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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…