30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Twenty-one.

83241275_3891626297576140_5949538545065910688_oDay 21: A new series for 30 Days Wild 2021, Mindful Mondays, were we take time out of our busy days and slow down, breathe and experience nature each sense at a time. 

Today is the Summer Solstice. The UK will have 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. The sun will rise at 4.52am and will set at 9.26pm. The solstice marks the beginning of astronomical summer. Sadly, the hours of daylight after the Longest Day become shorter.

For today’s Mindful Monday, I shall watch the sunset.

I’ve not been particularly successful in catching sunsets, below is one a few weeks ago. Tonight, on the longest day, I shall watch as the sun dips beyond the horizon and savoir the last light of this solstice.

Sunset

How will you be celebrating the Summer Solstice?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Twenty.

103963342_3891626257576144_6629027606530117153_oDay 20: As part of The Wildlife Trust’ Big Wild Weekend, for 30 days Wild, today is the Big Wild Quiz!

At 3pm there is a Big Wild Kid’s Quiz. Then at 7pm the Big Wild Quiz, for adults! David and I joined in last years quiz and it was very enjoyable. A perfect way to spend a Sunday. So this year we will be tuning in once again.

big wild quiz

Will you be joining in?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Nineteen.

104103508_3891626234242813_7741456423329691503_oDay 19: Today’s Random Act of Wildness for 30 Days Wild, is to visit a Wildlife Trusts’ Nature Reserve.

David chose the 250 acre reserve of Brockholes nr Preston, with its woodland, meadows, pools and reed beds. This year, Brockholes is celebrating 10 years of wildlife! We spent three hours walking around the reserve, watching damselflies flit along the paths, and dragonflies hum about like mini helicopters. The four spotted chaser was a new species for me. Of the flora there were common spotted and marsh orchids. Of the avian life we spotted oyster catchers, a male reed bunting (another first sighting), visiting common terns (or sea swallows), a summer visitor to the UK (another first), and a kestrel sand bathing! We had a perfect day out and here’s some of my photos I managed to capture with David’s Nikon. 

What’s your favourite nature reserve?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Eighteen.

104115253_3891626224242814_8857612714780911463_oDay 18: The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wild Weekend kicks off today with a talk hosted by CEO, Craig Bennett. He chats to an exciting panel of authors who were inspired by the natural world! You can register for the free talk here.

Nature is one of life’s great inspirations and no wonder there are so many authors who were/are inspired by its cruelty, terror and sheer beauty. Below is a non exhaustive list of authors who have been thus inspired.

The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham

This classic children’s story published in 1908 focuses on the adventures of Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger and is an example of anthropomorphism. With it’s evocative descriptions of the Edwardian countryside it had to make this list.

Animal Farm – George Orwell

Another example of anthropomorphism, with farm yard animals overthrowing their human masters but in time themselves becoming corrupted. Orwell’s anti-utopian satire is based on the Russian Revolution.

The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein 

Tolkein heavily uses the natural world as a backdrop for his The Lord of the Rings saga. There are mountain ranges, rivers and old gnarly woods. He also uses anthropomorphism with his Ents (trees), giving them voices and personalities. The Lord of the Rings highlights that industrialisation creates an alienation with the natural world.

H is for Hawk – Helen McDonald 

This 2014 memoir recalls the author coming to terms with her grief as she trains her unruly goshawk. This book speaks loud and clear of how wildlife and nature can heal a broken heart and mind.

The Lost Words – Robert McFarlane 

It’s not just adults who are becoming disconnected with nature, children too are not learning of the magic from the natural world. Words like, conker, ivy, raven are becoming lost and this book of spells beautifully illustrated by Jackie Morris hopes to rectify that.

A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson

Bryson’s 1998 autobiographical account of his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, shows him struggling to cope in the American wilderness.

Crow – Ted Hughes – Crow

The rural landscape of Hughes’ birthplace, Yorkshire had a lasting impression on his poetry, especially the animals that populated the rolling moors. Crow, The Thought Fox and the Hawk in the Rain are just a few of his collections.

Bird Therapy – Joe Harkness

The author, struggling with his mental health, writes this memoir highlighting the importance of nature on our well being. Using bird watching as a way out of depression.

Many Victorian novelists were heavily inspired by nature, such as the Brontë’s, Thomas Hardy and Charles’ Dickens. Not to mention the romantic poets, William Wordsworth and his Daffodils, John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To a Skylark.

What is your favourite nature inspired book?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine x

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Seventeen.

104446013_3891626167576153_1989910603970871813_oDay 17: In keeping with tradition, Thursday’s are Throw Back Thursdays, where I take a look back on what Random Acts of Wildness I did for 30 Days Wild since 2015!

In 2020 I smelled a wild scent and got up close with red squirrels in 2019. 2018 saw me forest bathing and in 2017 I looked for something blue and found borage. I went wild swimming in 2016 and rescued a bee in 2015.

For 2021 I’ll look out for bees.

Last week while cleaning the bird feeders a bumblebee flew into the house and ended upside down in a puddle of washing up liquid in the sink! I fished her out and left her to dry in the yarden. Not more than 30 minutes had passed when she had cleaned herself up and flew away!

Wet bee

Wet bee

In the yarden today, there were five types of bees flying about, tree and buff tailed bumblebees, a blue mason bee, a leaf cutter bee and a female hairy footed flower bee. All made me feel joyous to watch them as they went on their foraging ways.

