Despite this being a Saturday, today I was working, promoting recycling at a local carnival. In my day job, I am a waste strategy manager for a local council. The weather was beautiful, hot, sunny, but windy too. In a break, I managed to pick up a bee friendly Echinacea plant for the garden from a stall, as well as an elderflower cake to treat myself with in the evening.
After a great afternoon chatting to local residents at the carnival I was keen for a little wild time when I finished working. I left my husband setting up the barbeque for our dinner and walked through our local copse and along a tree lined path between the nearby industrial estate and houses in search of elder. I found some blooming and with a magpie chastising me loudly, picked a small bunch of the flowers to add to a “wild” drink.
Walking back, I enjoyed the beautiful wild roses growing near the road. Back at home, I added sprigs of the elderflowers to cold prosecco, for a lazy wild cocktail.
We sat and ate on the grass in our little garden, gaining a different perspective, and noticing more than we would have if we were sitting at the garden table. A green orb spider had built a web across the leaf of a hydrangea, and was in the process of wrapping up a fly in its silken web. By the next morning, the fly was gone.
The bees buzzed around the wildflowers and the plum tree and despite the breezy weather, down on the ground, it was calm and still.
As we sat chatting, I noticed one of our cutest garden residents pop their head out. We have field mice living somewhere in the garden, who we occasionally see dashing from pot to pot up the garden path. This evening, I noticed a little brown furry face poking out from between the shed and the bug hotel, then sitting there with paws up in front of them. Getting braver, the mouse ventured out below the clematis and was joined momentarily by a friend. We spent quite a while watching the little mice sit and wash, heads popping in and out of the space by the shed. After I moved to try and get a shot with my camera, they were spooked and then popped up on the other side of the shed, darting over our small wood pile on the way to raid sunflower seeds from our guinea pigs.
We had a lovely evening, sitting quietly in the garden, taking in our very local wildlife. The lazy wild cocktails were gorgeous, the flowers adding a sweet elderflower taste to the prosecco, which we enjoyed sipping as the evening slid gently to a close.