I did plan on going to Rutland Water today to see the ospreys but apparently the reserve shuts at 5pm, so that was not very helpful! So me and the boyfriend will head there tomorrow, exciting!
So instead I headed back to Stamford Meadows. I did however take a different path I had not yet explored. Stamford Meadows now seems a bit more meadow like to me than it did a few weeks ago with a more wild selection of plants and the appearance of insect life. Though perhaps I just wasn’t exploring in the right places until today!
I’ve been a bit lapse over the past week with blogging about my wild adventures. It’s been a hectic week with working in Peterborough, general life and my car breaking down which meant lack of transport and staying with my parents much of the week while car was fixed. And I had no access to my laptop or decent internet (curse of living in the country). So I’m sorry dear followers and readers for my inactivity! I’ve still been fairly successful at being a bit wild everyday, however. Here’s a bit of an overview of what I’ve been up to.
How is it Day 20 already? Madness! Today for my Random Act I planned to go on a nice stroll and do some sketching of the natural things I saw. Well, as soon as I reached the Stamford Meadows the heavens opened. But I kept going!
Yesterday was a pretty wild day! I visited my family for the evening, who live in the middle of nowhere, rural flat East Northamptonshire. As the weather was lovely and I missed the dogs, I convinced my mum to come and walk the dogs with me. I didn’t realise just how much I missed living here now I’m in a town. Beautiful endless fields and my favourite wood, Ashton Wold where my love of nature was most likely born. I guess that’s what you have to give up to be near people, shops and socialising, unfortunately.
Today was a very important day for the fight to tackle climate change. One of the many important things threatened by climate change is everything wild. So today for my Random Act I took part in the thousands strong movement that occurred today.
Over 9,000 people went to Westminster to lobby their MPs about climate change. They spoke up for what they love that is threatened by climate change. Because nearly everything we love, from sport to beaches, trees to chocolate, is threatened by the imminent danger that is climate change. In light of the Paris talks this December and the need to act now, before we go past the tipping point that will send us over 2 degrees hits, The Climate Coalition set this event up. It is to ask our MPs to commit to action locally, nationally and globally before it’s too late. A time to show we care and now more than ever before ordinary people, young and old, are very concerned about where our planet is heading.
Unfortunately, I could not join everyone at Westminster, despite being heavily involved with it through work (soo gutted!). However, those who could not attend still have a chance to have their say. Through The Climate Coalition online tool I emailed my MP, telling him about the things I love that are threatened. I told him I love woods, beaches, trees and wildlife. These are what I want to protect. If you could not attend either, or have yet to be wild today please go here to also tell you MP about the wild things you love.
To find about more about what happened today go here or check out the hashtag #Fortheloveof on Twitter. I’ve been following it all day and I also tweeted about it to spread the word!
Wow, over halfway through the 30 Days Wild Challenge! And it’s been a wild ride so far. Today I managed a surprisingly wild day through my exploring of the canal in the centre of Peterborough. In the morning I did see a thrush standing tall. That made me happy as not seen one for a while now.
I’m working in Peterborough this week and as the weather was so hot and I felt quite cabin fever-y from being indoors so I headed to the nearest patch of open grass and trees on my lunch break. As I walked I, to my joy, stumbled across the canal lined with many stunning willow trees. Sadly I only had my phone so photo quality is not that great, apologies!
I then saw a pied-wagtail and lots of bumblebees gathering pollen. They sadly did not stay still long enough for me to catch a photo! There were so many swans in the canal, I’ve never seen that many before altogether. There must have been around 30! It seemed to be the ultimate swan gathering place.
As I walked on a young rabbit leapt out of a patch of long grass next to me and fled. Strange it was hiding out in the open so close to the path.
I then came across lots of foliage as green space opened up beside the canal.
I noticed a ready made path into this surprisingly wild patch, perfect for me to explore.
I loved discovering such a little wild area with houses and a power station behind it as well as the city centre and main roads behind me. A little piece of serenity and biodiversity.
