If I still wrote poems I would write one to Brian, who we met last night, via a couple of slides, at Chris Packham's talk. Among all the other amazing things he (Chris, not Brian) has done over the last year, including spending time in the Antarctic, and with the bears and salmon of the North American wilderness, is to have spent some days in a local pond, watching all the little creatures. And Brian the Damsel Fly became his friend and popped over and settled on him and his camera every day.
There was another Damsel Fly - Steve - who was not friendly at all. But perhaps he was just shy?
A wonderful wonderful talk - he filled the theatre - so we hope he will be back next year.
Chris is so good on the complexity and the beautiful order of the natural world and how we disrupt it by what we do. I had no idea of the bear/salmon thing - I mean I knew the bear ate the salmon - but its what happens next. And, as we start to overfish the salmon, its what will stop happening.
And even though his talks are full of fun and upbeat, he is more than able to show us the horror of what we have done and are doing.
He told us about the overfishing going on off the Falkland islands right now, as the factory ships fill the sea there, and he showed us the vast ruined vats where thousands - hundreds of thousands? - millions? - of the Antarctic penguins were thrown, alive, into boiling water, so they could be melted down for their oil.
When Adam and Eve made their fatal decision to cut themselves off from their Creator, their Source of life, they found they could not even keep themselves alive, let alone run this beautiful and complex planet. And of course their decision was a deeply selfish one - and we have been selfish since.
Chris Packham is optimistic in the face of it all - and believes we - the children of Adam - can and will do something to stop the earth being ruined.
I am optimistic too - very - though I believe, as the Hebrew prophets of old rightly warned us, that "it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step." (Jeremiah 10:23) But I put my trust in our Creator's promise, that He, Jehovah, "will bring to ruin those ruining the earth". - Revelation 11:18
Chris ended with his poodles - Itchy and Scratchy. He discussed their feeding habits and their efficient digestive systems. And I am going to spare you the details of what we saw them doing.
But you can if you want look up 2 Peter 2:22.
In the meantime I hope Jehovah will bless little Brian and Steve the damsel flies - and that they are having, or maybe have had, a life full of joy.