Eat / Grow / Make / nature

30 Days Wild: Day 19 – Go Wild When It’s Hot

It was a touch warm today – my flat was as a cosy 29 degrees, without the heating on. This meant my first random act of wildness of the day was putting water out for the birds and topping it up in my bug hotel. I was pleased to see the snail I first met a couple of nights ago, though he’s yet to check into the bug hotel, as far as I know.

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I also took some photos of the flowers in the lawn and noticed a new purple arrival (which I now need to ID).

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I finished making the drinks I started making last night.

I’ve been getting experimental with flower petals and now have the following in progress:

  • Elderflower and clover cordial.
  • Rose petal cordial.
  • Mallow, clover and elderflower vodka.
  • Elderflower gin.
  • Elderflower champagne.
  • Elderflower and rose petal champagne.

Boiling pans of elderflower and rose petals did nothing to help cool things down but the flat smelled incredible. I’m looking forward to finding a glut of honeysuckle so I can see how the flat smells then.

The rose petals formed a lovely pulp, which I’ve saved to add to oats and honey for a luxury face pack.

I also made some thyme oil, because I still have a lot of thyme left from my friend, and the oil is tasty on pizzas.

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Drinks bottled, I checked on the ‘leaf paper’ I’ve been experimenting with. I noticed that flowers stick together if they touch when you press them, and figured this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Foraging usually results in a pile of leaves and othe plant scraps – that could be used to make art.

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I sandwiched the leaves between brown paper and put them in a heavy book (the same heavy book my grandfather pressed flowers in. I know because flowers he pressed fell out of the book when I first flicked through it.)

Today, after they’d been pressing for about a week, I added some flower petals that had fallen off my geranium. I will leave these to press, then add more petals as appropriate (many petals change colour when pressed so there’s no guarantee what the end result will look like.)

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Then, it was back to work. I managed to get enough breeze through the house by opening the windows, and the heat is good for my muscles, but as soon as I finished work, I wanted to get outdoors.

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I suggested a barbecue to my partner, who was up for the idea. He  was less keen on my suggestion that we picked up salad from the community allotment as we hadn’t arranged to go there.

However, the last time I saw the people who run it, they told me there was often a glut and they wanted people to take food rather than leaving it all for the birds and slugs so I persuaded him to embrace his inner rebel and wait while I gathered our dinner.

I was planning on watering the allotment, but as it was my first time there, I wasn’t sure where the rain butt was. I will be going back on a Wednesday when everyone meets up.

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I did a bit of weeding and deadheading to pay for my handful of salad and berries instead. I made sure I left enough for other people and only took fruit that was clearly going to go to the slugs or over-ripen, and leaves that needed thinning out. It’s a beautiful space and I can’t wait to meet more of the gardeners who created it.

I couldn’t resist taking photos of the lovely flowers.

It didn’t take long before I found a ladybird.

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The bees were abundant too – unsurprising as there are clearly lots of flowers planted for them.

There was also a beautiful stream, which was tempting but too far out of reach to dangle my feet in – or hunt for frogs.

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I loved watching the silhouttes of the flowers as the sun went down.

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Then, it was time for the barbecue, back home (there’s no garden but there is a patch of communal lawn so we set up the barbecue on the path leading up to my flat and sat on the lawn).

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I loved watching the flames dance, even if it wasn’t quite a fire pit.

The salad was delicious: freshly picked spinach with coriander, with a few baby broad beans and tomatoes (the latter bought but everything else from the allotment).

I also added to my cocktail stash, and now have a borage, clover, rose petal, blackcurrant and strawberry vodka on the go (to be renamed ‘Summer Vodka’ if it works – though I’d really want elderflower too, as it’s the taste of summer.)

While we sipped beer and ate, my partner saw a bat. I missed out again. However, I did get to see a star slowly emerging as dusk turned into night.

After we ate, I threw some thyme twigs on the fire and loved breathing in the scent. The aroma clung to my hair – which made me happy.

