Here’s a round up of my Random Acts of Wildness for days 26 to 30 (the final five days!) of 30 Days Wild 2020. I can’t believe it’s over. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second of every day – so much so that I’m currently considering extending it into 365 Days Wild…
Anyway, this is how I’ve spent my last 5 days:
Day 26: fungi hunt
For day 26 of 30 Days Wild I went on a fungi hunt. I knew from a fellow meadow walker (thanks Anne!) that there was a patch of toadstools somewhere in the meadow. Whilst hunting for this one patch, I actually managed to find several others. I was amazed by just how many there were so early in the year!
Day 27: meet the White Clover
For day 27 of 30 Days Wild I spent some time with the White Clover (Trifolium repens) in the meadow, and did a little research into the plant.
Its vernacular names include Milky Blobs, Sheepy-maa’s and Bee-bread. The last name is due to the fact that the flowers can be pulled out of the head and sucked for a bead of honey. The most well known folklore is that finding four-leaved clover (the Shamrock) is lucky. In Wales, White Clover was traditionally used to ward off evil spirits. It was also said that gathering them with a gloved hand would ward off madness.
White Clover is a common wildflower, found across the UK on grass verges and lawns, the most common of all the clovers. It flowers from June until September, though it had a big of a late start in the meadow this year. With the overly dry May it has only just started to flourish.
It is widely used as a forage crop for livestock, as well as as a ground cover in places unsuitable for turfgrasses. It has nitrogen fixing properties and so is frequently grown as a green manure.
White Clover is a popular flower for bumblebees, which is always good – the bees need all the help they can get! The honey made from clover is sometimes said to be the purest of honeys, having a gentle sweetness and mild flavour. The flowers produce an abundance of nectar and pollen from short tubes that are easy for the bees to access.
Bees aren’t the only wildlife to benefit from White Clover. Their trefoil leaves are collected by Wood Mice and they’re also one of the favourite foods of the Common Blue Butterfly.
Its presence in the meadow is a pleasure.
Day 28: make a nature inspired felt ‘thing’ / watch the honey bees at work
For day 28 I decided to have a play around with my felting wool and embroidery threads and I made a nature inspired ‘thing’. The dragonfly at the center of it is one of the many, many charms and decorative beads that I have sitting around the house. I tend to buy lots of odd items like that and then don’t know what to do with them. Occasionally I’ll plait a few into my hair along with my synth dreads when I’m feeling a particularly earthwitchy vibe.
I’m still not entirely what this ‘thing’ might eventually become. I’m currently thinking a keyring, but I may change my mind and turn it into a broach, a pendant, or a hair decoration of some sort.
A day of 30 Days Wild isn’t complete without a visit to the meadow. I spent my time while I was there on day 28 watching the honey bees on the Knapweed.
Day 29: bug hunt / meadow flowers / dried flower art
On day 29 I went on a bug hunt in the meadow. I tried to identify everything that I spotted but there are a couple that I’ve still not found. Hopefully I’ll get there in the end!
While I was in the meadow I also collected a posie of wildflowers and grasses. These were taken home and arranged into the vase on my bedroom window.
I saved two of the Knapweed flowers for a piece of nature art.
The honey bee in the picture is based on one of the photographs from day 28. For the first stage, I drew it in pencil crayon and photographed it with the fresh Knapweed flowers. I then put the Knapweed through the microwaveable flower press before returning them to the picture. After glueing the now dried and pressed flowers, I decided to finish it off by adding a couple of the other bugs that I’d spotted earlier that day in the meadow. These are a 14-spot ladybird and one of the few bugs that I still haven’t actually identified.
Day 30: watch the butterflies
The final day of 30 Days Wild was another rainy day, but I nipped out for a walk in between the rain showers to photograph the butterflies in the meadow.
I managed to get some moderately decent shots of a Ringlet, a Green-veined White and a Meadow Brown, and a distant shot of a Small Tortoiseshell. I also caught a glimpse of a pair of Commas, but they swooped away over the hedge before I could get a picture.