Hello one and all. So we have finally reached the end of another year of the 30 days wild challenge. I swear June vanished in the blink of an eye!
Grab a cup of tea, coffee, prosecco – whatever you like, sit back and have a look at what I got up to in the final week of 30 days wild.
Monday 22nd June.
Happy Monday everyone. Whilst the weather isn’t perfect, it is still nice enough to spend time in the garden. I also wanted to take the opportunity to make the most of the Orange Blossom that is still in bloom, so I gathered some of the blossom, some scabious, welsh poppy leaves, aruncus, geranium, mint and flowering thyme. I like to mix scented flowers and herbs together, as although the blossom won’t last long, the structure of the scabious and their seed heads and the scented foliage make it last a lot longer once the blossom has been removed.
For this I recycled a small gin bottle, which adds an extra pop of colour and it also makes it extra nature friendly! It is also the perfect size for a little posy and perfect for leaving on the doorstep for a loved one or neighbour to let them know you are thinking of them.
Tuesday 23rd June.
At the beginning of lock down I planted some tomato seeds. The odds seemed against us as we did not have a greenhouse etc. But thankfully they germinated and were coming along nicely and were almost ready to be moved to a bigger pot for the next stage of their growth. However, as we had no choice but to use old compost, sadly, there was a fungus in it that attacked my plants and they all died. I was determined not to give up. One Friday evening I was watching Gardner’s World on the telly, and lo and behold there was a feature on growing tomatoes from seeds of shop bought tomatoes and keeping them on the window sill until they were big enough to cope with any rough patches of weather. So, the very next day, I removed the seeds from some cherry tomatoes in a salad and laid them out to dry on a piece of kitchen roll for a couple of days, and then I planted them into pots, with new compost.
A few weeks later and I am a proud mum to 10 little tomato plants. I don’t even like raw tomatoes, but even if I get one fruit from them, I shall be extremely happy. I also created mini greenhouses by recycling old pop bottles, cutting them in half and placing them over the top of the plants. It works a treat!
Wednesday 24th June.
As I was at work today, I didn’t have much of a chance to do anything wild during the day. Plus, it was so hot during the heatwave that I had little energy to do anything too taxing when I got back after a slightly stressful shift. I waited until night had fallen when I went out into the garden to have an explore in the dark. I was hoping to maybe spot a hedgehog but to no avail. I heard lots of rustlings, but everything sounds bigger in the dark. I did however, spot a pretty big moth, one of the biggest ones I have seen in the garden, a perfect food source for the bats we get flying over. I recorded some footage of it and I displayed an attack aversion behaviour, whereby when I gently turned the leaf to get a better view of the markings, it quickly dropped off into the border. It was fine as I saw it emerge and carry on feeding.
Thursday 25th June.
With the heatwave still ongoing, I really wanted a cold drink. We never use plastic straws as in the disposable ones, but I do have a reusable plastic one, but I have had them since I was little and I wanted something portable for if I was going out anywhere that didn’t have paper straws. So, I ordered a set of rose gold metal straws complete with pouch and cleaning brushes to help reduce my single use plastic usage and show others how simple it is to buy and use one. Plus, they are very pretty!
Friday 26th June.
Well it has been a very clammy day and we are forecast thunderstorms and heavy rain showers. Indeed, whilst I was at work, there were a few rumbles of thunder in the distance and a very heavy shower. The rest of the day showed more of the same and as the stuffy air began to clear, and the black clouds broke apart, the sky turned pink and a beautiful rainbow appeared. So I spend around 10 minutes, listening to the birds tentatively beginning to sing after hunkering down, feeling the clear breeze and observing the beautiful colours in the rainbow, and hoping that it is true about the pot of gold at the end!
Saturday 27th June.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have noticed so many spiders in the house, and it is getting a bit too much now! I am rather sick of being surprised by the sudden appearance of cellar spiders and house spiders. Now because they seem to be everywhere, I thought I should try to appreciate them a bit more. Spiders have separate niches in order to survive like most animals, for example, cellar spiders actually eat other spiders etc. We also found a Cucumber Spider, which had a bright green abdomen, and little indentations like cucumber seeds. I have never seen one before, that I can remember, so that was a tick off the list! So just trying to appreciate the creatures that we don’t like or simply overlook was a great way to perform a random act of wildness.
Sunday 28th June.
Back at work again, and whilst manning the door, a bumblebee came flying across, heading to go shopping. It must have been tempted by the sale. However, if it had entered, it probably wouldn’t be able to get back out. Luckily this happened before people started to arrive and I simply raised my clipboard between the bee and the entrance, and the bee quickly changed direction and lived to see another day. I didn’t even need to touch it. And we all know how much bees need our help.
Monday 29th June.
Todays act was a really quick and easy one. Once again, I was on door duty at work, and I noticed a bit of plastic wrapping floating along the pavement in the breeze. I quickly ran after it and managed to pick it up and put it in the bin. If you see rubbish like that, remember to pick it up and bin it/recycle it. They so quickly endanger wildlife or end up in our water systems.
Tuesday 30th June.
So here we are. The Finale. Where did June go? In fact, where did the first half of the year go?! The last random act of wildness for this challenge 2020 is to watch the Blackbird chicks that have just fledged in the garden. They still have their gapes, making them look rather grumpy and they have Einstein like tufts of down still on their heads, as well as no tail feathers. You can hear them around the garden, and it is so nice to see a second brood hopping around. Make sure to keep water levels topped up and a regular supply of food to help them out.
So that’s it. The curtain has fallen on The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild challenge for 2020. But hold your horses, there’s an encore. Nature is fantastic, both for us and for itself. We need nature and nature needs us. We cannot be without it. So please, keep looking for nature and wildlife moments in your everyday life. Give nature a helping hand and a home. We need you. Thousands have taken part so far and please encourage more to engage and protect our natural world. It doesn’t matter what age or what level of interest. I have found this challenge really enjoyable. You notice things you wouldn’t normally and through social media I have found a welcoming and super knowledgeable community.
So, keep going – why not make it a 6-month challenge? Track the changes in the seasons? Get your creative juices flowing.
Now excuse me, I am going to print off my 30 days wild certificate and carry out my 31st random act of wildness.