Art / Grow / Make / nature

30 Days Wild: Day 28 – Go Wild Daydreaming

As we edge ever-nearer to the end of 30 Days Wild, I am starting to feel a pang. I’ve loved connecting with nature even more than usual; and I’ve loved connecting with other #30DayWilders even more.

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The #30DaysWild tag is full of people being creative, sharing cute pictures, asking for help with wildlife ID, trading recipes, crafting ideas, showing the natural world through their eyes and generally sharing all the good things in life.

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I’ll miss the sense of community when it’s over – although on day 28, I did suggest a #MidlandersGoWild meet up (or at least hashtag) to someone on Twitter, once #30DaysWild is over, as there seem to be a lot of nature lovers in the heart of the country. I’ll also be following @365DaysWild – and maybe even going #365DaysWild as that seems to be the way life is moving, and it brings me so much joy.

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I’m thinking a #MidlandersGoWild could be a project for Transition Loughborough given their glorious allotment and myriad connections. I’ll chat to them about it the next time I visit the allotment.

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I couldn’t go to the allotment this Wednesday as I went to see a great lecture, which was part of UK Robotics Week. It was about Robots in the Movies – an attempt to make robotics more accessible to non-academics. It worked. The time passed quickly, the free sweets, drinks and popcorn went down rather too fast and I came away with a list of films to watch.

The one that I’m most excited about seeing is Silent Running – described by IMDB as follows: “In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth’s botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.” The film sounds wonderful, though my friend warned me I might cry…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I started day 28 by watching the dawn – as has become increasingly common over the last month.

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I am a definite night owl. It takes me a while to wake up – my brain seems to wake up a couple of hours after my body.

However, I’ve discovered that I love the dawn light, peace and stillness. If insomnia means I haven’t got to sleep by the time dawn arrives, I find that embracing its beauty, rather than trying to sleep when my body is putting up a fight, gives me a lovely start to my day. As I’m a freelancer, I can fit in dozes during the day to balance the lack of sleep first thing.

Seeing the sun rise feels like an obvious start point to the day – and the way it slips from darkness to milky light to blazing glory (if you’re lucky) echoes the way that I feel about waking up: it’s something to take your time about. I suppose the sun doesn’t have coffee to help out (though is arguably full of energy regardless).

Along with seeing the sunrise, I made friends with a snail. I felt genuinely contrite when I saw it in one of my plant pots – not because I was concerned for my plant, but because I wondered if the snail I accidentally squashed in the dark back on day 16 was any relation.

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In my mind, the (adorable) beady eyes of the snail were saying, “You killed my friend. I will take my revenge on your garden.” Or worse, “We were going to have babies. How could you?”

I did not back down from the snail’s gaze – just made eye contact with it and hoped my contrition shone through. I don’t mind if it feasts on my peas by way of payback. I just wish I could bring back its shattered friend.

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I also hope it keeps its distance from the orange flowers that are now blooming outside my door. They offer a splash of brightness to grey days which makes it feel far more cheerful out there.

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I’m hoping to grow a full rainbow of colours. I’ve already planted indigo flowers of various types, along with Love-in-the-Mist (which is white rather than blue, if the first flowers of the season are anything to go by.)

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I have green parsley and sage, and yellow, indigo and blue wildflowers in my lawn, along with some violet campanula rescued from Wilko’s ‘dying plants’ display – and chive flowers.

I need to get some red flowers and my rainbow will be complete. This makes me happy – particularly when my rainbow cocktail cabinet is coming along so well too.

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I spent most of the rest of the day working, though I did find time for crafting after work, and the robot lecture. I keep finding myself drawn back to the dummy magazine I started making out of old copies of the Wildlife Trusts newsletters,. I spent some time adding more pages, to see what emerged.

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At the moment, it’s just fun, but I got chatting (via Twitter) to a talented nature writer, Tiffany Francis,  about the idea of creating a nature magazine, and shared some of the ideas I have for a new way to approach nature publications. She was enthusiastic, as were a fair few other people. I’ve run magazines before and love it.

My editing fingers are getting a little itchy so I’m planning to develop my proposal into something a little more business like and start looking for funding. You’ve got to have a dream.

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I also spent some time working on my papercraft forest: a work in progress that so far comprises a single tree but I know enough about the art I make now to know that it’s sure to end up growing…

I couldn’t resist taking more pictures of my elderflower forest either. Playing with the light levels and seeing what emerges is fun: several hours worth so far, for the princely sum of a piece of old cardboard and pressed elderflowers left over after making champagne, along with a sprinkling of fairy dust (some people call it glitter.)

