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Day 30 – 30 Days Wild…

Wild Membership…

 

It’s the final day of #30DaysWild and to celebrate I have become a member of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and my membership pack arrived this morning!!

When I began this journey I had so many ideas for Random Acts of Wildness but I just don’t feel as though I have been as Random and Wild as I could have been and many of my posts have been around the wildlife in my garden. So this membership is the start of me getting out there and exploring this wonderful county I live in.

30 Days Wild has reignited my passion for nature and wildlife photography and although I won’t be posting everyday, I intend on continuing my daily acts of wildness…it’s become second nature now and its amazing how much more observant of the natural world I have become!!

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Day 29 – 30 days Wild…

Cloudscapes…

 

After the rain cleared and I returned home from work I decided to take a few moments in the garden.

I try to see life from different points of view and am pretty much a glass half full kinda person.

Today instead of sitting in my usual chair I opted to lay down on the patio and take in the view above me…

…the clouds were the purest of white scattered across the deep blue canvas of the sky. It was so peaceful laying there listening to the sparrows chattering away in the neighbouring trees. We spend so much time in society these days looking down, staring at screens and the office walls that we forget to simply look up and see what is around us!!

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Day 27 – 30 Days Wild…

Walking a different path…

Today I took a slightly different path home which gave me a different view of the familiar park I have walked every weekday for the past 6 months. It made me realise how stuck I have become with the same routine for so long.

In life, change is often mentally so difficult to adapt to but today just crossing the grass and walking through the small wooded pathway was so invigorating. It forced me to see things in a different light and made me realise how important small changes are for the mind, body and soul.

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Day 26 – 30 Days Wild…

Creative Shadows…

A reflection of your heart was born in 2011 while studying for A Level photography. It was during this time that I began looking at shadows and finding creative ways to use them in my photos.

While out in the garden today I became transfixed with the shadows dancing on the wall of the house, the bees flying by, the flowers and foliage waving in the wind and the stillness of my own shadow as I stood there taking it all in.

Using a method I tried back in 2011 I created this 30 Days Wild mural using natural light, framed by the wildness of the borage plant…

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Day 25 – 30 Days Wild…

Love in the mist…

I personally find there is nothing to hate and everything to love about this plant which is why I have chosen to photograph and write about it for my random act of wildness today.

When this plant was introduced to my garden from a pack of wild flower seeds I was amazed at how diverse a plant could truly be. I was convinced that the flowers were on plant stems rooted individually. However on closer inspection they were all flowering from the same plant, all these beautiful colours, tones and shapes all on one plant. Even the flowers that appear to be identical, on closer inspection have different center pieces!!

I’m so pleased this plant self-seeded, it is a very welcome addition to our garden providing months of colour and a mass of fine, feathery green foliage filling the gaps between plants. After the flowers have dropped an intriguing seed pod is left behind which are just as lovely dried.

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Day 22 – 30 Days Wild…

Bee Drinking Station…

 

 

Since I first learned about 30 Days Wild and joined the ’30 Days Wild’ Facebook group back in April I have learnt so much from the other 11,000 members and am discovering new ways to adapt my garden to make it more wildlife friendly!

So for today’s random act of wildness I was inspired to make this watering station for bees and it was so simple to make! I had the dish laying around the garden and a bag of pebbles that were saved from balloon weights at a party. I added some water and a few flowers to draw the bees attention to the dish.

It is important to provide bees with a source of water where they can safely drink without drowning and the peddles provide stepping stones for them to rest without risk. Now I am just hoping to catch a glimpse of the bees using it!!

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Day 21 – 30 Days Wild…

Bees and Borage…

 

I was introduced to borage for the first time last year when I decided to grow a wild flower patch and used a wild seed sprinkle box from the garden centre…it was exciting waiting to see what would grow. This year borage has returned…everywhere haha!

I love the word ‘Borage’ and always refer to the plant as Borage in the same way that you would refer to a person by name, rather than just a plant. It gives it character…and with it self-seeding its way back into our garden…filling all the gaps in the patio (promptly removed!!) as well as providing us with this beast of a plant it packs quite an attitude!

The star-shaped blue five petaled flowers provide the garden with colour and attracts a lot of bees!! I’ve been getting a closer look at the bees today and think I have identified this one correctly as a Buff-Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus Terrestris). It’s crazy how many different species of Bee we have in the UK and I am pleased we are able to offer a supermarket of pollinator plants for them in our wild patch!

