The Wildlife Trusts “30 days wild” challenge: Week Three!

Well hello there!

Welcome back to another round up of my week during the Wildlife Trusts 30 days wild challenge!

We are now more than half way through this challenge – can you believe it? I certainly can’t – it’s flying by! Sadly, with returning to work this week, I have not been able to do many ‘exciting things’ and the weather has not been that nice, so I have been limited with time. But I have made the most of the time that I had and have created my acts of wildness around it. What have you been doing so far? I would love to know your ideas!


Monday 15th June.

Good day to you all!

How are we all? Today I went for another walk to a place I have not been before, it was so nice to get out and feel immersed in the countryside, which is actually not far from a busy main road at all.

There was lots of wildlife activity, plenty of bees and other pollinators, a dead mole – although sad, this was amazing to see. Moles rarely come above ground unless necessary, so to see their fossorial adaptations up close was fantastic.

We moved said mole to the undergrowth, so it was away from the path of any passing dogs and people. 

Dead Mole.

Tuesday 16th June.

Take hold of your dreams. Although not directly related to wildlife, this is something I am really pleased about.

I have always wanted to study Zoology and work in a related field. However, this is quite a competitive sector and it has been difficult to find strings to add to my bow throughout lockdown. I have been trying my best, and this blog is part of that effort. I also find that, in some cases, it can be quite difficult to find that ‘breakthrough moment’, so a while back, I decided to push myself and quash my anxiety and apply for a Postgraduate certificate in Science Communication and I am thrilled to say that today I found out that I have been accepted!

One step closer to achieving my dreams of making a difference to the natural world and people’s wellbeing. Never give up; struggling isn’t failing. 


Wednesday 17th June.

Today I return to work. And with returning to work in retail, I was a little nervous, especially when faced with closure. Nevertheless, I must keep my chin up and surrounding myself with nature always makes me feel better!

So whilst I was at work, I was briefly outside and heard the hauntingly beautiful melody of a blackbird above the ruckus of returning traffic, and I just took a few deep breathes to recharge and get back to work. 


Thursday 18th June.

I am back at work today, and it was very busy and stressful! Sadly, this means that I can’t quite get out into nature as much as I would like. However that is the reality of modern life – we are often rushed, harassed and preoccupied with many things, that we rarely notice the details of our lovely wildlife. 

However, once I got home, I got myself a cup of tea and sat in the garden. After a little while, I was joined by a little visitor, helping his or herself to an apple we had put out for the birds. At first I wondered how on earth the apple could be moving by itself. So, naturally I gently went inside and grabbed my camera. 

My model was quite shy and could barely be seen over the grass it was so small. Can you guess what it was??

A Wood mouse!

They are adorable and much smaller than you think. I have not seen one for so long, I forgot how small they are! This bright eyed visitor was making the most of the apple on the ground and also the seed and worms that had been dropped from the bird feeders. I managed to get some very sweet photos of the afternoon mouse.


Friday 19th June.

Another day, another random act of wildness. I didn’t get home from work until early evening, and after I had relaxed and had my tea – a delicious pizza, thanks for asking – I was lacking inspiration for today’s wildness act. But as night was falling, I went out into the garden as I had wanted to capture a time lapse of the evening creeping in and also of the stormy clouds passing over. After I had finished that task, I noticed that a couple of snails were attacking my cosmos! Now, I am against slug and snail killer, it is dangerous and unnecessary. So instead, after a lightbulb moment, I decided to place them on the patio and make a time lapse of them travelling – a snail race if you like. Though from this experiment, I concluded that snails have no desire to compete in a race – they just amble about in search of food and a mate!

Here is the footage of that encounter. It is very shaky, I was half hanging out of the back door to stop my tripod from slipping, plus indoor light was creating havoc, so I had to improvise with a mini torch, which is why it is particularly bright in some places. But it doesn’t matter! Just give it a go!

Garden Snail Race. Look out for a hitchhiker coming off the snail at the back.

Saturday 20th June.

So it is the penultimate day of week 3 of my attempt at 30 days wild.  

Today I was inspecting the lilies we have in the garden and I discovered some “pests”. But pest is just a term we give to something we don’t want. Anyway the said ‘invader’ is the Lily beetle. These bright red, true bugs are very obvious on the green leaves. They are bright red to warn predators that they are toxic/don’t taste nice so they don’t get eaten. This is known as Aposematism. 

Now I removed them from their love nest – yes I mean love nest. I am afraid I may have ruined a few of their plans that night shall we say. I then heard a squeak, and couldn’t figure out where/what it was coming from.  Then…I raised my hand to my ear and lo and behold the squeaks were coming from the captive Lily Beetles. I then found out that they produce this squeak by rubbing their wing cases (elytra) together. If you have not heard them before, they basically sound like either a squeaky hinge or someone making very high pitched kissing noises. 

Don’t worry the beetles are safe and sound and no doubt are munching their way through my lilies to their hearts content!


Sunday 21st June.

Happy Fathers Day and happy end of week 3 of 30 days wild. 9 days left to go!

No rest for the wicked, back in work today. So I went for an easy but fabulous act of wildness this afternoon. Stop and smell the flowers.

In my garden, there is a stunning Mock Orange bush that blossoms in June. I was away in Scotland last year, so missed it at it’s prime. But this year, I can watch it from beginning to end. The scent is so strong but delicate. After observing the different species of fly busy pollinating it, I took some photographs as a memory.

Also, as the day went on, the Night Scented Stock starts to release it’s heady perfume. For such spindly, delicate flowers – they really pack a punch. So much so, I just had to pick a couple of stems to bring in the house. It is amazing and a feast for moths during the night. 

Mock Orange Blossom.

Charlotte

xoxo

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