I have long been pining after elderflower champagne so today, I persuaded my partner to come with me to pick elderflower. He enjoyed picking blackberries and elderberries with me in the autumn and was happy to oblige.
However, we hadn’t accounted for his hayfever. In the autumn, there was no issue but summer grasses are problematic. He didn’t let that stop him though, and soon we had an elderflower collection that made me very happy (along with mallow, clover, and a little red dead nettle – which is actually unhelpfully purple).
I feel that if you take something from nature, you should give something back so we then went litter picking. However, nature is a giver so the litter we found was, in the main, large glass bottles – perfect for my plans when I got home.
Bottles are the biggest expense in making your own booze and are sterilised before use, so litter picked bottles are as good as any (saving me at least £10 today).
I left another reminder not to leave litter. It’s the third time I’ve left a message after litter picking that particular spot and it seems to be getting cleaner so I’m hoping it’s sinking in (or at least confusing the regulars). I made it a little more obvious this time.
After litter-picking, I went exploring and was excited to see fledglings flying from the nest – though I only managed to get a photo of the nest (and perhaps a bit of feather on the bottom left?)
I looked up through leaves.
I found a baby ladybird.
I fed the birds.
I admired the flowers along the canal.
I fed more birds.
I spotted some wildflowers that I may have seeded last year (though I’m not 100% sure).
I saw (and heeded) a warning about an invasive plant. (However, I’d rather see knotweed dealt with by being turned into jam or vodka and kept cut back by being used – along with being dug out to protect native wildflowers – rather than doused with chemicals that have no guarantee of working long term anyway. That way, councils could make money by selling jam rather than spending money to poison soil…)
Nature was clearly showing her teeth today as I also saw a deadly nightshade (I think. I gave it a wide berth to be on the safe side).
I found ferns.
I found a plant in the shape of a letter V (or nature flipping the Vs, depending on the way you see it – particularly as I spotted V-shaped flowers too).
I also found a flower fairy (which I think I identified as vetch when I got home though I’ll be checking with BSBI Botany.)
I found a piece of nature art (and collected more petals that had fallen on the ground though these ones were too small for me to easily pick up.)
I found another more sinister piece of nature art.
I took a closer look at my lawn again when I got home as I’m fascinated by how much life it sustains.
And I checked on my container garden, which is coming along well.
When I got in, I gathered all my floral treats together and turned them into wildflower vodka (with mallow, dead nettle, clover and elderflower), elderflower gin, and elderflower and clover cordial (still in progress and may yet turn into champagne.)
Though I’m a little achy, I feel energised and happy from all my #30DaysWild adventures.
Random Acts of Wildness So Far…
- Spread the word.
- Start a weather/pain diary.
- Look at the clouds.
- Photograph wildflowers.
- Look for urban nature.
- ID a butterfly.
- Find a fledgling.
- Feed a swan.
- Collect feathers.
- Stake out a foraging site.
- ID birdsong.
- Tweet using the #30DaysWild hashtag.
- Plant a virtual seed.
- See new life growing.
- Feed the ducks.
- Protect an animal from a predator.
- Reflect on nature.
- Look closely at your lawn.
- Make someone a nature hamper from recycled materials.
- Share nature photos using #30DaysWild on Instagram (and help the hashtag trend).
- Show your houseplants some love.
- Tell friends about #30DaysWild.
- Talk to a junior naturalist and encourage their creativity.
- Photograph a favourite cuddly toy in nature.
- Add a nature event to your diary.
- Look closely at a friend’s garden.
- Take photos for #Rainbowblooms.
- Find a plant that looks like a bug.
- Watch a bee.
- Read a nature-based research paper.
- Get overawed by nature
- Watch the dawn.
- Walk barefoot in dewy grass.
- Try a nature meditation.
- Raid and repurpose the recycling.
- Go on a wild date.
- Go litter picking.
- Protect the soil.
- Make nature art.
- Watch the sunset
- Turn your desk wild.
- Water your plants.
- Celebrate World Environment Day.
- Take part in the plastic challenge.
- Watch nature videos.
- Tell people who run your favourite hashtag hour on Twitter about 30 Days Wild.
- Tell a colleague about 30 Days Wild.
- Take a closer look at foxgloves.
- Share nature-themed recycled crafting ideas.
- Have a natural aromatherapy bath.
- Dress for the weather.
- Connect with a local nature lover.
- Look at a puddle closely.
- Rescue a plant.
- Make a mini meadow in a recycled container.
- Photograph wet leaves.
- Welcome new wildlife to the area.
- Make a bottle garden.
- Make a wild bouquet.
- Collect flower petals for your nature crafting box.
- Tend a garden.
- Feel the wind in your hair.
- Collect leaves for crafting.
- Grow a tomato.
- Create a 30 second wildlife habitat.
- Admire an insect.
- Photograph something blue.
- Make a nature video.
- Go on a flower pot hunt.
- Wear nature-inspired fashion.
- Vote for nature.
- Plan a windowbox walk.
- Celebrate World Oceans Day.
- Go wild in a graveyard.
- Love lichen.
- Be amazed by moss.
- Find fungi.
- Stock up on wild supplies.
- Bag a bargain to bring back to life.
- Find something new in nature.
- Grow your own food.
- Reflect on nature and what it means to you.
- Look closely at cuckoo spit.
- Plant something pollinator friendly.
- Plant a herb garden and share cuttings.
- Look for bugs.
- Let your garden go wild.
- Read the weather.
- Brighten a corner of your home with plants.
- Use an eco friendly search engine.
- Repurpose plastic packaging.
- Use biodegradable glitter.
- Collect flower petals.
- Find the perfect feather to make a quill.
- Add fairyland magic to your home with a fairy doll made from recycled materials.
- Use feathers as home decor.
- Wear nature-inspired jewellery.
- Watch the moon.
- Go for a dawn walk.
- Invite people to a wild cocktail party.
- (Try to) put up a bird box.
- Make a bug habitat.
- Take a bug’s eye view.
- Follow an ant.
- Take a macro shot of the earth.
- Plant strawberries.
- Plant a bird seed garden.
- Collect rainwater for the garden.
- Think about light pollution (and turn off garden lights when not in use).
- Create a kitchen herb garden.
- Put out a bird feeder.
- Photograph flowers in the dark.
- Go for a canal walk at dusk.
- Forage for your supper.
- Make flower tea.
- Make a floral face wash.
- Press flowers.
- Craft a story with wild finds.
- Read William Morris’ s nature writing.
- Fill your pockets with pine cones.
- See fledglings fly the nest.
- Look through the leaves.
- Find a baby ladybird.
- See a seed you sowed grow wild.
- Pay attention to a warning sign in nature.
- Find ferns.
- Find a flower fairy.
- ID a wildflower.
- Find nature art.
- Made floral cocktail ingredients.