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.

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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 12 – Star Gazing – 30 Days Wild

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_12

 

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 & 11 – Garden Time & Rainbow Flowers – 30 Days Wild

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.


I walked with my family down a local road lined by trees too. It was really nice to spend some time with them and have a chat on our walk.

Day 9 – Bee ID, Lilypads & Bonus Bat

On my lunchtime walk today I stopped to watch a bumblebee searching for his lunch on a plant. 


It made me really happy to see it. Then, to my delight, a honey bee came and joined him on the same plant. It must have been tasty.


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!

Days 6-8 – Plan a Wild Trip, Bug Rescue & Spring Watch

Day06

I have been researching into a wild trip. I want to see puffins and red squirrels, so I started looking into trips to see puffins. Last year my friend went to Skomer Island, off the coast of Wales, to take photos and it sounded awesome. I have been researching into the trip. It turns out the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales has the details.

 

Boat trips only run 3 times a days, and only 250 people are allowed on the island per day to protect the envirnoment and habitat for the wildlife. Different wildlife you can see (depending on the time of year you visit) are:

  • Puffins
  • Dolphins
  • Porpoises
  • Seals
  • Guillemots
  • Razorbills
  • Rabbits
  • Short-eared owls

 

This sounds awesome! I might have to wait until next year to go, as my summer is getting full, and the best time to see the puffins between April and July.
Day 7 – Bug Rescue

At lunch time at work there were a few bugs that decided to fly in the door of the canteen and join our table. First of all, a bumblebee flew in and was buzzing by the window. Next was a green shield bug, then a tiny green beetle that ended up sitting on the table in front of me. My colleague wanted to squish it so I was the bug’s personal body guard and kept it safe. Eventually all the bugs flew outside, but I was ready to rescue them.
Day 8 – Watched Spring Watch & Hedgehog Video

Today I came across this hedgehog video – that’s twice I’ve seen this behaviour on video now. It made me laugh. I also watched Spring Watch on BBC2. It was heart-warming to watch the baby swallows being so well fed by the adults, and the peregrines adopting another chick that wasn’t theirs. My favourite was the stoat that was so agile as it jumped over tall grass to move her kits to a cleaner nest.

Day 5 – A Walk in the Rain – 30 Days Wild

The weather forecast predicted rain, so I went for a walk with my boyfriend, obviously. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great to start with – a bit chilly – but it actually turned out to be quite pleasant. I had been watching the raindrops on the window, but a walk was just what I needed.
I rescued a snail from the footpath, and put him amongst some low-lying leaves. He was heading towards the road, so I felt the need to move him to safety. Although, for all I know he could have been annoyed that he has to cover that ground again!
For the last part of the walk the rain was heavier and the wind was blowing it into our faces, so we were glad to get back home. However it was a definite mood booster.