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Ash tree disease: Britain will never look the same again

100,000 ash trees have been cut down so far to combat the fungal disease

 

Kipling was on to something when he made the ash part of a forgotten mythology  Photo: Alamy

 

By Christopher Howse

8:24PM GMT 01 Nov 2012

180 Comments

And now the ashes are dying. “Don’t it always seem to go,” sang Joni Mitchell in her fey, sexy, Canadian way, “that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?” She was right.

Ordinarily – don’t you find? – it is interesting and even exhilarating to see a tree cut down. Its insides, so clean and beautifully structured, are as appetising as any tray of dressed honeycomb tripe or scrubbed pigs’ feet piled on the butcher’s counter in the market. But a diseased tree, turned to dead timber, is as repellent as a side of beef with BSE.

Some people take tree-felling harder. “The ash tree growing in the corner of the garden was felled,” wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins one April Tuesday in Lancashire, when he was still in his twenties. “I heard the sound and, looking out and seeing it maimed, there came at that moment a great pang and I wished to die and not to see the inscapes of the world destroyed any more.”

By inscape, a word he had invented about five years earlier, the poet meant “individually-distinctive beauty”. I’m not sure whether his intuition of “thisness” (on which inscape relies) is intellectually coherent. Never mind. What he did do was see and feel, and since there have already been 100,000 ash trees cut down to counter this new-found fungal disease, Chalara fraxinea, their loss should cause many a pang.

It’s not just Hopkins, but before leaving him, it’s worth borrowing his eyes for a moment. “On a December day and furled fast,” he wrote in a poem on ash boughs, “they in clammyish lashtender combs creep / Apart wide and new-nestle at heaven most high. / They touch heaven, tabour on it; how their talons sweep / The smouldering enormous winter welkin.”

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That is simply true. By lashtender I suppose he means “soft as eyelashes”, and their boughs’ ends do sweep and beat upon the sky as on a tabour. It’s the “clammyish” aspect, though, that has weighed against the ash in my experience: their clusters of seeds or keys hang soggily and their fallen leaves lie slimily on the dewy grass. That is very different from the crisp, copper leaf litter of the beech. But then we are used to seeing ashes in damp hedgerows.

They have thriven in hedges where once the elms were dominant. The loss of 25 million elms in Britain from Dutch elm disease since the Sixties has utterly transformed the landscape. It is not merely the number of trees now missing, but the lost character that they gave the places where they grew – a cricket field, say, where rooks cawed from a row of elms beyond the boundary.

It was just such a rookery of elms to which David Copperfield (Dickens in not much disguise) first opened his eyes. Their wind-tossed boughs prophesied bad times ahead. “As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weatherbeaten ragged old rooks’ nests, burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea.”

For today’s readers this picture of elms means nothing, or next to nothing, since we no longer know elms and their characteristic shape. Is it soon to be the same with ashes?

Kipling tried to give the ash tree a place in an invented mythology for England in Puck of Pook’s Hill. His triad of English trees discounted the yew, or beech, or elm, and he swore instead by oak, ash and thorn. “Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town / (From which was London born) / Witness hereby the ancientry/ Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.” He meant that the ash stood guard when Brutus, the descendant of Aeneas, settled in Britain at about the time that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites. A likely story.

Still, Kipling was on to something when he made the ash part of a forgotten mythology. He was really writing about England, rather than Britain, and the English cannot help sharing in the myths of their Germanic forebears that seem so unconvincing on stage in Wagner.

Yet, as the Eddas tell us, the ash tree Yggdrasil is the noblest of trees (though the Norsemen at last learnt of a nobler). It embraces the world. On this tree Odin himself was hanged and sacrificed himself. Only when the tree is set on fire will the world end. “Smoke wreathes up around the ash Yggdrasil, the high flames play against the heavens, the graves of the gods, of the giants and of men are swallowed up by the sea. This is Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods.”

In England now, instead of the pyres that burnt cattle during the foot-and-mouth plague (their legs dark against the sky), we see the smoke of the ash trees. It’s not the end of the world, of course. Or is it…?

