Woooo I actually did it! I completed 30 Days Wild. The odd day has been a struggle but I have managed something for every day of June and it’s been fun!
Today I’ve been looking back at what I’ve done over the last 30 days and getting probably too much enjoyment out of the silly little doodles I’ve adorned my wall poster with (I was feeling more artistic some days then others you may notice!).
Today I was at Pegsdon again helping with our new Rapid Grassland Assessment surveys. We were on the look out for both positive and negative indicator species of good quality grassland.
We surveyed a few different compartments over the course of the day and it was an absolute treat for the senses with the colours, patterns and smells.
I encountered Wild Parsnip for the first time. This has lovely delicate little flowers and has leaves that smell of curry!
The last compartment we surveyed was the best. It was carpeted in purple Wild Thyme and yellow Birds-foot-trefoil. I’d been admiring the slopes from afar when we’d huddled under scrub to eat our lunch but it was even better when we walked through it. There were flowers and herbs every where we looked and the Wild Thyme smelt absolutely divine!
I can’t belive tomorrow is the end of 30 Days Wild! I best get thinking about how to round it all off!
I know I did pond dipping way back on Day 1 of 30 Days Wild but I’ve had such a fun evening I have to include it again.
After a day of fencing with the volunteers and admiring wildflowers at Pegsdon I spent this evening leading a pond dipping session for a local Beaver group at the Chalk Pit.
I’ve never run a session for such a young group before (6-8 year olds) so was a little nervous as to whether they’d be interested in what I had to say and would enjoy the activity. I needn’t have worried. They loved it!
We tried a different pond to the one we used for Youth Rangers (I thought littler legs wanted a shallower slope) but still managed to find lots of critters – water boatmen, water beetles,snails, and nymphs/larvae of both damsel and dragonflies. The boys really enjoyed getting stuck in and investigating their finds. It was amazing to see their fascination and hear them repeats facts I’d told them to each other.
To end the session I managed to net a Smooth Newt for the boys to admire. It wasn’t quite the baby dinosaur they’d hoped for but I like to think it was a good was to end the evening.
I didn’t do anything particularly wild yesterday but I did stay committed to the 30 Days Wild cause and updated my blog! I have been doing things every day but had fallen behind on documenting it and needed to remedy it. So apologies for all the new blog post spam yesterday!
As well as updating this blog I dipped in and out of other peoples. So many people have been taking part in the challenge the internet is full of all the amazing things people have been doing. The Wildlife Trusts have handily compiled a list of some 30 Days Wild bloggers here to be browsed through at leisure. If you have a moment you really should take a look- there are some fantastic blogs there!
I seemed to hit a bit of a slump with 30 Days Wild around this point and struggled to do a Random Act of Wildness.
On Day 20 I had a meeting at work about managing water levels at the Chalk Pit. Luckily all the rain we’ve had lately meant the seasonal lake is actually still present (though smaller then it is in winter) so we could see what areas are generally wet. As I was in wellies I couldn’t resist a good splosh around!
I’m very good at taking photos of things to identify and then never actually getting round to doing it so for Day 16 I actually took the time to try and work out what the flower I’d photographed was.
I hit a hurdle straight away – the photos I’d taken were awful! It had been bright and sunny making my phone screen hard to see when I’d taken the photograph so I’d hit the button and hoped. I should have checked as neither the flower or the Large Skipper on it were in focus!
I’ve flicked through my plant book and I am learning towards Tufted Vetch as there aren’t many flowers in the book like this but I am more than happy to be corrected!
I’ve learnt my lesson though; when taking photos of flowers make sure they are in focus and take photos of ALL the parts as it makes it so much easier to identify!
The unsettled weather we’ve been having this month has led to some dramatic cloud scenery. We went to play Bingo on the evening of Day 15 (no we didn’t win 😦 ) and as we were driving to St Ives I spent some time admiring the clouds around us. They were dark and moody and the light was incredible. Patches of heavy rain were falling across the countryside, making it look as if the cloud was forming a solid wall the entire way to the group. Where the sunlight broke through gaps or caressed the edges the clouds were glistening painfully bright. It was beautiful!