30 days wild day 9- it’s not easy being green

30DAYSWILD_ID3 blackTWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_09
Today I am feeling sad and upset. This evening we were pleased to see a young magpie and a wood pigeon making use of our newly refilled bird feeders and the bird bath in our garden. We’d love a greater variety of small birds in the garden, and last year we did have blue tits nesting and using the feeders. Sadly that’s not the case this year but we’re happy to have bird life in the garden in any shape and size, and we hope that by putting food out for the birds we will attract a variety of birds in time (or may be already while we’re not in the kitchen to disturb them!). And we’re not alone in feeding our garden birds. A survey by the RSPB found that over half of all adults in the UK put food out for their garden birds.

Unfortunately not everyone shares our viewpoint or passion for nature. This evening we found our next door neighbour poking her head over the fence as she nailed plastic spikes to the top of it to stop the birds sitting on it.

The fence spikes.
The fence spikes.

Last year the same neighbour placed CDs in her tree to stop the blue tits sitting in it. We asked her not to put the spikes up, especially as it is a shared fence, but she refused and carried on hammering. She told us that we were bad neighbours for feeding the birds and that they belonged in the woods over there not here in our garden. I tried to explain that over half of adults fed the birds and that birds were in decline, but she was not interested. I’m feeling pretty disheartened and upset and was shaking and close to tears after our altercation. I just don’t really understand how someone can feel so vindictive towards our wild creatures. Our neighbour says this is because they poop on the fence and the cars, but we have never had bird poo on the cars here, and ours are parked right next to hers, and there is rarely poo on our shed, where the birds often sit, or the fence in our garden, or at the back of the property, where they also sit facing into the garden, bum out, as they would into her garden if they were looking for food in our garden.

Nature does not belong out there, we share the wild creatures world and the combined size of our gardens is much bigger than any nature reserves, so welcoming nature in is key to keeping our biodiversity. This incident isn’t going to stop me feeding our garden birds, but it does make me very sad.

Our random act of wildness for tonight was to be going out with the bat detector, but it is cold and blustery, with hardly any insects out and about so we’ve saved that for another night. Instead, we’ve calmed down and cheered ourselves up with a dose of Springwatch and a spot of colouring, which isn’t just for kids! I have an animals zen colouring book for grown ups.

The colouring book
The colouring book

Phil and I took a page each and had a relaxing time colouring in a “wild” picture, bugs for me, chameleons for him. And just like feeding the garden birds, we’re not the only adults doing it. In March this year, adult colouring books topped the bestseller charts in the UK. Colouring has been proven to be beneficial, as it generates wellness and quietness, stimulating the brain areas related to creativity. It’s really relaxing, and a chance to slow down and do something you don’t have to think about too much. IMG_2361 (2)

Calming wildlife colouring
Calming wildlife colouring

I’m feeling calmer now, although still sad, but the colouring in definitely helped. Hoping for more wild fun tomorrow, the challenge continues….

4 thoughts on “30 days wild day 9- it’s not easy being green

  1. She sounds horrendous.I have trouble with slugs and a neigbors cat likes to poop in our one flower bed.However I have bought some slug tape which seems to be working and im figuring out what to do about the cat.I love cats so I will think of something.I have a colouring book for adults too!


  2. Not only is that unfair and frustrating for you, but actually also rather sad, I think. Surely part of the joy of having a garden is the wildlife you get with it. I wouldn’t wish to make judgements on your neighbour but I feel slightly sorry for someone who would rather nail spikes to their fence than experience and appreciate the joy of watching birds in their own garden. I hope the birds all come to your garden though, and I am also a fan of colouring in 🙂


  3. It is hard when the desire of some is to sterilise their environment, no mess anywhere. I don’t think her house would be very homey either. No room for life or living. I cringe when I hear a friend say they shoot the badger digging up their precious, and to my aesthetics incredibly ugly, tulips. This friend is in her late 70s and doesn’t have a gun, but the sentiment is very worrying. Too often these days our personal outside spaces are way too carefully managed, tidy, weed free, sprayed, mowed, picked and plucked into images of ‘perfection’ on the basis of some gardening magazine or telly programme. It is the life of some people to manage their space as a hobby, but sometimes it also reflects a deep psychological need to control or some sort of issue with poo, I know the former is the case with the above mentioned friend and perhaps the latter your neighbour.

    You handled it well, attempted to educate, and did the best you could do. Keep opening your space and heart to the wildlife.

    I too love to colour, its wonderful that someone has realised that doing this is calming and enjoyable for adults.


  4. Pingback: 30 days wild- a look back at Week 2 and the benefits of the 30dayswild challenge | whatnaomididnext

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