It was essentially a wild meadow. It contained far more wildlife than the “meadows” in Stamford that have seemingly never been touched by man and industry. Yet this wild place in the middle of the city, possibly a brownfield site, surrounded by ugly buildings was buzzing with so much life. There were so many interesting insects I could not identify (or manage to photograph). A variety of birds were singing everywhere. There were butterflies too, including a flitter of bright orange and a dark purple V settling on a willow. I got most excited to see a bright blue/purple dragonfly flash past me too. It was gone in a moment.
Today’s Random Act of Wildness was possibly the best so far just because of the shock and childish joy of discovering this. A wonderful haven surrounded by the not so pretty urban industrial grey that dominates much of Peterborough. Without this challenge it seems unlikely that I would have ever found it!
I’ve had another busy weekend away for a friend’s birthday far away, so more travelling and difficulty fitting in the wild! But I tried my best.
Much of Saturday was taken up with train travel so I brought some wildness to my journey! I downloaded some TED talks onto my iPad to watch. I started with George Monbiot’s For more wonder, rewild the world. As I follow his wonderful blog and I’ve read Feral nothing he said was particularly new to me. But as my hero I really wanted to see how he talked and expressed his views so it gave me a chance to see that. It also reminded me of how much I support rewilding and all his arguments for why it should happen ring so true. Anyone interested in conservation and environmentalism should watch this talk to get a brief overview of what rewilding is and why we, as humans, need it. I then watched The first 21 days of a bee’s life which was fascinating. I’m a little bit obsessed with bees at the moment because I’m reading The Bees (albeit slowly) and I enjoyed drawing one. This talk showcases a photography project that records the initial stages of a bees birth and changes into an adult bee. It’s really quite beautiful in a slightly alien disturbing way. It also talks about the threats bees face and explores our relationship with them and how this can move forward. Interesting! The Bees novel actually reflects these stages quite accurately (besides the talking bees with hands and holy stuff). It was great visualise the book in this way. I ended with The world’s oldest living things which is another photography project. Pretty much what it says on the tin. Also very interesting look into the natural world and just how long wild things can live for. And I was surprised that they weren’t all trees!
On Sunday I fitted in some brief wildness when walking back through Stamford Meadows from the train station in the evening. I chilled out with the ducks and Canadian geese for a bit before heading home.
Then on Monday after a stressful day, for my Random Act (as suggested by Wildlife Trust) I decided to share some of my wildlife art and nature photography with you on my blog! See art here and photography here. Enjoy!
I have managed unintentionally to do a few Random Acts of Wildness today despite being busy! On the way to work I saw a red kite gliding quite close over the road, its distinctive shape catching my eye instantly. This made me very happy! I absolutely love red kites, I voted for them as the UK national bird in the recent official vote. Sadly the robin won! I grew up in the remote countryside and as I got older I saw more and more red kites as their numbers soared. They were reintroduced quite close to where I lived and it is a brilliant area for them. I once saw 5 of them cavorting in the air together above my favourite wood that I spent hours of my life horse-riding in. They are so common that when I did the RSPB Birdwatch for an hour I actually saw one from my window within that short time span. Then today, on the way home from work I saw a red kite again! Very possibly the same one. …NO WAY literally just saw another red kite from my window whilst writing this, being mobbed by another bird!! They are everywhere today! Didn’t manage to get a photo, sadly.
I managed some wildness actually at work too. I sat in our lovely work garden for lunch in the sun (may have slightly tanned). Once I returned to work I opened up a wild webcam. It’s one of the Wildlife Trust’s suggested Random Acts of Wildness. It turns out I live quite close to an osprey family at Rutland Water and they have a webcam so I checked them out.
When I first went on there were just three chicks all snuggled up together. They are so adorable and fluffy! You can certainly see the hints of a future killing machine though with their yellow eyes and hooked beaks. I watched them shuffle and look around, stretch their wings and sleep. I did get excited when one stood up and hopped around, only to then poo in the direction of the camera! It’s the perfect thing to do at work, where you can check on them every now and then. No adults appeared though for ages. I then got engrossed in more work…
….when I remembered to look again an adult had appeared! It casually sat surveying the view and its chicks. Such a good view of the osprey, such a beautiful creature. Watching the webcam actually becomes really addictive and mesmerising.
