Sunday, 10th July, 2022
We met a lady in a wheelchair coming along a cycling/walking path. She started telling me about how the council had cut the verges last month and destroyed the wild flowers and the habitats of wild butterflies. She was mad about it and shared the story of her directing that rage at the council. They did apologise at least but they obviously can’t uncut it. She knew a lot about butterflies, at least could name a lot of varieties. She said she takes photos of all the wildlife along the track. The track is the old railway line that’s been made into a path for people to walk and cycle along. I briefly got a glimpse of the camera she uses. A lumix compact model with fixed lens. It was on a small tripod, maybe for her to hold with one hand whilst manoeuvring her chair. I did wonder if she set it on surfaces to take pictures but not sure how that would work, unless she waited a long time for butterflies and insects to land back on flowers again. Supposedly there’s a rare breed of moth that visits this area and the cutting down incident has been detrimental to its numbers. The council said they cut the verges “because of the cyclists”. Maybe they were really overgrown onto the path? The lady didn’t understand how that was a reason, when cyclists “aren’t looking to the sides but where they are going”. I’d also think that it would be nice to cycle along with flowers at the sides. My wife caught us up and the lady told the story again to her. I wonder where she keeps the photos. Does she print them out into a journal and write information about them. Surely there’s more to record than just a picture. Maybe she has a website. My guess is no, but only because she’s “of retirement age” and the probability is low - even if that is ageist. She might use some software on the computer to put the information together. She reminded me of the individuals I saw in the Tinderbox weekly calls. Majority were 50s+ and all doing some sort of project on the computer which they used Tinderbox for. They knew what they were up to but some had never seen HTML code.
To have a passion and purpose where the content is more important than the process, and to not have a feeling of embarrassment over doing it - in fact having the passion to actively complain to authorities. To do it for the reason that it’s the right thing to do, and probably that no-one else would do it.