I ended day 19 feeling tired but content.

Random Acts of Wildness So Far…

  1. Spread the word.
  2. Start a weather/pain diary.
  3. Look at the clouds.
  4. Photograph wildflowers.
  5. Look for urban nature.
  6. ID a butterfly.
  7. Find a fledgling.
  8. Feed a swan.
  9. Collect feathers.
  10. Stake out a foraging site.
  11. ID birdsong.
  12. Tweet using the #30DaysWild hashtag.
  13. Plant a virtual seed.
  14. See new life growing.
  15. Feed the ducks.
  16. Protect an animal from a predator.
  17. Reflect on nature.
  18. Look closely at your lawn.
  19. Make someone a nature hamper from recycled materials.
  20. Share nature photos using #30DaysWild on Instagram (and help the hashtag trend).
  21. Show your houseplants some love.
  22. Tell friends about #30DaysWild.
  23. Talk to a junior naturalist and encourage their creativity.
  24. Photograph a favourite cuddly toy in nature.
  25. Add a nature event to your diary.
  26. Look closely at a friend’s garden.
  27. Take photos for #Rainbowblooms.
  28. Find a plant that looks like a bug.
  29. Watch a bee.
  30. Read a nature-based research paper.
  31. Get overawed by nature
  32. Watch the dawn.
  33. Walk barefoot in dewy grass.
  34. Try a nature meditation.
  35. Raid and repurpose the recycling.
  36. Go on a wild date.
  37. Go litter picking.
  38. Protect the soil.
  39. Make nature art.
  40. Watch the sunset
  41. Turn your desk wild.
  42. Water your plants.
  43. Celebrate World Environment Day.
  44. Take part in the plastic challenge.
  45. Watch nature videos.
  46. Tell people who run your favourite hashtag hour on Twitter about 30 Days Wild.
  47. Tell a colleague about 30 Days Wild.
  48. Take a closer look at foxgloves.
  49. Share nature-themed recycled crafting ideas.
  50. Have a natural aromatherapy bath.
  51. Dress for the weather.
  52. Connect with a local nature lover.
  53. Look at a puddle closely.
  54. Rescue a plant.
  55. Make a mini meadow in a recycled container.
  56. Photograph wet leaves.
  57. Welcome new wildlife to the area.
  58. Make a bottle garden.
  59. Make a wild bouquet.
  60. Collect flower petals for your nature crafting box.
  61. Tend a garden.
  62. Feel the wind in your hair.
  63. Collect leaves for crafting.
  64. Grow a tomato.
  65. Create a 30 second wildlife habitat.
  66. Admire an insect.
  67. Photograph something blue.
  68. Make a nature video.
  69. Go on a flower pot hunt.
  70. Wear nature-inspired fashion.
  71. Vote for nature.
  72. Plan a windowbox walk.
  73. Celebrate World Oceans Day.
  74. Go wild in a graveyard.
  75. Love lichen.
  76. Be amazed by moss.
  77. Find fungi.
  78. Stock up on wild supplies.
  79. Bag a bargain to bring back to life.
  80. Find something new in nature.
  81. Grow your own food.
  82. Reflect on nature and what it means to you.
  83. Look closely at cuckoo spit.
  84. Plant something pollinator friendly.
  85. Plant a herb garden and share cuttings.
  86. Look for bugs.
  87. Let your garden go wild.
  88. Read the weather.
  89. Brighten a corner of your home with plants.
  90. Use an eco friendly search engine.
  91. Repurpose plastic packaging.
  92. Use biodegradable glitter.
  93. Collect flower petals.
  94. Find the perfect feather to make a quill.
  95. Add fairyland magic to your home with a fairy doll made from recycled materials.
  96. Use feathers as home decor.
  97. Wear nature-inspired jewellery.
  98. Watch the moon.
  99. Go for a dawn walk.
  100. Invite people to a wild cocktail party.
  101. (Try to) put up a bird box.
  102. Make a bug habitat.
  103. Take a bug’s eye view.
  104. Follow an ant.
  105. Take a macro shot of the earth.
  106. Plant strawberries.
  107. Plant a bird seed garden.
