Days 9-10 mainly centred around wild birds and nature books for my 30 Days Wild.
The boyfriend lives in Hampton in Peterborough which is a recently developed area on what used to be brick fields. Buglife, The Wildlife Trust and Froglife were involved in the design of the area and I definitely think it is an example of what all housing developments should be like. It’s a beautiful place with lots of wildlife, long grass and little lakes. House martins, terns, swifts and swallows can be seen regularly flitting through the houses and dipping down to the water. On this day we headed to one of the lakes to see what wildlife we could find. Coots, geese and more geese!
They were tame enough to let us feed them by hand and the goslings were adorable. And on the way back home we saw a heron hunting.
On Friday I headed to London to meet a friend (check out her book review blog here) at Balham Literature Festival where a few of our favourite authors were giving talks on their nature and travel writing. Some of them concluded that all nature writing is travel writing which was interesting.
The first talk was by Rob Cowen on his book Common Ground, which is about the edgelands to the north of Harrogate. He introduced the idea that nature is a common ground for us all, something we are all part of and something that is inside us. His mind and descriptions were truly entrancing, I feasted on every word. I was very happy to get a free signed copy as part of the talk as I’m keen to dive further into the wilderness of Bilton.
The second talk was a panel with Sarah Wheeler, Patrick Barkham and Helen MacDonald. As the author of one of my all time favourite books H for Hawk, Helen MacDonald was the main reason I was there. She got tearful when I told her that afterwards which was so lovely. A remarkable person. They all did beautiful readings from their books and discussed some of their motivations behind writing them. They answered questions and talked about nature writing more widely and the rising popularity of it. It was very enjoyable and insightful, I really must go along to more author talks and book signings! I also bought a copy of Coastlines by Patrick Barkham as I love the sea and dream of calling the shores of Cornwall my home. And isn’t the cover beautiful?
On Saturday I was inspired to do some nature drawing. I chose to draw a kingfisher, partly due to their stunning colour and character, partly due to my desire to see one properly. I’ve glimpsed one shoot past but I hope to see one sat iconically on a branch by a river.