Today is the start of June and the Wildlife Trusts 30 days wild. The 30 days is the reason this blog was set up. The basic idea is for 30 days in June you try to do one wild act. The Trust provides a range of ideas: follow a bee, photograph something blue, feel the grass under your feet, etc.
Since I originally took part in the 30 days two years ago enjoying nature has become well integrated into my life and I am raising Alice to hopefully have the opportunities to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. The benefits of this lifestyle has grown in profile over the last decade. The research is starting to put figures to the anecdotal evidence. Spending time in nature can improve health, reduce stress and improve your general mood. My time outdoors and involvement in nature is well documented in this blog. I do believe it has played a positive role in my life and has helped me cope with the challenges of sleepless nights as a parent and in high stress job.
This year I don’t intend to do as long write ups as previous years. I want to enjoy other people going through the process of discovering love of nature and enjoy my own activities rather than feeling pressure to publish. So I’m only going to post a few highlights.
Today I went for a walk with Alice round to the park. On the way I spotted a cinnabar moth. Cinnabar moths are a day flying moth that is part of the tiger family. Last year I found the caterpillars a number of times, but don’t remember ever seeing the moth. The caterpillars feed on common ragwort, which grows quite freely in a number of local spots. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have noticed this little remarkable moth. Whereas two years on of involving myself in nature I’m more alert and mindful to what is around me.
We got back from the small park and Alice wasn’t ready to go in the house, so we grabbed water and sunscreen as the clouds had gone to be replaced with brilliant sunshine and headed out again. This time to the larger park.
Down at the park we looked into one of the wetter patches. This section is usually boggy, last year it dried up a lot more at this time, but this year it has remained a pool. I’ve spotted newts, although I didn’t see any today. I could however see many tadpoles.
Growing out of the water are these beautiful wild yellow iris. Again, two years ago I wouldn’t have known what this was. But two years on and a collection of field guides later I spotted it for what it is, rather than thinking it was a limp daffodil. I haven’t grown irises in my garden, but I have admired a number of wild and domesticated ones in other peoples gardens and I’m tempted. There are varieties to suit most soil and I think they might do well in my garden.
Returning home Alice still didn’t want to be in, so we went in the garden. We topped up the water bath and Alice helped fill up the bird feeders. The birds quickly descended to feast.
I’m proud of how far Alice has come in two years. We take her outside most days for a walk. I’m sure this time spent walking in the park and along the sea front is why she is so confident on her feet, beyond the expectations of her age. When we go out in the garden she’s taken to filling a bowl at the bottom of the garden with water. When asked who is it for? She can answer hedgehog. She fills the bird baths. She puts out bird seed. I hope she continues to be interested in helping nature as she grows up.
So my 30 days posts may be each day or may be sporadic, but either way I hope many of you get involved and enjoy.