Today, the change in weather meant my body wasn’t playing ball. However, I had work to be getting on with so needed to spend a day at my desk.
That doesn’t mean I was devoid of nature: I still kept checking in on the #30DaysWild hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and keeping an eye on the Facebook group. However, it was getting dark by the time I finished work. I was feeling the cold, and decided a cosy night in was what I needed – along with some crafting I’d been meaning to do for a while.
As a member of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, I receive their magazine twice a year (though haven’t yet had the latest one through). I love the beautiful photography and fascinating articles about local wildlife. along with information on the nature events in the area.
I can’t bear to throw them away as it’s lovely having a nature-burst at my finger tips (outside of 30 Days Wild, when I positively revel in the abundance of beautiful nature images that are being shared.) However, my magazine rack was getting full to overflowing, so I needed to rationalise. I had an idea…
I started by cutting out all the animal pictures. I divided them into piles of nature shots, photos that also included information, and headlines. I soon had a series of piles of cuttings.
I realised that if I cut out every wildlife guide in the magazine each issue, I’d gradually build up my own illustrated nature compendium – and once I’ve memorised everything it contains, I can pass it on to a junior naturalist friend.
I made a separate pile of cuttings about local nature reserves. These will be stuck into a ‘Sunday Afternoon Scrapbook’, to flick through on a weekend when my partner and I are looking for something to do and aren’t quite sure what appeals. And then there were the remaining cuttings…
I’ve spent a lot of time working in publishing over the years, and magazines are a particular penchant of mine. I couldn’t resist turning some of the cuttings into a magazine cover (and may yet create a full nature magazine from the rest of the cuttings: it’s long been a dream of mine to run a nature magazine, and getting a dummy together is the first step.)
I had great fun putting together the ‘fantasy magazine’ cover and, while it’s not quite the cover of my dreams, I was rather pleased with the amount of wildlife I managed to fit onto the page (and the easily formed headline, which seemed a natural homage to the great Sir David Attenborough.)
If you’ve long held dreams of editing a magazine – or have a child who has editorial ambitions – creating a mock up from old magazines can be fun, as well as a being a great way to get crafting materials for free, and minimise your recycling. Re-using something is always more sustainable than recycling – even though recycling is better than just throwing magazines away, of course
Collage is also a great way to distract yourself from pain (assuming you don’t struggle to use scissors. If you do, ask a friend to cut the images out and just do the ‘gluing and sticking’ part.)
I plan to use the remaining images for decoupage, which is a passion of mine (again, because it combines recycling with free crafting materials). I’m not sure what I’m going to cover with nature images, though I do have a bookshelf that has long been in need of refreshing, so am leaning towards upcycling that.
After my crafting, I was feeling a little more refreshed – and had also realised that it was the Summer Solstice. Staying in all night on Summer Solstice seemed particularly wrong, so I headed for the lawn outside my house, under cover of darkness (I was wearing my pyjamas but was pretty sure the neighbours would all be in bed).
Having previously struggled to see anything by candle-light alone, I took my glittering lava lamp (I’m not usually a fan of plastic but it was a present, and casts twinkling light as the glitter swirls, so it is a guilty pleasure.) However, I also took the lantern as I love the way the flame looks in the night (and wanted to send a photo of it to a friend.)
The light looked magical in the garden. Sadly, it wasn’t quite bright enough for me to see all the mini-beasts, and I am gutted to report that I heard a crunching snail. Worse, I’m pretty sure it was the snail friend I made the other night.
I was wearing socks and stopped applying pressure the second I heard the crunch but my examination suggested that Mr Snail was not likely to be mended. I hope that I’m wrong – I have seen snails with broken shells recover before.
I felt genuinely horrible about what I’d done: I really need to get a powerful torch to avoid it happening again. I also needed a more powerful torch to check in on the bug hotel, though I’m pretty sure it has some residents now.
To make up for my tragic nature fail, I befriended a slug (or possibly a very thick worm) that was glistening in the moonlight (and glitter-light).
I watered all my plants, and lit a stick of ‘Green Lady’ incense (made from herbs and spices, not artificial aromas) then sat, listening to the wind in the trees.
I also collected some of my herbs by moonlight, as it seemed like the right sort of thing to do on a Solstice. When I got in, I chopped them up and made herb salt, to send to some Pagan friends (who also like cooking).
The sunrise was magical, though photos don’t do it justice.
I went to bed, feeling tired, achy and guilty about being a (potential) snail killer, but (snail aside) feeling that I’d had a productive day.
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 ladybird baby.
- 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.
- (Try to) rescue a wildflower.
- Make a daisy ring.
- Make a bottle garden and get back to your roots.
- Follow an ant.
- Check for evidence of wildlife, in the absence of any obvious creatures.
- Collect a feather to ID.
- Find wildlife in the clouds.
- Find a plant that looks like an alien.
- Find a solution for a waste problem that annoys you.
- Research nature-based citizen science.
- Look at nature through a window.
- Make something that you need instead of going to the shops.
- Learn a new nature word.
- Share a happy nature memory online.
- Make a natural face mask.
- 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,)
- Share nature-themed style that you love.
- 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.)
- Trade links with another nature blogger.
- Listen to the dawn chorus.
- Make an indoor night garden.
- Made dinner for a hedgehog.
- Use solar powered lights to reduce the amount of electricity you use.
- Give nature a libation (pour a bit of drink on the ground and thank nature for all it provides).
- Go on a mini-beast hunt at night.
- Photograph a snail.
- Look into the shadows.
- Take a different view.
- Find the fairies at the bottom of the garden.
- Drink elderberry port outdoors.
- Get involved with Britain in Bloom.
- Find out more about Transition Towns.
- Eat food that would otherwise have been wasted.
- Admire a blue sky.
- Make your business greener.
- Watch the sun through the trees and see how it changes as you move (or move your camera.)
- Photograph a blackbird.
- Have a 30 Days Wild fail – and learn from it.
- Make a bug (boutique) hotel.
- Craft a natural scene from your #30DaysWild finds.
- Forage for edible wildflowers.
- Set off down an unknown path.
- Hug a sapling. Baby trees need love too.
- Find a tree with a face.
- Admire a tree stump.
- Forage a friend’s garden.
- Grow the amount of nature you have indoors.
- Make a herbal hair tonic.
- Look for bats.
- Make a herb vinegar.
- Put water out for wildlife on a hot day.
- Make rose cordial (and experiment with other edible flowers.)
- Make a herbal oil.
- Make leaf paper.
- Get food from a community allotment.
- Have a barbecue.
- Watch a stream flow.
- Look into a fire.
- Create an outdoor air freshener by throwing woody herbs on the fire.
- Watch the stars emerge at dusk.
- Create your own nature magazine, booklet or scrap book.
- Light a candle in the dark.
- Go outside wearing your pyjamas.
- Celebrate Summer Solstice.
- Think about the impact you have on nature.
- Collect herbs by moonlight.
- Listen to the wind in the trees.
- Study a slug.
- Burn natural incense.
- Make herb salt.