I’m so happy 30 Days Wild is here! I think June is my favourite month, not just because of 30 Days Wild, but because wildlife thrives with young emerging, wildflowers blooming and trees in full leaf. It’s also warm enough to be outside everyday, whatever the weather. June just feels more wild and more inviting.
It’s been a busy few days, so it’s been more about squeezing in and noticing the wild all around me rather than going out on adventures. Here’s what I’ve been up to so far. And, as I mentioned in my last blog, I intend to draw and paint some of my wild moments this year, so see below for my first drawing!
When heading out to a BBQ with friends, I noticed newly emerging flowers on the edge of the path leading to our front door. If you can identify them for me I’d be grateful, I’m bad with plant ID and I’ve not had the chance to look them up!
We spent the day in Birmingham NEC for a convention but once we got home, I took the opportunity to check out the robin nest next to our back door now the residents have fledged! It’s really amazing how birds create these secure and cosy homes.
On this day we finally managed a proper wild adventure. We went kayaking (in our inflatable kayaks) on the River Nene with friends. There were banded demoiselles, dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies and red kites. One mayfly even landed on Alex’s sunglasses and let us take photos whilst we were having our picnic!
I was feeling a bit unwell on this evening, so I snuggled up in bed with some nature writing! I’m currently reading Chris Packham’s Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. It’s quite different to how I imagined with a unique descriptive style from both Chris’s and outtsiders’ perspectives. But I’m finding his wild encounters from his younger years enchanting! Especially the magical moments with the kestrel. Except maybe the bit when he eats tadpoles …
We had a bit of a wild day at work as it was our team away day. We visited Barcham’s Tree Nursery, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, to learn all about how they produce trees and urban forestry. It was really interesting, I learnt so many things! For example, with planting street trees there usually no soil under the pavement, just clays, rock, pipes and wires. But this isn’t necessarily an issue for the tree as long as it can still get water. The trees’ roots create organic matter for the tree to live off as they constantly die off and regenerate.
When I got home from work I sat out in the garden, and to my joy, finally saw one of the robin fledglings. We have a nest in our garden right beside the back door and we hadn’t seen any of the chicks since they fledged. So we’re pleased to see at least one of them has made it! I did a quick sketch and watercolour of a juvenile robin to mark the occasion.
I went for a wild run in Stamford meadows after work. This was my first in my 5k workout plan (using the Zombie Run 5k app). The grey clouds cleared, the breeze soothed my hot face and I truly felt surrounded by nature. Despite quickly being exhausted, I really enjoyed it. And I wasn’t bored to tears like I usually am by exercise. The evening was beautiful with the sun shining and the meadows were bursting with life with few people around. I saw a magpie pair, banded demoiselles and a heron swoop overhead. The stresses of work vanished from my head and I was just in the moment. Perfect.
What have you been up to so far for 30 Days Wild? Find out more about the month long challenge to be wild everyday and get some ideas here.