What is your favourite bee?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Sixteen.

104216871_3891626147576155_1028623781476487668_oDay 16: Gaining inspiration from last year’s 30 Days Wild, Wednesdays will be RAW days, meaning Random Acts of Wildness. In this series I’ll be using The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild app, and the 365 Days Wild book to help choose the day’s theme.

Today’s RAW is, explore a wild place. 

Recently I took Riley for a walk to a local cemetery, one I hadn’t visited in such a long time and yet it’s not far from home. Toxteth Park Cemetery was opened 9th June 1856 and is grade II listed. The cemetery is also a location of Commonwealth Graves with 274 service personnel interred, the majority from the First World War. We took an hour long, leisurely walk around the cemetery with mum alongside and looked at some of the headstones we passed. There were rich families from Victorian Liverpool resting alongside orphans and modern day Liverpudlians. Social history was clearly evident with inscriptions of children not living passed a year, highlighting the plight of high child mortality in Victorian Britain. There was even one grave of a man who had died in an explosion on the RMS Mauretania.

 

But we were there looking for signs of wildlife. There were many bees flying between the headstones and the odd grey squirrel jumping about, but it was the bird life that was abundant. We saw wood pigeons, starlings, sparrows and a thrush. At one stage even a black backed gull wandered along the pathways. 

Have you visited an unusual spot looking for wildlife?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Fifteen.

103965117_3891626137576156_437473354873631606_oDay 15:  Today’s 30 Days Wild by the Wildlife Trusts’ is all about ID’ing and learning about a plant/flower. 

Last week I went along with David as he had an appointment. On our walk to the venue I noticed these small pale blue flowers at the side of the pavement. Not knowing what they were I took a picture and used an app to ID them. I used Plantsnap and PlantNet and both came up with the same suggestion, that of flax or linseed.

Flax

Flax

I found it a rather bizzare find. Flax is used to make linen, one of the oldest fabrics in human history, and it’s oils make linseed used for it’s beneficial health properties. I was not expecting to find this kind of plant growing along the roads in suburban Liverpool. 

Have you found an unusual plant growing where you didn’t expect it?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Thirteen.

104360876_3891626050909498_6041332631517181594_oDay 13: Today’s 30 Days Wild from The Wildlife Trusts’ is all about wildflowers.

David, Riley and I today visited a wonderful budding wildflower meadow in our local park, The Mystery. Part of the Scouse Flowerhouse, a Liverpool City Council lead initiative to create wildflower gateways. Our local park is one of a few new sites in 2021. So we headed out early to try and capture some beautiful wildflowers.

The predominant flowers were ox-eye daisy, field poppy and cornflower. The bees loved them!

wildflowers

wildflowers

Have you spotted any wildflower meadows where you live?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Ten.

83453823_3891625967576173_5781752874916000078_oDay 10: In keeping with tradition, Thursday’s are Throw Back Thursdays, where I take a look back at what Random Acts of Wildness I did for 30 Days Wild since 2015!

In 2020 I observed nature outside my window and looked out at the yarden beyond. In 2019 I took a close up look at Ospreys and in 2018 we took an enjoyable visit to Brockholes. While 2017 saw me attempting to make elderflower champagne. In 2016 I observed nature outside my window again and in 2015 I spent an hour in the yarden, listening to bees. 

For 2021 I’ll spend an hour in the yarden. I decided to do my hour vigil at evening after the sun had gone down for the night. I wondered what different species I would see. However on the evening, the wildlife seemed pretty quiet and I only saw two moths, one I think was a light brown apple moth, and a neighbours cat. The bat which I’d seen previously, did not show sadly, but I’ll keep an eye open in future!

Do you like sitting outside during the late summer evenings? 

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx

30 Days Wild 2021 – Day Three.

03Day 3: In keeping with tradition, Thursday’s are Throw Back Thursdays, where I take a look back at what Random Acts of Wildness I did for 30 Days Wild since 2015!

In 2020 I made a herbal tea, while in 2019 I looked at plant anatomy. In 2018 it was all about the elderflowers and making champagne, and in 2017 I bioblitzed the yarden. 2016 saw me downloading the 30 Days Wild app and in 2015 I looked at how plants were growing in the yarden. 

For 2021, I’ll take another focus on wildlife apps. The below are wildlife apps I have on my phone. Which ones do you use?

iNaturalist – Help scientists around the globe gauge the health of organisms by submitting sightings to the database.

British Trees National Trust – Easy to use tree finder from the Woodland Trust to help ID species.

Nature Finder Wildlife Trusts – Helps find a local nature reserve near you.

Big Butterfly Count – Count as many butterflies/moths you can during 17 July to 9 August 2021 to help gauge the health of the UK Lepidoptera.

PlantSnap – Helps with plant/flower ID.

Pl@ntNet – Another helpful app for plant/flower ID.

LeafSnap – An online plant encyclopedia.

Great British Bee Count – Friends of the Earth used to host a wonderful bee count during summer, however the past few years this hasn’t happened, but it’s a great app to help ID bees.

Warblr – Not really used this app much, I did download it when it was free but you need internet connection for bird ID.

Merlin -From Cornell Lab. Another bird ID app.

Bugs Matter – An app by Buglife asking people to count the amount of dead bugs on their car licence plates and submit in the app. The only downside to the app is that it needs to be running for the journey to be logged.

What wildlife apps do you use?

Thanks for reading, and stay wild!

Christine xx