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Our 30 Days Wild: Reliving our last month of wilderness

Hello July; we weren’t quite ready for you yet!
 
Another June is over and, with it, our second ever 30 Days Wild experience. At the end of our last blog post I wondered how we could ever replicate the adventures we’d been on last year, but I think we may have managed it – and there was no Cornish coastline in sight.

© Louise Baker

This year we focused on staying a little closer to home, but have still been able to do something new each day, whether it was taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature, listening to the rain falling outside, or desperately searching through a wildlife book or two in search of the species we’d just seen. The wild, it is now clear, is wherever you look for it.

Did we have a plan for how we’d spend June? Not at all! While the random acts of wildness cards provided a little inspiration if we were ever stuck, we found that nature came to us; a bug would crawl across the ground in front of us, the heavens would open while we were mid-picnic, or a crafting opportunity would present itself.

Don’t ever be intimidated, and assume that engaging with wildlife is going to be a challenge; nature will find you under the most mundane of circumstances, and you’ll embrace it when it does.


30 Days Wild: Our best bits

© Louise Baker

So, what have we done to celebrate this year’s 30 Days Wild? We’ve jumped in puddles, fed the birds, embarked upon bear hunts, watched a wild webcam, had picnics in the park, listened very carefully to birdsong, rehomed bugs and beasties, danced in the rain, nurtured caterpillars into butterflies, found geocaches, created artwork with wild materials, and walked our dog until he was as exhausted as we were, as well as visiting more habitats than ever before.

Each day has been an adventure, regardless of how far we’ve travelled. Perhaps my favourite part of this year’s 30 Days Wild challenge, though, has been my older son’s involvement. Last year Toby and Alex accompanied us on every wild outing, and seemed to enjoy themselves with every step. This year, however, Toby has been at the heart of everything we’ve done, desperate to find out more about the creatures we’ve spotted, and the landscapes we’ve explored.

© Louise Baker

Always a sponge when it comes to learning new things, I feel as though my little boy has begun to grow into a real naturalist – he has taken every opportunity to get up close and personal with nature, leading to his new role as household snail charmer. Indeed, I have never seen a child so excited to meet a snail before, and he treats each shelled created we meet as a long-lost friend.

I feel that Toby has done so much more than ‘getting outside’; he has truly engaged with nature this year, and allowed the wild into his heart. Don’t get me wrong, he has still snuggled on the sofa and watched films with us, used the iPad to access a wealth of information, and cosied down with a good book, but at the heart of it all has been the world beyond the windows; he wants to know who, what, where, and why, and can now name more birds than his Daddy.

 

One thing that has really stuck out this year is the sense of community that 30 Days Wild has elicited. I was excited to be a part of the Facebook group again, and hoped to read a few daily posts about the wild adventures that others had been on; what I got were hundreds of posts each day featuring weird and wonderful creatures, amazing moments of calm, wonderful landscapes, and some breathtaking photography, as well as a real sense of belonging.

© Louise Baker


Throughout June we were the 30 Days Wild gang, and we took great joy in showing each other our finds, helping one another to identify mystifying creatures, and relishing the great outdoors. Anecdotes and artwork, poetry and photography; it was all there, and I have adored it. While 30 Days Wild may have shown us that it’s perfectly possible to be wild each day, it has enriched our lives in so many other ways, too. So many of the Facebook group’s members are eager to continue, proving that there’s life after 30 Days Wild.

© Louise Baker 

What began as an initiative to entice us all outdoors has become a way of life for those taking part; it’s not 30 Days Wild anymore, but Every Day Wild. How have you embraced nature today?