Thursday, 15 June 2017

#30DaysWild | Week 2

Wow, the last week has gone by so quickly! I had a rough start to the week as on Friday I went to the local woods, which is one of my favourite places in my hometown, to bury my beloved leopard gecko Grumpy. It was hard to say goodbye but I'm glad that he's been laid to rest in such beautiful surroundings. My trek through the woodland really took it's toll on my body and caused a fibromyalgia flare, which took several days to calm down. I was in so much pain and struggling to move much, meaning getting out and about anywhere other than my garden was not happening. I was still determined to stick to the Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild Challenge though that I started at the beginning of this month. Check out my Week One post to learn a little more about the challenge itself. If you're a fan of nature photography, then this is a post for you! Did you guys know that today is Nature Photography Day? I really love how taking part in this challenge is making it possible for me to do so much nature photography, something that in turn is helping with my mental health :) I encourage everyone to immerse themselves in nature every opportunity they get, because it really does help improve your mental wellbeing. Enjoy reading!

30 Days Wild Challenge

I didn't spend very long outside last Thursday as I was having a bad depression day. I was thinking a lot about the next day and my trip to the woods, and spent most of the day watching shows on Netflix to try and distract myself. I did however spend some time in the garden in the evening with my family, as my nephews were at my house and wanted to play outside. I put out some fat balls for the garden birds and spent some time sitting on the grass relaxing. I spotted some slugs near my little bug house too :) I forgot to take photographs of them though! 

30 Days Wild Challenge
How cool is my fat ball holder!? I bought it last year on a holiday to Wales. I love it!

I absolutely love woods! I always feel so at peace whenever I'm surrounded by trees and ferns and scrubs, hearing the birds tweeting and the wind whistling through the leaves. I also love the smell, of pine trees and earth. I love hearing twigs crunching under my shoes too, and how there's always something to see everywhere, so many little details. I've also adore moss :) It was a bittersweet trip... the reason for my journey was an emotional one, yet it was also nice to spend time in such a stunning place. The woods in my hometown is called Sunnyhurst Woods; I think it's a lovely name. Usually when I visit the woods, I walk through a different part than the one I went through on Friday so that was an interesting change. Me and my mom trekked up the steeper paths at the top of the woods. We got to see some sights that were nostalgic for me, as my dad used to take me walking along them when I was a kid. 

I was sad that I missed the bluebells, however I saw some pretty yellow Iris' and a variety of pink and white wild flowers. Lots of pine-cones too! I regret not bringing any home with me now to decorate around my bug house in the garden, as they are the perfect little hideouts for tiny insects. When I was in the woods, I spotted a couple of Red Admiral Butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) and I was over the moon! I hadn't seen any for what felt like ages and last year, I didn't manage to get a photo of the two I saw. I was very happy that I managed to photograph them this time! Prepare for lots of photos as I'm finding it impossible to narrow down a few favourites, haha

30 Days Wild Challenge

30 Days Wild Challenge
Obviously I took a ridiculous amount of photographs containing moss :D

30 Days Wild Challenge
Casually feeling the moss, haha!

30 Days Wild Challenge
I was very relieved when we stumbled across this giant fallen tree to sit on and rest for a while :) There have recently been a few trees cut down and so we had the most gorgeous view over the woods and could even see Darwen Tower up on the moors in the distance!
Also known as the Jubilee Tower, Darwen Tower was built in 1898 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. It sits on the moors overlooking my hometown. On the clear day, you can see for miles and miles from the top of the tower :)
30 Days Wild Challenge
Found a nice spot close to this tree to lay my lizard to rest with lots of garden flowers, some pretty seashells and a purple heart-shaped gemstone
30 Days Wild Challenge

Red Admiral Butterfly
It was a challenge to finally get some decent photographs of this gorgeous Red Admiral, as it kept flying off everytime I got close or because it was being chased away by another Red Admiral :)
As I mentioned at the start of this post, Friday's hike through the woods really exacerbated my fibromyalgia; I was left feeling very drained and had painful joints and muscles all over my body as well as even more swollen ankle (I sprained it a few weeks go)! I crashed for most of Saturday, and found my knees and ankles so sore to walk around on. I only spent a little while in the garden checking up on my bunnies. The Wildlife Trust have created an app to go along with the 30 Days Wild challenge, which includes lots of prompts and ideas for how you can spend each day. One suggestion was making some nature-themed origami and with inspiration from my rabbits, I decided to make some origami bunnies :) Here's a link to the video I originally used to learn how to make them. 

Rabbit Origami

Rabbit Bunny Origami

Sunday was a busy and hectic day at my house as usual and so I spent quite a lot of the day out in the garden. The weather was lovely, and I had a lot of fun playing with Aurora and hugging my rabbits and watching my nephews and nieces play :) One of the cons of having an introverted personality is that social interaction can make you feel very drained, which is exactly how I felt after a couple of hours surrounded by my family. I found a prompt on the 30 Days Wild app that suggested taking a nap in the grass, which sounded perfect to me and so I relaxed on the lawn in the garden as soon as the kids went to play on the local park. It was so relaxing watching the clouds and the bees going from flower to flower, and it really didn't take long for me to fall asleep, haha! I also taught my one of my nieces how to make the origami bunnies today and she did great!

30 Days Wild Challenge
Snippet of the garden from my point of view :)

30 Days Wild Challenge

BluePotionUK Pokemon Phone Case

Today, I was inspired by another idea from the Wildlife Trust's app :) It suggests drawing a landscape, so I sat in the garden in the evening and drew the first natural scene that popped into my head. By the time I'd finished doodling and colouring, it was almost dark and the bats had woken up and come out to hunt. I watched them darting around and swooping into my neighbour's gardens for a while. My camera unfortunately is not good enough to capture super fast little Common Pipstrelle Bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) in flight! I had lots of fun listening to their high-pitched 'chirps' though and very nearly had a bat fly into my head, haha! 

30 Days Wild Challenge

30 Days Wild Challenge
As you can see, I'm not much of an artist but I enjoyed myself anyway :)

This Tuesday, I made a daisy chain and was pretty proud of myself to be honest. Doing intricate things, like threading daisy stems through one another, is something that I've always struggled with. Although I'm yet to have an official diagnosis, I've had symptoms of Dyspraxia all of my life and my parents thought I had it as a child so that could very well be the reason why I struggle with these things. After several failed attempts, I finished a daisy chain and I was so excitable about it! 

30 Days Wild Challenge
Daisies are so pretty!

I ended the two week marker of the challenge by completing the 'Take a Break in Nature' prompt :) With a cup of tea and a delicious Milka chocolate bar in hand, I went to sit out in the garden with my parents. I spotted lots of garden birds, even managed to snap a photo of a Great Tit (Parus major) feeding on one of my fat balls, yay! I also watched Aurora interacting with my neighbours cat, Amari, for the first time! It was adorable to see her so excited and eager to play. Amari was raised surrounded by lots of dogs so she just ignored her mostly. 

ASDA Hare mug
I absolutely adore this Hare mug that I bought from ASDA :) 

30 Days Wild Challenge

30 Days Wild Challenge

How cute! Look how excited Aurora is!
That's it for Week Two of the challenge. It's nice to see so much activity in nature now that the weather is improving :) I hope you all enjoyed all of my photographs. Let me know which was your favourite in the comments. Come back on Thursday for my next #30DaysWild post. 

Thankyou for reading!


What's your favourite garden bird? How about your favourite insect?
Have you done anything in nature this week? Tell me about it :)  

You can follow my daily 30 Days Wild updates over on my Instagram & Twitter

Also if you want to see more of Sunnyhurst Woods, check out this post :)  

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