This winter's wild weather has caused chaos for people. For wildlife and nature though, bearing in mind my comments about resilience and fragility last time, things are a little different. Rain, wind and flooding are part of the natural order and plants and animals have been coping with them for millions of years.
Flooding is something which damages our interests but which has a vital role in nature. If you are a fish, frog or aquatic insect it provides a way for you and your progeny to spread into new territory, even if it is only the ditch across the field. If you are a plant it washes nutrient-rich soils out of rivers and lakes and puts them down where your seeds germinate. As for the gales, if your seeds are windblown, like those of grasses, thistles and birches, then strong winds will spread them far and wide.
The shallow water and mud of flooded areas is also exactly what many birds are looking for. Waders and waterfowl, which include lapwings, snipe, swans, ducks and geese, are having a bumper winter in Britain. No snow and ice yet (at least not when this is being written) so no need to move any further south for food and shelter.
It's not all good news of course. The burrows of animals like moles, rabbits and badgers are in danger of inundation. Insects, tucked up for the winter as hibernating adults, larvae or pupae, will suffer from mildew and other fungi which thrive in the mild temperatures and tend to do better in very cold winters. Soil-dwelling creatures like earthworms will survive by burrowing away from the land's waterlogged surface.
This though is just a snapshot of what is happening in Britain during a few weeks of wild weather. The bigger picture regarding climate change remains a serious challenge to nature. It is one thing to cope with short-term events like floods, or slow change over millions of years, it is quite another to survive major changes in a few decades. Think, for example, of the need for plants to flower at the same time that their pollinating insects emerge. If they do not, and there is evidence that this is so, both the insects and the plants will be in trouble.