Remembrance Day for Lost Species.

November 30th is the International Remembrance Day for Lost Species. Like Transgender Day of Remembrance, I feel like this ought to be a significant day for me, but unfortunately I’ve really not been in the right frame of mind (Husband is back in hospital again, and there are other things going on too – some of which are *really* good, I hasten to add, some of which are pretty awful, and all of which are absolutely exhausting). I haven’t been able to write a prayer or make much of a plan for the day, but I wanted to at least write a blog post this time around.

The focus for this year’s Remembrance Day is pollinators, so maybe signing a petition about neonicotinoid and other pesticides would be good – this one affecting Europe, for example (https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/ban-bee-killing-pesticides-for-good-937d4563-7694-41a8-a642-65e6b0e51453), or American readers may wanna check out this site (https://savebees.org/petitions/). Certainly in the UK there are a lot of petitions going round about bee-killing pesticides, so if you’ve already signed one you could probably sign more if you felt like it.

Another good plan might be planting some flowers native to your area that are particularly helpful to pollinators such as bees – though bees are far from the only pollinators; lots of other insects, as well as some kinds of birds, reptiles, bats and sometimes other mammals, like large spotted genets, pollinate plants too. I happen to be particularly fond of moths, so if I had a garden I’d probably look into some night-blooming flowers I could grow. Doing the research to find out what’s right for your area could also be a devotional act.

This isn’t something I can do at this time, but in the future I’d love to build a ‘bug hotel’ (http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/thingstodo/inaweekend/bug-mansion.aspx). Maybe dedicate it to the Spirit of an extinct pollinator? Bat boxes are another option if that’s relevant to your area, or make changes to your garden that will benefit hummingbirds (https://www.thespruce.com/attract-nesting-hummingbirds-386412).

If you don’t have a garden but you do have a little money, it might be possible to adopt a pollinator – (http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/shop/product/adopt-bumblebee?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0vnQBRDmARIsAEL0M1nwu6Gsqiw_6pQS8P9ysk_uecpF7UEhU7sIHvYQwr2BFIvUClr6LzkaAhPkEALw_wcB) for example, or (http://www.worldanimalfoundation.org/Adopt_An_Animal/Adopt_A_Hummingbird.html).

I wanted to read out a list of every species, animal and plant, that has gone extinct in 2017, but I wasn’t able to find one (if anyone does know where I can find such a list, please let me know). I am going to set up my ‘windowsill altar’ (a little altar in a box that I set up on the windowsill for memorial days like this, and also for the Wild Hunt and visiting Ancestors at Samhain) and light a candle once I get home from the hospital. I also would like to spend some time learning more about pollinators in general, and looking into a specific extinct pollinator (the Mauritian flying fox, perhaps?) as a kinda devotional effort.

You can find out more, and see what everyone else is doing, at https://www.lostspeciesday.org/

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Festive Flapjacks.

A little odd maybe, but my family are loving them. And they’re really easy to make, too. You could create a more luxurious version by increasing the walnuts, cranberries and chocolate, but we’re having to watch the pennies right now so I’ve cut back a bit from what I would like to use. I’d suggest 75g of the walnuts and cranberries and 200g chocolate if you felt like it.

  • 175g vegan butter spread
  • 140g liquid sugar (I used golden syrup, because I found a tin when I was clearing out my cupboards. But you could probably substitute carob syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup…I imagine it would be really nice with maple syrup, but far less affordable than my version)
  • 250g porridge oats
  • 50g broken walnuts
  • 50g cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange
  • cinnamon and ginger to taste
  • 150g dark chocolate

Take a large saucepan and melt the spread into the golden syrup (or syrup of your choice). Once it’s all melted together, stir in the orange zest and spices.

Add in the oats, walnuts and cranberries and make sure everything gets coated in the butter mixture. Spread your flapjack mix into a pan and bake at Gas Mark 4/180C/350F for about 25 minutes.

Once it’s done, leave it out to cool. Then melt the chocolate and pour it over the top. There you go! All you have to do now is stick it in the fridge until the chocolate sets, slice it up and try not to eat it all at once.

And yes, I know it’s not December yet. Grinches can wait, if they really wanna.

 

Update; Once December hit I took a big batch of these to the ward Husband’s staying on for him to share with everyone (sucks to be in hospital at this time of year, the least you need is a seasonally-flavored flapjack) and I’m told that everyone liked them 🙂