I later looked back to see the adult had settled down with its babies. So cute! The meat that had been sat in the nest also appeared to have vanished. Watching the webcam definitely added some excitement and awe to my day. I am now definitely going to head to Rutland Water some time this month to try and see the adult ospreys flying or even fishing. You can check out this osprey family here. (Perfect if you’re yet to be wild today!)
So a very birds of prey filled day, my favourite kind. Did you see any interesting wildlife today? Or have you checked out any wild webcams? Let me know about any good ones and anything exciting you saw.
My Random Acts of Wildness for today included buying some lovely bird feed and then filling and finally putting up my handmade bird feeders! I managed to find some feed in Morrisons. Though there are probably better places to get it. Where I used to work, they had lots of bird feeders so they had giant sacks (dog food sack sized) of RSPB bird food. Good idea RSPB! Although it was in London and the feral parakeets got most of the food. As stunning as they are to watch they are an invasive species taking food away from our own wild birds. The birdseed I found are apparently high energy and specially designed for garden birds so I’m sure they will be sufficient!
So the bird feeders are in place on our one resident tree! I hope they actually work as bird feeders and the holes aren’t too small. It’s quite difficult to work out the right balance between making the holes too big so all the food falls out and making them too small for birds to actually eat out of them. It will be an experiment! I’ve also only ever seen a blackbird in our garden so I hope we will attract some more variety.
I then settled in to watch the final episode of Springwatch. Sadly I’ve not managed to see any of this series. Too busy going outdoors finding wild things to do and then blog about them! It was a wonderful episode though, I loved seeing the long tailed chicks escaping the nest and the tawny owl chicks learning to fly. So adorable! I was also excited to see the hundreds of Arctic Terns after seeing one last weekend. The tracking devices they put on 28 of them were really interesting. They track sunlight times so they can work out the location of the Arctic Tern as it migrates across the world. It was interesting to hear about the Woodland Trust’s work on recording the progress of spring. The life of Si the Fry was also very amusing!
Did anyone else watch this episode? What did you think? I hope you had a fun wild day today!
A third of our way through the challenge! I can’t believe I have managed that many different wild things already. Though I have been a little lapse over the last couple of days due to general life getting in the way. Also blogging everyday is quite a challenge too. So I ended up making a bird feeder on both days as it was all I could squeeze in. Better than nothing I suppose!
Today, however, was vastly more successful. I drove straight from work to Burghley Park on the edge of Stamford where I live. It was just a little detour on my way home. Burghley Park is actually been a huge part of my life despite only just moving to the town to live here. It was with shock I realised as I stepped into the beautiful fields that I hadn’t been here for 2 years! My old school is next door so I spent many times running round Burghley for cross country and hanging out with friends after school. And more importantly the tradition of coming here for Burghley Horse Trials every year with one of my best friends.
The grass was long so it felt wild and almost meadow like despite lack of wildflowers. It’s such a large open space to explore. It almost feels endless so I felt I was free in the wilderness to do as I pleased. A beautiful place that can belong to anyone who chooses to walk across it and enjoy it. There are not really any set paths or signs guiding you on a route, you can go where ever you fancy which I did. Zigzagging through the long grass towards anything that caught my eye.
It seemed quite like fantasy with the regal Burghley House in the distance. I then found some interesting trees.
Found a completely hollow but very much alive tree!
Then on my walk back in the shorter grass I decided to do one of the suggested #randomactsofwildness. Go barefoot! It was lovely to feel the cool grass on my feet, I must admit.
I sat and stared at the sky (another act of random wildness!) and actually saw a sort of rainbow on a cloud. I’m happy it came out on my camera. It was stunning, I didn’t know it was possible!
So it was a lovely way to recover from work. How have your last few wild days been? What random acts have you got up to?