Saturday, 4 July 2015

30 Days Wild - Free the Human

It's just a few days since I finished my 3 days wild. I've seen so many surprising and lovely things, from Bee Orchids on waste ground in Birmingham to the creatures that visit our Uckfield garden.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't reflect on and analyse my 30 days wild. So here is a wordle based on my #30DaysWild tweets.

As you can see, I've been observing nature in my home town of Uckfield (in Sussex) and my current place of work, near Birmingham. Although the weekly commute is a chore, it's given me a chance to be wild in both the city and the countryside. Given the challenge to find wildlife every day motivated me to really look at places near the office and hotels giving me some unforgettable encounters.
Young house martins at the Arden Hotel
I notice that two words I used a lot were love and enjoy. I had an absolute ball trying to find nature every day. It gave me the impetus to explore new places. It also gave me a reason to really look at familiar friends like my favourite bee.

Patchwork leaf cutter bee in my Uckfield garden.
All this searching for wildlife is a pleasant way of taking exercise. Tiny interludes, like a teleconference taken outside or visiting a pond next to the office, can make the working day less stressful and more fun. At work, we recently received an email suggesting we spend a few minutes outside in the sun each day to top up vitamin D levels. Who am I to argue?

Topping up vitamin D as per my employer's instructions.
I've been exploring outside wherever I find myself - not just waiting for holidays. In Birmingham, I discovered a huge park just opposite one of the hotels I use. Closer to home, I visited Chailey Common properly for the first time. I hope to be exploring both places much more in the future.

Ellie-May and Hamish bracken rolling at Chailey Common.
Some of my wildlife encounters came about because others were generous with their knowledge. When a fellow commuter at Uckfield station realised I was interested in the local wildlife, he told me where to look for a pair of grey wagtails. In turn I showed some of my colleagues where to find orchids in a surprising place.

Bee orchids at Trinity Park business park, near NEC Birmingham.

I just have to do it - 30 days wild in numbers:
  • 76 Tweets
  • 12 blog posts
  • about 100 photos shared out of a thousand taken
  • 3 drawings.
Drawing of Tern in front of an NEC hotel.
I've learnt so much from 30 days wild. Obviously, I've learnt about the wildlife around me but there is much more. Just one example - getting the photos that told the stories I wanted to share, really pushed my photographic skills.

I've even found that I am using my senses more.  I like to observe things but my observations have tended to be visual. Over the 30 Days, I've been listening much more to the twitter of house martins arriving at their nests, buzzing bees and swishing grasses. I've enjoyed feeling the wind and rain on my face, tasting the sweetness of strawberries eaten straight from the garden, touching rough barked trees and soft fur.
Taking a few minutes out of the working day to get wildlife photos.
So will I continue my wild life? Of course I will.

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