The first ten days of #30DaysWild have been lovely. My random acts of wildness have been gentle, calming and have allowed me to slow down and take time for myself. Flowers have been prevalent during this first third of the challenge, as well as personal learning, which I believe is very important.
1. To begin the month, I planted the #30DaysWild biodegradable paper flowers which are full of wildflower seeds, in my garden. I am looking forward to seeing what grows.
2. On my walk home from work I spotted some eye-catching flowers growing at the edge of the pavement across the street. They were pink and yellow and reminded me of rhubarb and custard sweets. I took some photographs on my phone and then did some investigating and was able to ID them as Snapdragons! This has inspired me to start learning how to identify flowers, I would love to be able to walk along and name the different flowers I see.
© Snapdragons – the Green & the Wild
3. We had been planning for a while to take my grandma to Leicester Botanic Garden, as she had not been there for years. Finally the weather was ideal enough for a visit, so my grandma, mum, boyfriend and I spent the afternoon there taking photographs, admiring the insects and of course, beautiful array of flowers.
4. To help with my flower ID mission and also relax me in the evenings, I bought a Kew Gardens dot-to-dot book. It is based on original artworks and includes colour plates to help learn and accurately colour in the final drawings.
5. I have been out in my yard a few times with my bat detector this season, but have failed to pick up any echolocation signals. I decided to try again on the 5th, but still nothing! Last year I detected some pipistrelles flying above my house and the tree in my garden, but not very frequently so perhaps it’s simply down to timing.
6. After seeing puffins for the first time on Skomer Island back in May, I have fallen in love with them and keep seeing fantastic photos and learning things about them online. Some of the information I read encouraged me to do my own research and three of my favourite puffin facts are:
- Puffins usually pair up with the same partner every breeding season and may be together for 20 years!
- In winter, puffins orange feet fade and they shed their outer colourful bills, leaving smaller, duller ones behind. The colour grows back and returns ready for the next breeding season.
- When it is not breeding season, puffins live out at sea for the rest of the year – floating on the waves, swimming and diving for small fish.
7. I decided to get learning again and do some more online environmental courses, so signed up to three on Futurelearn:
- Unleash Your Potential: Sustainable Futures with the University of Bristol. Through this I will learn about the sustainability challenges of the modern world, and ways in which I can make a positive contribution to society.
- Citizen Science: Living Soils, Growing Food with the University of Dundee. Through this I will learn about approaches to food growing that can help regenerate soil and solve environmental issues.
- And in August I will start Concepts in Sustainable Development: An Introduction to the Key Issues with the University of Leicester, which will enable me to explore some of the key issues in sustainability, tackling the big questions with examples from around the world.
8. I ordered a free Guide to Animal Kindness from the RSPCA. It is full of inspiration and ideas of how to be and encourage others to be #AnimalKind, such as picking up litter to prevent injuries or making your garden wildlife friendly.
9. I sowed a virtual seed with Grow Wild to pledge my support and help raise awareness of the importance of wild flowers and their impact on our wellbeing. This year my seed ended up being a Ribwort Plantain. Join me and sow a virtual seed too – you will be able to view the map and see how many other people have taken action to transform your area as well as the rest of the UK.
10. A splendid Sunday morning called for an outdoor stroll. We thought it would be nice to have a walk around Thornton reservoir, but upon arrival realised that everyone else thought that too which meant there was nowhere to park! We continued driving until we found a nice park, small woods and old village where we were able to get some fresh air!