Wayfarer Column- Nature is wonderful but unpredictable

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As we wander along the highways and byeways of life looking for tales to tell, we can wonder at not only the beauty of nature but also the way it provides for itself.

Approaching autumn as we drive along the roads we find our windscreen beset by tiny white puffs which turn out to be the seeds of dandelions, the bane of many a good lawn.

But remember that a weed is only a flower in the wrong place and those seeds are nature’s way of propagating the plant and ensuring its future. You endeavour to protect your lawn from these invading seeds, but also stop to consider the times you have driven along those same roads in the springtime to be entranced by a host of golden dandelions bordering the road giving it a very attractive yellow path to travel along.

Nature is wonderful but not always predictable and you often find it difficult to understand.

For example in Wishaw back in 1908 some young men were making their way home through a wood when they saw this unearthly glow which at first they thought to be a ghost.

However these young men were made of stern stuff and hesitantly made their way forward to discover that the glow came from an ash tree which gave out a light strong enough to read by.

There was no logical reason why this should happen, but there you are nature surprising us and I am sure that those young men were greatly relieved that it was not a ghost haunting them.

Back in 1889 in Penpoint, Dumfrieshire a farmer out walking his fields one day saw what he at first thought was a large flock of birds, but as they seemed to be all falling straight down to the ground, he went forward to where they were thickest to investigate. He caught the largest one to find that it was an oak leaf and as the air was thick with them it perplexed the farmer as there were no trees thereabouts and the nearest clump of oak trees was some eight miles away.

There was only a gentle breeze yet a tract of about a mile wide and two miles long was thickly covered with oak leaves and only oak leaves.. The farmer a Mr. Wright reported it and his account was published in Nature 1890 but without any explanation of this phenomenon of nature. So you see whilst you wander these highways and byeways you should keep a keen observation on what nature is surprising you with, but do not let it deter you as it is only nature reminding you of its powers. See you next week with more surprises.