Just watching this guy going about his work, I never really noticed how their bodies change shape before…

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Day 20 – 30 Days Wild…

Garden Birds…

 

I’ve been fascinated by the birds in my garden and how they have adapted to life here. We only first started thinking “wildlife” where the garden was concerned last summer and it began with a few plants and a simple seed feeder with a couple of sparrow visitors. Now the garden is thriving and we have regular visitors through the seasons! Over the year the bird feeding station has had a lot of change and now supports a bird table, two seed feeders and a water station. Today I spent a while in the garden after work and snapped a few of the regulars…

Meet The Woodies – Over the winter months a male wood pigeon became a regular visitor, at first he made several comical attempts to ‘land’ on this feeder so I started putting out a plate of seed on the ground. When I got the table he couldn’t work out how to get inside but he soon discovered that the upper feeder was accessible to him and this is now his preferred place to feed…after watching him slipping uncomfortably on the roof for many weeks we adapted the roof with a couple of little ‘steps’ to provide a flat surface which he seems a lot happier with. He brought a female along at Christmas and both were regular visitors for months …the only way I could tell them apart was by their feeding habits (she would eat from the ground and also even get into the bird table!!). More recently though we noticed he was on his own a lot more and we suspect that he has a new female (in the photo) – this second bird feeds side by side with him on the roof and is extremely nervous of any movement and freaks at the slightest sound!

One of the latest additions to the garden is this starling, pictured with a regular house sparrow visitor (a very unlikely couple, but often seen feeding ‘together’, I’m convinced something is going on with these two haha!!). There are a group of 7-8 starlings that raid the table for worms each morning but this one seems to come back at intervals through the day. I’ve never seen a starling with these markings before and unfortunately these photos taken through glass and zoomed in do not do the beauty justice! The colour is almost silver with what looks like black eye-liner around his or her eyes – such a stunner! I understand that it may be a juvenile, but the other juveniles are black with pale and iridescent flecks!!

Moments before I took these photos I was sitting in the garden and they were wary of landing, so when I went inside to get my camera I looked up and saw them both peeking in to see if the coast was clear!

I’ve yet to see the jackdaws visit the garden but they always make themselves noticed vocally from the roof top opposite, such beautiful birds with amazing eyes. I think the one on the right is the ‘young’ as I saw it demanding food earlier although being so grown up I think it was soon put in its place and told to ‘get lost’!!

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Day 19 – 30 Days Wild…

An aromatic walk with the roses…

 

 

After a busy weekend and day at work I met up for a walk in the park with a good friend. It wasn’t a very ‘wild’ walk but we were able to appreciate the wildlife busying around us…blackbirds foraging in the undergrowth and pigeons flying through the trees, bees buzzing around the park flowers and butterflies dancing in the sun.

I only had my mobile phone with me and the camera on it really does not do justice to the floral display in the Rose Garden…the roses filled the air with a mixture of fragrances.

 

 

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Day 14 – 30 Days Wild…

Watching Me, Watching You…

 

 

 

Since I began posting for 30 days wild my regular walks to work have become a lot more interesting. I still take the same route through the park gardens but I have a new heightened awareness of what is around me.

Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me to document my journey in pictures (N.B. that’s an idea for another day!!) so the image attached to this post was actually taken this evening as I watched the garden birds ‘sharing’ the feeders. I have a background in animal behaviour and I have always wondered while watching animals who exactly is observing who and this example summed up my day of ‘observations’.

My observations began while walking down the hill towards the park, I was suddenly aware of a rustling across the road and out popped a squirrel from an overgrown driveway. It started galloping along the footpath parallel to me and then crossed the road, both of us arriving at the gateway to the gardens at the same time. It seemed really wary so I took a few steps backwards to allow some space for it to pass and it paused to give me a little look (I’d like to think it was thanking me…) and then clambered down the steps and disappeared into a garden.

From the moment I walked down the steps I started to become aware of all the sights and sounds before me, and despite initially thinking the park was empty it was actually breathing with life…wild-life!!

On the way through I saw four squirrels (foraging and scurrying around tree trunks), a family of wood pigeons, three Mr Blackbirds and two Mrs Blackbirds (separately scuffing around in the undergrowth of trees) , eleven feral pigeons (feasting in the distance on some food a passerby left for them), a jay (flying from tree to tree), three magpies, two crows, several gulls swooping overhead (always optimistic), a common blue butterfly, two smaller unknown butterflies dancing and spiraling beneath a tree.

I also noticed the shapes of all the leaves in the trees, the different shades of green and silver, the smell of the elder flowers, the smell of cut grass, the long grasses swaying in the breeze in a wild area and the amazing sounds of park life!!

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