 19 either side of her, nor Ethel over the road, but the ones at the bottom of the garden. It was infested with gnomes.

She was the only human they trusted, and, more importantly, the only one to put up with their troublesome ways. They loved her for it. She had to tell them at the last minute otherwise it’d be impossible for her to leave, and impossible for the new tenants.

“Girrumz?” she called. “You there?”

Between the calendulas a little red hat came into view, and a little bearded face peered up looking like it had just woken up.

“`lo”. It mumbled.

Andrea considered her next move carefully, “I’ve got something to tell you.”

Girrumz raised his eyesbrows.

“I’m leaving. For three months.”

“’kay,” he said with utter nonchalance.

“There’s to be tenants living here for that time. You promise not to cause them problems, won’t you?”

“’kay,” Andrea was feeling worried by his calmness.

“No tying up their dog.”


“No tying hair whilst they sleep.”


“Oo’s that?” a voice called out from the pansies.

“s’ndrea.” Girrumz replied.

The voice was from Marthipin, Girrumz’s wife. Girrumz was just the spokeperson, Marthipin was the one that ran the whole show.

“Wot she want?”


“Oh,” a pansy said.

Another hat appeared, Marthipin’s, followed by a hoard of others. It looked like they were all there, but there was something wrong that Andrea couldn’t pin down, something missing. Not only that but they should be putting up a fight, convincing her not to go or playing a trick to stop her going.

“Well, bye for now.”

“Yep, bye bye,” lots of little hands started waving.

As Andrea walked away Girrumz disappeared like lightning to the front of the house.

“Neeve!” he called to the gnome missing from the hoard, “You finished with the car tires?”

“Mmmmpf,” confirmed a voice behind a flat wheel.

Good, Girrumz thought, she’s not the only one that can pull surprises like this at the last minute. What did she think, that we wouldn’t find out?

“You get back the others, Neeve; I’ll cut the phone.”