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.
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.
Day 16 – Sunrise
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.
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.
I searched online for a star map of the sky tonight. A few websites I have seen usually require some input, such as the year, month, whether it is early or late in the month, and the time. Then it shows a map of the constellations that will be seen in the sky.
Apparently Ursa Major (aka Big Dipper) and Ursa Minor (aka Little Dipper) should be seen in the North of the sky at the moment. I couldn’t quite make them out, but I did see a couple of bright stars, and I wonder if they are planets.
The Earthsky website was useful to see the constellations visible tonight. Some star maps are a bit confusing and show too many stars that wouldn’t all be visible in a light-polluted urban area.
Day 10 – Garden Time
It was great to spend some time outside while the weather was nice. I flew a drone around my parents’ garden with my family (we each took it in turns) and then played frisbee, which was great fun, and surprisingly tiring. We were in the garden for at least an hour, and it was lovely to be in such green surroundings, and being able to take time out to just enjoy the moment.
Day 11 – Rainbow Flowers & Walk
While visiting my parents, I managed to snap photos of flowers of all the colours of the rainbow! Such a pretty garden. And many of them are bee friendly too! Check out the yellow flower with a bee on it.
On my lunchtime walk today I stopped to watch a bumblebee searching for his lunch on a plant.
Look closely at the bees legs; you can see the pollen it has collected.
Honey bees look a bit like wasps, except they have a furry body and their yellow colour is more of a golden/orange colour. Wasps have smoother bodies and are bright yellow, almost like a warning.
I also stopped to admire the beautiful flowers that have appeared on the lilypads in the pond.
In the evening I went to my parents’ house. At dusk I managed to grab a glimpse of a bat flying around their garden. But that is all it was – a glimpse and then it was gone!