Day 20 – Badger Sighting – 30 Days Wild

On a nighttime stroll around my local area, I saw a badger! For only the second time ever! It was standing on the pavement about 20 metres away. It stood and looked at us, and then trotted across the road. Luckily no cars were around. I could hear it’s claws pattering on the ground as it ran; it sounded like a dog walking on a wooden floor. 

Day 19 – Bringing the Outside In – 30 Days Wild

This beautiful rose has made its way from my parents’ garden to my vase. It smells lovely, and I can’t wait for the other two buds to bloom too. 

I had to transport the flower in 30 degree heat, so to stop it drying out, my mum and I came up with a clever idea – put the stem in a food bag partly filled with water. And to stop it falling over, the food bag was placed inside an empty yoghurt pot. It worked a treat.

Days 16-18 – Sunrise, Garden BBQ, Sun Prints – 30 Days Wild

Day 16 – Sunrise

Sunrise was at 4.22am. I happened to wake up in the night, so I thought I’d watch the sun rise – perfect timing. And it looked remarkably similar to sunset the previous night. 

Day 17 – Garden BBQ

The weather was so nice, so we had a family BBQ in the garden. It was nice that it was warm enough to sit outside and not feel cold. I took a moment to listen to the sounds – the water running in the pond, the various birds calling nearby, a bug flying right past my ear. One bug I had not seen before was the one in the photo below. It was a bit bigger than a blue bottle, and had a longer wing span than one too. It made a loud buzz when it flew around the window.

Day 18 – Sun Prints 

Firstly, while I was getting everything ready in the garden, I saw a hummingbird hawk moth for the first time! I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was so cool! I ran to grab my camera, but it had gone by the time I got back. 
To create sun prints, I used some Nature Print Paper. I gathered some items from the garden, such  as petals, leaves and grass, then placed them on the light sensitive paper. Once exposed to the sunlight for long enough, I soaked the paper in water to develop the image. Here are my results. The parts that worked the best were the dead wasp (at the bottom-middle of the bottom-right print) and a tri-leaf (top-right print, middle-right leaf).

The top-left print was the last one I did, and I think it got damp from grass dew, hence the colour is not as dark. Also the sun was low in the sky, which meant large shadows were created on the paper. Next time I will do them at midday to have the best result.

Days 13-15 – Walk instead of Drive, Magpie Thief, Sunset – 30 Days Wild

Day 13 – Walk instead of Drive

I went out for dinner to a local restaurant and instead of a 5-10 minute drive, we walked instead. It took about 35 minutes and our walk took us past a farm with cows and sheep close by. Two cows were dining next to each other on some long grass. Two goldfinch flew out of a tree right in front of us and twittered as they landed on a fence and then flew into the distance. It was a pretty warm walk, but it was totally worth it.
Day 14 – Magpie Thief

Last year I wrote about a magpie stealing a pigeons egg, and another attacking a rat that had just climbed out of a drain. This year, I witnessed a magpie learning to land on our window seed-feeder. The magpie is so big compared to the feeder that is had to squat down in order to fit inside. The magpie was stealing seeds from the feeder, and purposely knocking many seeds out of the seed tray by swinging its beak side to side. Naughty magpie! 

Day 15 – Watch the Sunset

A simple pleasure – watching a pretty sunset. I’ve been waiting all week for a good sunset, and today I finally got one. The clouds were pink as the sun went down, but the pinkness slowly faded to blue.

Day 4 – Bird Sounds – 30 Days Wild

Today’s nature task was totally unplanned. I had some time to kill, so I sat for half an hour and listened to the sound of the wind through the trees and the birds outside. 

Since having our seed feeder out, I have learnt the sound of a Chaffinch calling. Mr Chaffinch is our most frequent visitor and I could hear him calling in the nearby trees. I can tell it’s a Mr Chaffinch by his bright colours. He then came to visit our feeder.

There was a Magpie about too – also a frequent sound I hear. But there was another couple of birds that I couldn’t identify, so I’ll have to research these sounds:

Day 2 & 3 – Views & Seeds – 30 Days Wild

Day 2 – Enjoying the Office View 

I took a few minutes to appreciate the leafy green view from the office where I work. I am lucky enough to have lots of trees outside the office, and previously I’ve seen a variety of birds fly overhead. A couple of weeks ago a heron flew right past the window at the same height – it was so bizarre! I’ve seen herons before, but never flying right past so close that I could see it’s legs behind it as it flew. 
Day 3 – Planting Basil Seeds

As a present a while ago I was given a little ceramic panda with a tiny plant pot on its back to plant seeds in. I finally got around planting basil seeds in it. A felt tongue sticks out of the pandas mouth and dips into a small dish of water, so that the panda can “lick” the water to then absorb into the soil. Pretty cute. 

30 Days Wild 2017 – Day 1 – Lunch by a Lake

It’s that time of year again! Today is day 1 of 30 Days Wild (created by The Wildlife Trusts) – exciting times! This is my third year of taking part, and I have definitely been looking forward to it. I was sad that I didn’t receive my pack in the post, and I almost forgot it was happening, I’ve been so busy lately. But I did remember, so here is what my Day 1 involved…

Today I had lunch by a lake with some colleagues. It was beautiful. The sun was shining, we were sensibly sitting in the shade, and I got to watch dragon flies and damsel flies flying over the lake, and occasionally fly past our table.
I recently researched the difference between the two – damsel flies hold their wings behind them when they land, whereas dragon flies hold their wings out to the side. The damsel flies I saw were a deep blue colour, and seemed to all be mating as they flew around in pairs attached to each other. The dragon flies had shorter, fatter bodies. 
Another character I saw was a coot with a cute, fluffy baby swimming alongside it, squeaking occasionally to ask for food. The parent was picking bits out by the rocks to feed the youngster. I would love to go back to the lake to take some proper photos on my camera.