For the final few days of The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild, we have focussed on the bigger wildlife of the British Isles.
We celebrated National Badger Week on Day Twenty-Six by pretending to be badgers in the woods. And my son drew the sweetest (seven legged) badger using charcoal he had found from a used fire pit at the community woodland we often visit.
On Day Twenty-Seven we went for a walk on the moors to try and spot some wildlife. We saw a rabbit, lots of sheep, a grasshopper, wagtails, sparrows, lots of swifts (or swallows, I’m still never sure which is which despite my Mum telling me!) …and an aeroplane! And enjoyed the plantlife too.
As we left a bird seemed to follow us and hover just in front, the sky above was just incredible. We had been listening to the song of the skylarks but I never thought we’d be lucky enough to actually see one! I never have. I assumed the bird was a swift as there were so many about. I took this photo just as my battery went. I couldn’t believe that I had captured the moment and later my Uncle identified it as a skylark! I’m not sure I believe in signs but sometimes they find me. It certainly felt like my baby was with us in this moment.
We read about the homes, behaviours and diet of lots of British Mammals in our new book (see Goodreads link by clicking on the + button below) on Day Twenty-Eight and we made this little felt badger finger puppet together before bedtime.
Inspired by the deer tracks we had seen down by the stream in the village, we set up our own footprint trap on Day Twenty-Nine using wet sand and some mealworms as bait (see instructions from Wildlife Watch here). We also set up a small mammal tunnel made from cardboard with a removable cardboard tray which we stuck paper to and a small bowl of bait. At the entrances we soaked sponges with black food colouring.
In the morning we excitedly checked on our footprint traps… We found… Slugs!!
We tried again on a drier night and were delighted to find lots of little mouse footprints and a hedgehog footprint in the tunnel! In the sand we found a few bird footprints and one which we think must be a magpie as they are nesting in the tree above.
On Day Thirty, the final day of 30 Days Wild, we decided to spread a little wildness in the hope of inspiring others to join in next time! We thought we’d help the bees at the same time so bought a couple of packets of seeds and my son set about painting little bees on rocks.
I chose poppy seeds in memory of my baby boy because he was born forever sleeping on 11/11/13. I feel connected to him through nature so it is lovely that he, in a way, has been a part of 30 Days Wild too.
I wrapped them in fabric and we set off to place them in some of our favourite spots to enjoy in nature. My son loved choosing a place to leave them without being noticed! And we were so excited to see that they were gone later on and we hoped that they had brought a little cheer to someone’s day.
This week has been about what we cannot see, just as much as what we can! So much of 30 Days Wild has been about sharing animals and plants that we have observed but this week we have learnt about animals that aren’t so easily seen. If our eyes weren’t open to the clues, would we know that they were there? It was quite exciting to discover tracks and imagine the creatures that have been there in our absence. To wonder about life in their world. I loved seeing the Skylark and capturing it on camera without realising! Leaving the little gift for an unseen person to open was very rewarding and highlighted how nature helps us to make connections in all sorts of ways.
These 30 Days Wild have been inspiring and we’re looking forward to joining in again next year! We love nature and will continue to connect with it but it has been so lovely to share our experiences and those of others. Thank you Wildlife Trusts!