30 Days Wild: Days 1, 2 & 3.

Despite my often cynical view of gimmicky attempts to get people to connect with nature, I’m really enjoying the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild concept. I like to think I get a pretty healthy dose of nature every day, but when encouraged to have the discipline to reflect on whether that is true I realise how much time I spend shut away at a computer, or – like today – tidying laboratories!

Somehow the busyness of the latter half of Monday managed to almost erase from my mind the wonderful start to the week I’d had at Theale and Hosehill Lake to the south-west of Reading. Here hundreds of hirundines and swifts fed on the dawn flight of midges low over water’s surface, whilst a nightingale sang its little heart out. Black-headed gulls raucously came and went from the island colony, many sporting colour rings fitted over the last 6 breeding seasons .

Day two was a lab day, in the main, but following a hunch I stopped to look at a sunlit tree trunk on my way off campus at the end of the working day. An ordinary tree, part of amenity planting between car parks, but with something interesting going on: columns of small red-orange ants were on the move, accompanied by a cream-spot ladybird larvae and some fantastic fast-running flies (watch the video below in HD or it is barely discernible!).

This evening I salvaged something wild from the day by heading out for a quick night walk around my street, and bumped into some brimstone moths. More on that tomorrow. Three days in and I already wish my life were more wild: but how grateful I am that it is so easy to find something wonderful.

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