30 Days Wild is here! I’m so excited! So excited that my brain wrote me some rhyming couplets that I shared on twitter earlier but thought I’d share here for people without twitter:
#30DaysWild starts today
Relax, de-stress, find the natural way
Sun, rain, wind or snow
Plan a walk and off I go!
Maybe I should do some rhyming couplets every day? I planning on writing a daily haiku to go on my wallchart but we’ll see how that goes as I’m not naturally a poet! But onto today’s adventure! Today I have wild adventures from myself and Colin to share. Colin will be joining in on 30 Days Wild but he probably won’t be doing every day because it often depends on how willing he is to play and whether he’s in the mood and such like! But onto the adventures!
What better way to start my 30 Days Wild than with a relaxing, de-stressing walk in the beautiful Doghouse Grove to get me fully in the wild mood. Doghouse Grove is my nearest BCN Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve in terms of driving time, but only just as Chettisham Meadows reserve takes a mere two minutes longer. However, this seemed a good enough reason for me to visit for the first day of the challenge!
Doghouse Grove was once a series of monastic fishponds and I have wonderful images in my mind of monks coming down to fish and mediate in the beauty of God’s creation. This is probably just my imagination running wild as it would probably have been fairly different when monks were around, but it makes a beautiful image nevertheless and one that I think of in my most stressed moments. It’s like a breath of fresh air to remember my very first visit here not so long ago. It inspired me so much that I composed a piece of piano music about it. You can read more about that composition over on my music blog, or just listen to the piece below.
Nowadays, the grove is a secluded spinney on the edge of Wilburton village. It’s hard to believe how close the road is when you’re there because the trees mask it all and make you feel like you’re the only one around. A magical experience.
However, little did I know that today nature had her own plans for my wild adventure. If you read my first blog on Doghouse Grove you’ll know that I loved it and it was beautiful and magical. Today, I would still call it beautiful, however, magical it was not. My aim for my walk was to have a de-stress and some relaxing meditation time amongst the trees and ponds, as you might have gathered, this didn’t happen! The information sign and website says something along these lines “once monastic fishponds, now a secluded spinney.” I would extend this to say “once monastic fishponds, now a secluded spinney, occasionally your typical English jungle on a typically English summer day (a.k.a. wet and windy).”
Just for comparison, this what it looked like in early April (you’ll have seen these pictures if you read the linked blog post):
Maybe I should have been put off by this huge leaved plant at the entrance to the reserve:
Or maybe by the green carpet of cleavers (and their cute, tiny flowers – for reference these are deemed cute only when they are not growing in my garden and trying to choke my vegetables to death):
But, if I had been put off, I’d have never gotten a picture of this fungus:
Or this view:
But sadly much of the footpath is overgrown with cleavers, nettles and today’s nemesis: cow parsley. It got particularly bad about half way round the path and it was the point where I had to decide is it going to be better if I continue, or head back the way I came. The adventurer in me opted to continue, this is the point of #30Dayswild after all! Now I quite like cow parsley normally…except when its almost as tall as me and all over the path to the point where I couldn’t always find the path and had to trust my
totally amazing really rubbish sense of direction!
Fortunately I did manage to stay mostly on the path…it’s hard to get lost in this grove! But I did end up extremely wet (turns out that even waterproof trousers and shoes have a limit) and cold and covered in cow parsley petals!
However, there was a pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. A lovely patch of golden buttercups to greet me as I left the overgrown path:
So…it didn’t go entirely to plan. But I had a great time. And today will always be remembered as I day I waded through a large amount of cow parsley because it seemed better than turning back! Rather than coming out of my walk feeling happy, relaxed, calm and full of warm, fuzzy nature loving feelings I came out feeling happy, relaxed, exhilarated and full of cold, wet, nature loving feelings. My lessons from today? Always pack the waterproof trousers and wellies. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Paths lost ‘neath the plants
Just an English jungle walk
Wildness takes over
As promised my adorable pet mouse called Colin is going wild as well this month! He (probably) won’t be doing something daily, but he had to do something for the first day! I’ll head off and let him tell you about it himself. He’s not into writing long posts like me, but he does want you to know what he’s been up to!
Hi there! I’m Colin and I’m a 4 month old mouse. I live with my two-legged parents, Stephanelli and her fiancé. I have a lovely home and plenty of toys, but mummy thought that my playtime needed to be ‘enriched’ and I needed some different “stimulations.” I’m not sure what these words mean, but mummy says them a lot when talking about going wild to daddy. I think it’s a good thing though.
For today’s wild adventure, I investigated some stones. Mummy collected these from beaches when she was little. I have to be careful with my wild activities because if I go where other animals have been I can pick up nasty illnesses and I might not survive, so today, mummy made sure they were clean and I went and investigated!
We hope you enjoyed our adventures and that it inspires you to do your own!