Monday, 28 August 2017

30 Days Wild day 27- Storm

This morning I sat and had breakfast outside on the deck in the sunshine, enjoying the birdsong and the tame robin which came to look for crumbs. Then the rain started.

It was gentle rain at first, filtered by the canopy of the trees. The birds stayed active, flitting about the branches as they foraged. A small bird I didn't recognise at first, which I'm now fairly certain was a willow tit, emerged. It bounced from branch to branch for a little while before taking shelter amongst dense ivy covering a nearby tree trunk.

Soon, however, there was nothing to be done but to sit inside and watch the rain. As it got heavier and the thunder started to boom, there was that wonderful feeling of being surrounded by wildness while being apart from it. Normally, I find the idea of the wild exciting. But sometimes, it's nice to watch it from indoors, separated by layers of warmth and glass.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

30 Days Wild day 26- Wildlife on holiday

I spent the end of June on holiday with my parents in Norfolk. This was mainly to give us all a bit of a break before the annual village carnival which my dad organises. However, we happened to be staying in a forest, which was great for finishing off 30 Days Wild (although awful for getting any blog posts written because there were always more exciting things to be done).

Before we'd even finished unloading the car, I'd spotted the treecreeper and the nuthatch. The rest followed not long afterwards, either seen from the deck of our cabin or on a quick walk through the forest. Every rustle of the leaves was something new to look at, and it didn't take long to tune our eyes in and start picking out movement amongst the trees.

A fledgling blue tit in a nest of branches

Saturday, 26 August 2017

30 Days Wild day 25- Ladybird hatching

We have a big cherry tree in our back garden which, at the moment, is covered in rapidly encroaching ivy. This, in turn, is absolutely full of ladybird larvae and pupae. I've got a nasty feeling they're harlequin ladybirds rather than a native species, but it's still a fantastic opportunity to watch their life cycle. 

30 Days Wild day 24- Bees

It feels like a very long time since I published the last post for 30 days wild. The past few months have been much busier than I expected, and unfortunately updating this blog has had to take a back seat. But now I'm back! Over the next few days I'll be posting the rest of my 30 Days Wild blogs, and then I'll move on to what I've been getting up to since.

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A screenshot of the 30 Days Wild app, showing a picture of a bumblebee on a flower and the text "Follow a bumblebee. You'll need your eyes & ears to keep up!"

The university term finished on Friday, so today saw me heading back home to Lincoln. This meant I didn't have a huge amount of time for acts of wildness, so I turned to the 30 Days Wild app for inspiration. Its suggestion: 'Follow a bumblebee.' This seemed fitting- in the summer, the garden at home is always full of bees and other pollinators. This is particularly striking after spending term time in York, where the terraced streets around my house make bees and butterflies rare. 

A bumblebee on an Escallonia flower

At home, there's an Escallonia sp. shrub at the very edge of the drive. We're not sure which species it is, because it's been there so long no one can remember. I suspect it's an Escallonia rubra of some sort, which the RHS includes in their 'perfect for pollinators' list. Whatever it is, the bees love it, and the sound of their buzzing greets you as soon as you get out of the car.