I have to be completely honest, I did not feel like going outside today. My head had been hurting all morning, it felt stuffy and close in the office and I wasn’t feeling great. It would have been easy to pop out for a sandwich and then eat it at my desk, staring at the screen some more while catching up on news and gossip. Ordinarily, this might well have been what I’d have done.
I’m glad that 30 days wild prompted me to head for the park instead. I picked up my lunch and was soon walking through the other end of Sutherland Grange to where I have previously walked. This area is left as meadow, with just a path cut around the edge. In amongst the waving grass, all sorts of colours pop, from the purple of geraniums, yellow hawkbit, white clovers, red campion, and numerous other plants. Bees buzzed, blue damselflies flitted around, and I spotted meadow brown and red admiral butterflies zooming by. As soon as I stepped into the green space I could feel myself relaxing, my head clearing, my spirit refreshed.
I headed through the meadow and down to by the water. I ate my lunch, watching the ripples on the water, listening to the bird song around me and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back. I meditated by the river, eyes closed, enjoying being in that moment.
Something made me open my eyes, just in time to see the blue of a kingfisher flash past, hacking along the river and out of sight. I stayed by the river a little longer, and was delighted when the kingfisher flashed back down on to an overhanging branch on the opposite side of the river to where I sat. Crawling along the bank, camera in hand, hoping not to tumble in or kneel in dog mess, I tried to get a better view. I took one photo, before the bird turned, showing the perfect blue of its back and shot off. The best lunchtime in a long time. Excited, I rang my husband to tell him what I’d seen, before heading back to the office for the afternoon.
After dinner this evening , we headed out into the still light evening for a walk. We live on a new housing estate, and are lucky in the amount of “wild” space we have around us. There are three ancient woodland copses, all full of bluebells in the Spring, as well as other woodland plants and flowers, with wild service trees in our closest copse. There is also a big country park, with wide areas left as meadow. When we went on a recent walk with our local council rangers at Caesar’s Camp, one of them mentioned that they has recently had another area “Peacock Meadows” handed over to them by the developers. I hadn’t realised this area was open to the public and was keen to have a look. It’s beautiful, carpets of purple grass, white ox eye daises, sorrel and other flowers waving in the gentle breeze. A deer poked their head up from in the grass, ears just visible, watching us move along the cut paths. The sun was beginning to set and it was gorgeous.
We crossed the road into the country park, where there were more meadows, the melodic sound of skylarks filled the air, and a cinnabar moth landed on me. From there we made our way back through the houses across the hill, startling grazing rabbits, and into the largest of the copses, shockingly dark inside, compared to the still light evening outside. Walking out of the other side of the copse, a bat fluttered across the path and a fox slinked into view before disappearing into the trees. We finished up by walking through our nearest copse, vegetation dense and thick across the woodland floor. We were pleased to spot signs for an organised litter pick and nature walk in July, and popped it on the calendar when we arrived home- a good opportunity to #staywild beyond the #30dayswild challenge!