At Home (30 Days Wild)

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Every June, the Wildlife Trust organise ’30 Days Wild’, encouraging people from all walks of life to get outside and experience nature. For me, it has become a 365-days-a-year thing, but June is a great month in which to celebrate that!

Getting outside and engaging with nature is very much a part of who I am. I’m not super-adventurous, always out on hikes or trips or watersports. But the wild permeates my home life constantly, from the birds nesting in every crevice around our house, to the hares in the fields, to the welcoming patch of Oxeye daisies along the wall of our front garden. We’ve come to an acceptance of the weeds that lay claim to our yard: the bright yellow of the dandelions has its own unruly loveliness.

This June, what I’m noticing the most are the sounds: a light breeze in the grass, rain pattering on the windows, wing beats and of course a cacophony of birdsong. Any time I stop still and quiet for a moment, I can hear it: blackbirds; tits; finches; robins; swallows; house martins and the stilted call of the eccentric jackdaw families nesting in the roof of the barn and in the chimney.

We have watched for weeks as tiny, speckled eggs hatched into wrinkled, featherless coal tit chicks and as those chicks grew into fluffy, chirpy fledglings. We’ve seen little birds of all kinds hopping about, figuring out what their wings can do. And I love the bright goldfinches and bullfinches in their gypsy yellow and red, springing from the hedges as we drive up the lane, a sure sign that summer is arriving. The same can be said for the wheeling, diving swallows and house martins with their iconic flight against a backdrop of blue skies, green fields, hay bales and flower-laden hedgerows.

There is something deeply rooting about the seasons, about noting and marking and living along with the time of year. This season for us is about haymaking and daisy chains, swings and picnics, river paddling and puddle jumping. It’s about woodland walks and birdsong, sitting in long grass, time standing still as we share space with a hare. It’s about lavender and roses and eating in the garden. It’s about tractors and playgrounds. Its about wellies one minute and bare feet the next. It’s about watering vegetable plants and bringing in flowers and watching and waiting over the strawberries and raspberries.

In a world of increasing peculiarity and restlessness, nature’s seasonal patterns make me feel deeply at home and at peace.

What does this season look like where you are?

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