  108. Collect rainwater for the garden.
  109. Think about light pollution (and turn off garden lights when not in use).
  110. Create a kitchen herb garden.
  111. Put out a bird feeder.
  112. Photograph flowers in the dark.
  113. Go for a canal walk at dusk.
  114. Forage for your supper.
  115. Make flower tea.
  116. Make a floral face wash.
  117. Press flowers.
  118. Craft a story with wild finds.
  119. Read William Morris’s nature writing.
  120. Fill your pockets with pine cones.
  121. See fledglings fly the nest.
  122. Look through the leaves.
  123. Find a ladybird baby.
  124. See a seed you sowed grow wild.
  125. Pay attention to a warning sign in nature.
  126. Find ferns.
  127. Find a flower fairy.
  128. ID a wildflower.
  129. Find nature art.
  130. Made floral cocktail ingredients.
  131. (Try to) rescue a wildflower.
  132. Make a daisy ring.
  133. Make a bottle garden and get back to your roots.
  134. Follow an ant.
  135. Check for evidence of wildlife, in the absence of any obvious creatures.
  136. Collect a feather to ID.
  137. Find wildlife in the clouds.
  138. Find a plant that looks like an alien.
  139. Find a solution for a waste problem that annoys you.
  140. Research nature-based citizen science.
  141. Look at nature through a window.
  142. Make something that you need instead of going to the shops.
  143. Learn a new nature word.
  144. Share a happy nature memory online.
  145. Make a natural face mask.
  146. Make a herbal remedy (check for any side effects, particularly if you’re on any medications. Medications don’t always mix well with herbal remedies and many people forget to check this. Read up about all the ingredients you’re using to be on the safe side,)
  147. Share nature-themed style that you love.
  148. Buy a nature-related book (I’m donating all June profits from my book, Go Wild: Over 200 Ways to Connect With Nature to the Wildlife Trusts.)
  149. Trade links with another nature blogger.
  150. Listen to the dawn chorus.
  151. Make an indoor night garden.
  152. Made dinner for a hedgehog.
  153. Use solar powered lights to reduce the amount of electricity you use.
  154. Give nature a libation (pour a bit of drink on the ground and thank nature for all it provides).
  155. Go on a mini-beast hunt at night.
  156. Photograph a snail.
  157. Look into the shadows.
  158. Take a different view.
  159. Find the fairies at the bottom of the garden.
  160. Drink elderberry port outdoors.
  161. Get involved with Britain in Bloom.
  162. Find out more about Transition Towns.
  163. Eat food that would otherwise have been wasted.
  164. Admire a blue sky.
  165. Make your business greener.
  166. Watch the sun through the trees and see how it changes as you move (or move your camera.)
  167. Photograph a blackbird.
  168. Have a 30 Days Wild fail – and learn from it.
  169. Make a bug (boutique) hotel.
  170. Craft a natural scene from your #30DaysWild finds.
  171. Forage for edible wildflowers.
  172. Set off down an unknown path.
  173. Hug a sapling. Baby trees need love too.
  174. Find a tree with a face.
  175. Admire a tree stump.
  176. Forage a friend’s garden.
  177. Grow the amount of nature you have indoors.
  178. Make a herbal hair tonic.
  179. Look for bats.
  180. Make a herb vinegar.
  181. Put water out for wildlife on a hot day.
  182. Make rose cordial (and experiment with other edible flowers.)
  183. Make a herbal oil.
  184. Make leaf paper.
  185. Get food from a community allotment.
  186. Have a barbecue.
  187. Watch a stream flow.
  188. Look into a fire.
  189. Create an outdoor air freshener by throwing woody herbs on the fire.
  190. Watch the stars emerge at dusk.

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