For those who haven’t read my earlier posts, 30 Days Wild is a month long campaign run by the Wildlife Trusts throughout June to encourage people to get outside and reconnect with nature.
Obviously I don’t really need to reconnect with nature – I spend a large amount of my spare time outside as it is! But as with last year, and like many others, I still enjoy the challenge of doing something every day instead of just at the weekends.
Last year I focused on minibeasts (see: New Beginnings: A Look Back At 2015, Part 1) around home and a park near work, with additional weekend trips to local nature reserves. Looking for minibeasts at lunchtime had proved to be quite time consuming and unrewarding, so this year I decided to stick with nature in the garden and local nature reserves.
My aim was to spend at least some time each day in my garden looking for interesting things to photograph, as well as visiting my local nature reserves on the weekends.
On the first weekend I took a trip to Twywell Hills and Dales and Twywell Plantation where I found common spotted orchids in the woodland and lots of butterflies in the limestone hills. For the second weekend I went back to Ditchford Lakes and Meadows, somewhere I haven’t been for a while, here I saw Great Crested Grebes and a few different species of damselflies. Then on the third weekend I went back to Titchmarsh nature reserve where I saw swans, dragonflies and more species of damselflies.
On the weekdays I had been getting up earlier than normal so I could go to work and come home earlier to spend time in the garden. On the third week I decided to take this one step further and got up early enough to pay a few early morning visits to Summer Leys nature reserve. The first couple of visits I wandered around a small meadow next to the car park and spent some time sitting in the bird hides, on the third visit I arrived early enough to take a walk around the whole reserve.
For the final weekend of June I decided that since 30 Days Wild is all about discovering nature, it was time to go somewhere new. So I headed off to Short Wood and Southwick Wood, another local Wildlife Trusts BCN nature reserve that I’ll write in more detail about in a separate blog entry of its own.
Anyway, that’s enough words, here’s a gallery of photos from each of the 30 days.
One of the few creatures enjoying the weather round here on day 1 of 30 Days Wild.
You don’t need to go far to enjoy nature, here are the pretty flowers of a firethorn hedge on day 2 of #30DaysWild.
A tiny parasitoid wasp that preys on aphids, a bit of natural pest control for day 3 of #30DaysWild.
Had a mini garden minibeast hunt for day 4 of #30DaysWild. Found what I think is a blue mint leaf beetle.
A Dingy Skipper butterfly sun bathing in the Whitestones area of Twywell Hills and Dales. Photos from a trip to Twywell Hills and Dales and Twywell Plantation for day 5 of #30DaysWild.
Back in the garden for day 6 of #30DaysWild, enjoying one of the many tiny flowers of heuchera.
Patterns in petals for day 7 of #30DaysWild. Check out the veins in this cranesbill flower!
Day 8 of #30DaysWild, spotted this Mullein moth caterpillar on a buddleja in the garden.
Love is in the air on day 9 of #30DaysWild. Figwort weevil love.
Another spot in the garden from #30DaysWild day 10, a tiny gall midge on a blade of grass.
Headshot of a male banded demoiselle damselfly. Photos from a trip to Ditchford Lakes and Meadows for day 11 of #30DaysWild.
Raindrops on a Welsh poppy flower, dodging showers to get out into the garden on day 12 of #30DaysWild.
Popped into Summer Leys #nature reserve this morning for day 13 of #30DaysWild, spotted a dagger fly.
Another early visit to Summer Leys before the rain on day 14 of #30DaysWild. Orchids looking great!
A little mint moth feeding on the nectar of an oxeye daisy. Making the most of the evening sunshine on day 15 of #30DaysWild, looking for minibeasts in the garden.
A meadow waxcap mushroom nestled in the dew covered grass. A quiet (and slightly damp) early morning walk round Summer Leys on day 16 of #30DaysWild.
A migrant hoverfly on an oxeye daisy petal. Short time in the garden before the rain arrived on day 17 of #30DaysWild.
A peckled bush-cricket nymph hanging out in the undergrowth. Lots of garden time for day 18 of #30DaysWild.
This great spotted woodpecker was pecking at the tree looking for food. Out spotting birds and bugs at Wildlife Trusts Titchmarsh nature reserve for day 19 of #30DaysWild.
A fly on an ox-eye daisy flower in the evening sun. I’m not even going to try to ID the fly! Blue skies and flies, the weather turned out OK in the end for day 20 of #30DaysWild.
Bit of a grey day 21 of #30DaysWild, but even so the flowers are out and the bees are about in the garden.
Not many signs of life on a grey and wet day 22 of #30DaysWild. Spotted a Harvestman loitering in the undergrowth.
Another wet and cloudy one for day 23 of #30DaysWild. Not much about in the garden but spotted this cranefly.
Dodging showers on #30DaysWild day 24. Rain brought out the molluscs, here’s a black slug wandering round the lawn.
The small and bright flowers of black medick clover in the sun. Out in the warm afternoon sunshine enjoying the flowers and minibeasts in the garden on day 25 of #30DaysWild.
A large skipper butterfly on a bramble flower. A woodland double bill for day 26 of #30DaysWild. Headed out to Wildlife Trusts Short and Southwick Woods.
Found this cinnabar moth in my wild patch, looked quite recently emerged. Garden nature spotting again for day 27 of #30DaysWild.
A brief respite from an afternoon of endless rain on day 28 of #30DaysWild. Spotted this hoverfly having a scratch.
An almost wintery day 29 of #30DaysWild, about the only creatures braving it in the garden are the molluscs.
A tiny pollen beetle feeding on a honeysuckle flower. A cold and grey but dry day 30 of #30DaysWild, finishing off with minibeasts, flowers and fruit in the garden.
To see all of my photos taken during 30 Days Wild take a look at my full Flickr album.