 

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Countryside

In Countryside

 

Telegraph Campaign: Hands Off Our Land

 

Key questions answered on planning reform

 

Autumn puts fall in the shade

 

A blaze of glory in England’s green fields

 

     
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/countryside/9648542/Ash-tree-disease-Britain-will-never-look-the-same-again.html

 

Sparkly taps

Remove limescale from taps by taking half a lemon and rub around the end of your taps, or leave slices around the base. Leave for an hour, or overnight if they’re bad, then rub with an old toothrush or cloth and rinse. Lemon juice shouldn’t be used on plated taps.

Best Wishes, Rita @ Friends of the Earth

 

 

Treat your greens

Wash veggies in a bowl, rather than under a running tap. Then pour the water on your houseplants afterwards rather than see it gurgle down the plughole.

Best Wishes, Rita @ Friends of the Earth

 

 

 

Gay or not gay, hetero or not hetero, whatever lifes and politics makd of us.

Love your bor bro and sister.

Cease. Fire.

 

 

 

Brother,

Brot. Brat.

Broth.

 

 

 

Aan the orangutan recovering after being shot 100 times with airgun

The orangutan, thought to be around 15 years old, was rescued by conservation workers who found a staggering 104 pellets lodged in her vital organs, eyes and ears.

Yahoo! News – Mon, Nov 5, 2012

 

 

Yahoo! News – Aan is treated by conservation workers who rescued her after she was shot more than 30 times in the head (SWNS)

A brave orangutan is on the miraculous road to recovery after she was cruelly shot more than 100 times with an airgun.

Aan the great ape was repeatedly attacked by callous yobs who objected to her roaming around an oil plantation in Borneo, Indonesia.

The orangutan, thought to be around 15 years old, was rescued by conservation workers who found a staggering 104 pellets lodged in her vital organs, eyes and ears.

Horrifying x-rays show the extent of her cruel treatment, after which vets performed vital surgery to remove 37 pellets from her head and a further 67 from the rest of her body.

Horrific: An x-ray shows more than 30 pellets lodged in Aan’s head (SWNS)

The endangered ape – left blind by the repeated attacks – underwent a three-hour procedure to treat the airgun wounds and is now making a remarkable recovery.

Dr Zulfiqri, a veterinarian from the British-based Orangutan Foundation, removed 32 of the pellets lodged in her body and head during a three-hour surgery at the BKSDA-Kalteng office in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.

Aan is now recovering at the Orangutan Foundation Veterinary Facility where she is taking food and water and “showing an incredible resilience against all she has undergone”.

But Aan is now blind with scans showing a dozen pellets lodged in and around her eyes – meaning food and water must be touched or placed in her hands.

The foundation says it is now unlikely Aan will ever be released back into the wild because she will be an easy target for hunters and angry farmers who view orangutans as pests.

Her story is another tragic example of the plight faced by orangutans in the wild as they have their habitat destroyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aan, 15, pictured before she received vital surgery (SWNS)
Despite being protected by law, orangutans live in rainforests which are being destroyed through logging and conversion to oil-palm plantations.

It is hoped her experience will help raise awareness of the cruel situation suffered by orangutans in the wild – and encourage tough punishments on those who hunt and kill the endangered animals.

Earlier this year four men were sent to jail for eight months for shooting and beating to death three orangutans and long-nosed monkeys in East Kalimantan.

Mr Bambang Hartono, head of the local conservation agency, said: “I hope that Aan will now feel more comfortable being in the forest living in a large holding cage.

“We will work together with the Orangutan Foundation to find the best way so that Aan can continue to live.”

Ashley Leiman OBE, director of the Orangutan Foundation added: “We have worked in Borneo over 20 years and have never had to rescue three orangutans in four days.

“The reasons for the increase could be due to the rapid loss of orangutan habitat or it could be because more people are reporting orangutans to the wildlife department whereas before they would have killed
them.”

 

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/aan-the-orangutan-recovering-after-being-shot-100-times-with-airgun-05112012.html

 

pelt, and for whom can think it is a joke of no taste and whatsoever senses, I ll ceno censor myself.

 

offer,

surrender.

Suffer.

 

Oft.

Ofter.

Off terrestriaity.

 

And try to remember to feed the birds.


 

Slaughterhouse shut down after video shows cows being tortured

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/331301#ixzz2BiznqQmR

http://digitaljournal.com/article/331301

 

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