Grow / nature

30 Days Wild: Days 4-6

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I’m having a lot of fun with #30DaysWild. On day 4, I was feeling tired and the weather was rubbish, so I decided to get crafting, using the feathers I collected on day 2.

I’m running a crafting area at Latitude Festival this year, with a garden theme, so I decided to make a nature garland to help give the tent a forest feel. I’d already bought a mirrored curtain tassel that I thought could make a good starting point for a banner: all I needed to do was add the nature.

I do a lot of nature-inspired crafting, so had a fair few leafy scraps in my crafting box, including old Christmas decorations, some fabric leaves a friend bought to use for décor at her wedding but never got round to using, and some tatty and broken fake plants (I always keep an eye out for them at charity shops.) With a little deconstruction, I was ready to go.

Making the garland was simple. I used green garden wire, so it would blend in easily (I think garden wire is a crafting essential: it’s so cheap yet versatile) and, after pulling the fake flowers and leaves from their tatty stems, started threading them onto the wire (a lot of fake flowers and leaves have holes in the middle where they attach to the branches/stems, so they can easily double as an alternative to beads). Some of the leaves didn’t have holes in, so I wound the wire round the stems to hold it securely in place. I did the same with the feathers – and gave them a tug to ensure they wouldn’t come loose in transit.

After a peaceful hour or so of threading, my garland was complete.

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It’s now decorating my dressing table, adding some nature to my room (I’m a big fan of bringing the outdoors indoors, so my home has rather a garden feel).

After making it, I realised that a herb garland could be a good future project. I’m partial to a little aromatherapy, and love the idea of an inspirational rosemary garland or relaxing lavender one (thanks to Writing About Nature for inspiring the latter), particularly as they will dry, as well as making the room smell lovely.

Day 5 was, ‘Introduce a friend to nature,’ day. Technically, I opted for my partner, but I consider him a friend too. I’m planning a wild date with him at some point, but this was more about getting him as excited about #30DaysWild as I am than getting out into the countryside.

I showed him the app, and he decided he was going to spot a bug. We went for breakfast at a local cafe, eating outdoors to add extra wildness (though we sat under a tree that kept exploding seeds all over us, calling for napkins over our coffee to keep it seed-free: I’d love to know what it was but forgot to take a picture)

Midway through, a greenfly landed on his arm. “There’s my bug,” he said. I took a picture though, given the size of the greenfly and quality of my camera, it’s not the most exciting of shots.

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What was exciting was seeing him start to engage with nature (to be fair, we do spend a fair amount of time enjoying nature, and first started dating after we discovered a shared love of canal walks. However, it’s safe to say I’m a little more passionate about nature than he is – at least for the moment…)

The next day, I was woken by a text from him saying, “For ‘wild’ today, I listened to the dawn chorus,” rapidly followed by another text saying, “And just said hello to a squirrel. He/she ran up the plum tree.” I love that one day of #30DaysWild has already got him paying more attention to nature – to such an extent that we agreed to go for a nature walk on day 6.

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The highlight of the walk was finding a nest of ducklings curled up together. I never realised that they slept cuddled up together. Not only is it adorable, but it also makes them look like a bigger duck: something I’m guessing is deliberate.

I took lots of pictures, moving slowly and holding my breath as I got close to make sure I didn’t scare them. They let me snap away, only a few inches away from them. After ten minutes of taking photos, the sound of distressed chickens filled the air – the canal is near a farm – and I suspected there was a fox nearby. A rustle in the hedge made the ducklings think so too, and they hurriedly jumped into the canal. I managed to get a video clip of them taking the plunge (I posted it on Twitter as I can’t post it here but here’s the ‘before’ shot)

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On the walk back, we collected more twigs and feathers. I’ve started crafting some miniature trees out of twigs, and will be drafting in my partner to help make more (though I did have to draw the line at him bringing home a 5 foot long branch. Excellent as it would be to make a giant tree, it’s not terribly practical for taking to a festival).

I’m finding 30DaysWild relaxing and inspiring in equal measure. The more I connect with nature, the more glorious things are revealed.

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#30DaysWild so far

  1. Find a bird family.

  2. Collect feathers.

  3. Explore urban wildlife.

  4. Do some nature themed crafting

  5. Introduce a friend to #30DaysWild

  6. Go on a nature walk

I’m still going with the flow in terms of the rest of #30DaysWild, but here are a few more ideas I might choose from. Nature certainly offers a lot of scope for fun.

  • Scatter bee and butterfly friendly flower seeds

  • Go for a paddle

  • Draw a leaf

  • Make a fairy garden

  • Give cuttings/seedlings to a friend
  • Plant a tree

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