I lifted my garden parasol the other day to find this intricate ant kingdom beneath it. It’s quite a work of art with its labyrinthine passageways don’t you think?
I did feel guilty for upsetting the hundreds of ants who went a little crazy on finding themselves exposed to the daylight. However, they have since taken up residence on the lawn and seem to have settled into making their new home.
These were black ants or Lasius Niger. If you look closely you can see the larvae. It won’t be long before some of them grow wings and take flight to make new nests elsewhere.
We recently took a wander through a small ancient wood in the nearby town of Chippenham. It is our nearest wildlife trust site, and I was amazed to have never been there before as it was only about a mile from where I grew up.
Hidden and completely enclosed by dual carriageway and housing estates, it is surprising this little gem of woodland survives at all.
The trees, oak, ash and maple form a canopy, muffling some of the outside sounds. A robin hopped from tree stump to hawthorn as we wandered down the overgrown paths.
Despite the noise of the nearby road, it is still a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours. The air was cool and clean and otherworldly, the wood anemones were in flower and the ground was wet through with the smell of damp wood and crumbling leaves.
The Wildlife Trust are running the 30 Days of Wild Challenge again this year. Through the month of June we are encouraged to do something wild every day. This is a great way to draw our attention to reconnecting with wild nature and feel happier, healthier and enlivened as a result.
We are, in essence, wild creatures, and we ignore this part of ourselves at our peril. Just taking a little time out of each day to sit, walk, observe, touch, taste this amazing wild world of ours is just the antidote for the stresses of modern living.
Some ideas listed on the website to commit random acts of wildness:
- Feel the wild landscapes through the soles of your feet – sand, grass, pebbles, water
- Wear daisies & dandelions to jazz up any outfit – in your hair or round your wrist
- Switch off all gadgets for a day: no phones, tablets or computers. Tune in to nature
- Taste sweet wild elderflowers in cordial, soda water or sparkling wine
- Encourage wild at work with bird feeders, a herb box or outdoor meetings
Many of us already have a close relationship with the natural world, I know there’s rarely a day I don’t go for a walk or spend a few minutes in the garden, but this is a wonderful way to make a more focused effort and join in with a community of nature lovers.
I hope to post some of my experiences on this blog over the next month, if you’d like to join in just tag your posts #30DaysWild and enjoy making room for nature a regular part of your life.