Hibernation…..it’s that time of year

when it comes to hibernation we often think about animals curling up in warm safe dark cosy place… hibernating reminds me of the Hedgehog ….Actually if you think about the winter months and the way that we often on a dark wet cold winters day batten down our hatches sinking into our sofas, lighting those candles and eating chocolate, we also find the winter months a time to rest up….A kinda of human hibernation….The word hibernate means to spend the winter months in a dormant state…well actually that’s the animal’s definition…..For human beings it is to remain inactive or indoors for a set period of timeHibernation for animals is when they take to their nests to protect themselves from the harsh weather conditions and lack of food. They snooze the months away until the better weather returns ….We would all like to take a long season’s snooze like the animals but it would be for selfish reasons and not survival .. however we do tend to shut down, lick our wounds in private or stop socialising when things or times have been difficult ,a human kind of coping mechanism to protect ourselves when things get tough….just think about the energy we would gain back and the rejuvenation that we would feel if we could stop our lives for 4 months of the year taking to our beds …but its never gonna happen ….can you imagine the consequences of such actions and the recovery of catching up !!!!!Along with the hedgehog the squirrel does its own kind of hibernating ….Take a leaf out of this cute rather savvy animal’s book… They don’t actually like the bitter cold weather so they hunker down in their den opting to stay warm with their friends rather than venture out …when there is a break in the weather they will venture out usually to dig up your lawn to find their stash of summer foraged treats ….3 years worth of food they forage throughout one summer and fall …. that is a real busy quest and well thought out preparation for survival ….Tress go through a similar process to hibernating this time of year but it’s called dormancy and that’s what actually keeps them alive ….The first stage is leaf dropping and it is what we know as Autumn …..but is the forest really sleeping ???…is the soil really laying dormant??? …well ….yes and no …whilst plants bulbs and trees rest up and we see a garden or landscape in despair…an untidy patch of dirt lacking in colour ,extremely tired looking in fact half dead to our naked eye …. we have emotions attached to what we see ….a big mess that we desperately want to get out and control… I know we all say “I can’t wait to get out in the garden” as the winter progresses, some of us missing the window to tidy up before the heavy rain and frosts reck our summer glory …. …..but what is really happening is a perseveration of energy within the land so that nature can give the most wonderful display of colour as the seasons return …. snowdrops and daffodils peeping their heads above the soil to unfold into colours of a promise of better days …those sunshine colours blowing in the march winds . the ferns start to protrude unrolling their deep green leaves and the trees cover themselves in blossoms in many colours ready to feed our bees which in turn pollinates the trees to bear fruit for harvest …..and so the cycle begins again ….you get the pictureso we go back to the hedgehog ….I love them and I remember seeing them scuttle across the gardens when I was a child …but i don’t think my kids have ever seen a hedgehog ……that makes me sad …I remember the message this time of year was to check the ever growing size of the bonfire before lighting it on 5th nov for the little poppets because they were hankering down for their long winter sleep…..this message isn’t spoken out anymore….I loved the tale of mrs Tiggy winkle I loved her plump little body and the clothing she wore but oddly now reading the story it is a bit strange …a washer woman who helped lucie find her handkerchiefs whilst doing lots of other animal’s laundry …..Apparently Mrs Tiggy winkle was based on Beatrix Potter’s own pet hedgehog, the inspiration for the character came from a Scottish washerwoman…..I would have loved to have known her ….kind huggable hardworking and keen to please ….my kind of girl !!!In 1566 a three pence bounty was placed by the english parliament on the head of each hedgehog that was caught and killed the church too offered its own bounties for the slaughter of the hedgehogs because they were deemed to be witches in disguise …..interesting hey …because I can’t begin to imagine who dreamt up such silliness ….a witch in hedgehog’s clothing …weird lot back in the 15th century !!!So as the season changes and the nights draw in how are you going to express yourself or keep yourself going until the better weather returns …. I am going to make a nest to keep myself warm …make sure I have plenty of food in for those wet cold Sunday afternoons and I will create a cosy atmosphere (candles are normally my go too on those dull days )…and I will make sure I share my time with plenty of friends popping out when the weather gives way to a crisp cold sunny day, until the warmer months reappear in all its glory …..I will take a leaf from the books of both the hedgehog and the squirrel …its as simple as that ….love and light kirsten xxxxRelated image

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