I am sure many of you in the UK have heard about the Wildlife Trusts' "30 Days Wild" project and I know many of you are also taking part. The idea is to make time each day during the month of June to do a Random Act of Wildness to connect with nature and/or help wildlife.
Monday, 1st June
I bought a lavender plant to be planted in my Green Man pot to encourage visits from bees and butterflies. You can never have too many lavender plants in a garden :)
We put up the Bee "hotel" - no visits yet but its early days.
Tuesday, 2nd June
I spent 10 minutes just watching bees on a clump of Thyme in a garden wall - there were visits from Honey Bees, Buff-tailed, White-tailed, Common Carder and Early Bumble Bees plus a Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata). There is something very soothing about listening to the sounds of bees and watching them go about their day to day life.
Wednesday, 3rd June
I decided to visit a local churchyard today to see how wildlife friendly it was. The good news is that the grass has been left to grow among the gravestones and this brilliant border has been planted with pollinator friendly flowers. It was very attractive to look at and Alliums, Geums, Napeta etc. were buzzing with bees :)
A resident had planted Blue Cranesbill geranium around the base of a tree on the grass verge. I have one of these at home and its very popular with pollinating insects.
Thursday, 4th June
I made a brief visit to Winterbourne House and Gardens and spent most of my time in a greenhouse full of carnivorous and insectivorous plants. I find these fascinating and just wish now I had bought a Venus Fly Trap to bring home.
Friday, 5th June
A busy day on Friday so had less time to spend on wildlife. I used to try and read a nature poem every day but have recently got out of the habit so I resolved to begin again starting with some poems by John Clare.
John Clare (1793-1864) is often known as "the peasant poet". He was the son of a farm labourer and lived in the village of Helpston, Northamptonshire, for the first 40 years of his life. Clare had a great gift of observing and writing about the minutiae of nature and rural life at a time when enclosures were changing the landscape. Sadly, he spent the last years of his life in a lunatic aslyum.
Had a surprise in the post today - really looking forward to reading this book :)
Saturday 6th June
Spent half an hour today wandering round the garden looking closely at plants and insects with a magnifying glass and hand lens. Only one photo today as I couldn't get the camera to focus through the glass and lens!
Sunday, 7th June
Yesterday I spent an hour sitting quietly and observing a small area (about a metre squared) of the wildflower "meadow".
At first you notice just the flowers but as time goes on you notice the different textures, colours and shapes of the leaves and flowers.
A Tree Bumble Bee Queen whizzed past me on her way to alkanet flowers and I could hear the constant buzzing and humming of bees feeding on this plant behind me.
You start to notice lots of tiny insects clambering among the leaves
and I watched the journey of this spider for many minutes.
Sadly, my peace was shattered as B decided to start mowing the lawns! I could easily have sat there for another half an hour.