The day has arrived- the start of the Wildlife Trust’s June challenge to carry out Random Acts of Wildness every day during June. I am completing the challenge with my husband. We’ll be trying to spend more time in nature and learning more about the wildlife close to home. This will be a challenge, as we both work full time, and my husband has a long commute. On top of this, I have to work on several Saturdays during this month, to attend summer events to promote recycling, as part of my job.
Luckily, we had the 1st June booked off work, to go and buy a new car, to take us out and about on more wild adventures. Our 30 wild days started with a barefoot breakfast in the garden, watching the bees forage while we sipped our coffee.
Car buying completed, we then headed for The Vyne, a National Trust property near Basingstoke, for a walk in Morgaston Woods. We played pooh sticks as we crossed a bridge over the outflow stream from the lake, the pooh sticks being difficult to see against the water, we played pooh leaves, which I conclusively won!
On our way through the formal grounds, in the walled garden, I heard the shrill cries of baby birds, and looking for where the nest could be, spotted a pair of blue tits with their mouths full of food, in a nearby tree, waiting for us to move so they could fly into their nest. We moved slightly further away and watched as they alighted on the metal structures on the wall to hop in to the nest, in a gap between the bricks. One of the parent birds was looking very scruffy, looks like she is afflicted with some sort of parasite, but they were carrying lots of food for their hungry brood.
In the parkland, a beautiful wildflower meadow was in bloom, the yellow buttercups glowing despite the ever greyer skies.
Near to the house, bees foraged on borage, busily buzzing from flower to flower.
In the lake a family of swans with a posse of cygnets glided by, as we walked further up we spotted their large nest, made from reeds, not long vacated.
We took a quick look out of the hide across the wetlands, and marvelled at the jackdaws diving and gliding in the windy weather before disappearing among the tussocky grass.
In the woods, we listened to the melodious bird song, spotted a face among the trees
and I hugged a marvellous old oak.
As we wandered along the path, we startled a deer in amongst the trees, who was gone in an instant. We saw a huge old beech tree, trunk twisted as it reached up towards the sky, light below it a pale green, filtered through the umbrella of new leaves high above.
Through the woodland there are a series of posts with things you can find in the woodland on them, designed for making rubbings. We didn’t have anything with us to do this, but it will be a fun activity for another visit. I particularly liked the fox and badger ones.
We also saw one of my favourite features of the woodland’s here, an amazing upturned stump, like a star fallen to earth.
Leaving the woods, we walked back along the lake. On some willows we spotted a very hard to see treecreeper, can you spot them against the bark in the pictures below?
We watched a cormorant and tufted ducks gracefully dive under water, sinuous and beautiful, and watched families of young geese in the water and relaxing next to it.
We finished our first wild day catching up with all the news from Springwatch, we’re enjoying the story of Spineless Si the stickleback, and I love the beautiful wildlife films, they transport me. Looking forward to seeing what we can fit in to the rest of our 30 days wild!