Earlier this year, #30DaysWild helped me get into the habit of getting out in nature every day. It was a fantastic initiative and I made many Twitter friends through sharing #30DaysWild ideas and photos.
I didn’t want #30DaysWild to end – and discovered others who felt the same. One of them, Naomi, got in touch to let me know she’d be doing #31DaysWild in October, to maintain a connection with nature as the nights draw in.
I love this idea. In the summer, the incentive to get outdoors is already there. When it’s cold and damp, it can be less appealing. But there’s still a lot you can do. Here are a few ideas if you want to join in with #31DaysWild.
Plant a Garden
Lots of people assume that gardening is just for spring and summer but you can grow year round if you choose the right seeds. This sustainable growing kit from The Crop Club includes spring onions, cress, nasturtium and pansies – and you can pick other seasonal seeds too.
The kit has everything you need to grow, from compost and pots to a bottle cap watering can. It’s deliberately priced to make it affordable for most pockets too (particularly when you factor in the savings from growing your own food). Gardening can brighten up the greyest day – and be done indoors as well as outside.
Get Close to Nature
I’ve seen so much more beauty since #30DaysWild. Once you start paying attention, it becomes obvious that nature is an artist.
There’s also a world of activity going on that’s so often ignored.
Take a closer look and you’ll be surprised by how much beauty there is all around us.
Enjoy the Harvest
On days when you can’t get outside (my health prevents it on occasion) you can still appreciate #31DaysWild by cooking some of nature’s bounty: just collect it when you can get outside and freeze anything that won’t keep, so you always have a stash of foraged produce to enjoy.
There’s loads you can make at this time of year, including rosehip syrup, elderberry* port, blackberry* and apple crumble, hawthorn jam and mushroom soup (if you know your funghi -I’d still only go mushroom foraging with someone who knows more than I do, as I’m not confident enough in my abilities for safety yet). And it feels extra-comforting eating food you’ve gathered yourself.
Whatever the weather, the clouds can be beautiful. Some days are more prone to storytelling clouds than others but even when there are no obvious stories, looking up into the skies can bring joy.
Connect With Animals
Even if you live in the heart of a city, there will be animals to connect with. My neighbour’s cat brings me a lot of joy (my neighbour is fully aware of Charlie cat’s somewhat flexible approach to ‘home’ – namely, anywhere with a resident that leaves a door open for more than a minute). There are numerous other local cats who say hello too.
And there are also birds, bees, bugs and beautiful creatures galore to meet outside.
So don’t let the colder days out you off getting outside. Take part in #31DaysWild – and share photos of your adventures on Twitter.
* Elderberry season is almost over in the Midlands but there are regional variations. Some consider it bad luck to eat blackberries after October 11th, as ‘the devil spits on them’, so consider yourself warned…