Every time I photograph it, something different appears, depending on the light levels, time of day and background light. It feels magical, seeing the way it changes.

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After that, it was time for more craft box sorting. One night is not enough to sort all the crafting materials I own – and it feels like a treasure hunt, as I reveal long-forgotten glittery things that make me smile. It also feels like a natural process: preparing the ground now for future activity. If you’re going to grow a garden of love, you need to make sure you have the seeds ready…

The more time I spend on 30 Days Wild, the more I want to spend all my time going wild. I don’t know what I’m going to do once the campaign finishes (aside from going to play with the fairies) – but I’ve certainly got enough inspiration to keep me busy for a while…

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.
  191. Create your own nature magazine, booklet or scrap book.
  192. Light a candle in the dark.
  193. Go outside wearing your pyjamas.
  194. Celebrate Summer Solstice.
  195. Think about the impact you have on nature.
  196. Collect herbs by moonlight.
  197. Listen to the wind in the trees.
  198. Study a slug.
  199. Burn natural incense.
  200. Make herb salt.
  201. Watch a daisy open up.
  202. Make herb ice cubes.
  203. Get involved with a gardening community.
  204. Share food or drink with other people.
  205. Weed the garden.
  206. Make blackcurrant or redcurrant cordial.
  207. Make borage gin.
  208. ID a ladybird.
  209. Make your own Summer Punch (vodka, fruit, edible flowers and herbs)/
  210. Start a herb garden.
  211. Cook using a wild ingredient you’ve never tried before.
  212. Share your wild recipes.
  213. Re-use a Lucozade bottle..
  214. Press elderflower stalks left over from cordial making to make tiny trees.
  215. Love lemon balm.
  216. Read the science behind a herbal remedy and see if it stacks up for you (tips on research can be found here. If you’re after something more in-depth, read The Research Companion by the brilliant Petra Boynton).
  217. Opt for eco cleaning.
  218. Make a dinosaur garden.
  219. Go meat free.
  220. Watch a nature TV show.
  221. Look at nature photos when you’re stressed.
  222. Relieve the pressure.
  223. Learn about yeast.
  224. Make a recycled funnel from an old plastic bottle.
  225. Dissuade unwanted wildlife from your home.
  226. Befriend a bug.
  227. Get surprised by wildlife.
  228. Burn herbal incense.
  229. Sniff Mycobacterium vaccae.
  230. Track your growth.
  231. Listen to nature-inspired music.
  232. Share your favourite nature bloggers with other people.
  233. Watch the slipstream.
  234. Be inspired by someone’s recycling idea.
  235. Notice the light through the trees.
  236. Look at the way the wind affects things around you.
  237. Talk to your local restaurant about recycling flowers (and other waste).
  238. Have a drink in a pub garden.
  239. Compare man-made magic with natural magic.
  240. Notice the shadows at night.
  241. Have an explosive nature experience.
  242. Clean up the mess you’ve made.
  243. Upcycle a found item, rather than buying something new.
  244. Chop an onion the ‘minimum waste’ way.
  245. Save onion skins to make dye.
  246. Start a compost bin.
  247. Make Fridgetata.
  248. Take a new approach to a familiar experience.
  249. Collect egg shells for egg shell mosaics.
  250. Learn about a local farm shop.
  251. Photograph pink clouds.
  252. Check on your bug habitat, and top up the water.
  253. Plant a tree.
  254. Investigate bonsai.
  255. Let your garden run wild.
  256. Deadhead flowers.
  257. Make a Rumtompf (or ‘Joyful Jamjar).
  258. Make an ‘elderflower trees’ collage.
  259. Make her bread.
  260. Eat a meal you’ve grown.
  261. Watch wildlife through a window.
  262. Watch a duck groom itself (if you can, watch a swan too. They’re amusingly inelegant when grooming, compared to their usual sophisticated selves).
  263. Look into the light.
  264. Make a ‘rainy day; nature crafting kit.
  265. Drink a cup of tea outdoors.
  266. Organise a nature-themed event.
  267. Make a nature-themed fancy dress costume.
  268. Take stock of nature’s bounty.
  269. Make a foraged rainbow cocktail collection.
  270. Save seeds.
  271. Connect with other people taking part in #30DaysWild near you.
  272. Add a nature film to your ‘must watch’ list.
  273. Be a lark not an owl – or vice versa.
  274. Make friends with a snail.
  275. Grow an orange flower.
  276. Develop an idea you have for helping nature.
  277. Try nature-inspired paper-crafts.
  278. Take a second look at nature.
  279. Plant a rainbow garden.
  280. Prepare yourself for future nature adventures.

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