Make room for nature!
This is a cry from The Wildlife Trusts, urging us to remember nature and pay attention to it during our everyday life. Nature isn’t something to be enjoyed during our time off and lose sight of when we fall back into our daily routine. It is a home that needs to be nurtured and taken care of constantly. But this, is too easy to forget.
So this month, I, and hundreds of people across the British isles have pledged to be a little more wild. Here is what I chose to do during the first week. For daily update, follow me on Instagram or Twitter.
On the 30th of May I suffered from a violent flu attack, leaving me barely able to walk. On the 1st of June I could walk a bit more but decided that the nature reserve was just too far away. Instead, I lay in the garden, letting the sun warm my skin. Half conscious, I noticed a white trail on the flowers below the tree laurel. Upon closer inspection, I noticed it looked like spit. Intrigued, I turned to the Internet and began to learn about the spittle bug that will grow into a froghopper. Everyday, I take a moment to pause and look at the cocoon. Soon, the bug will emerge and I probably will never see it again. After all, with an acceleration of 4,000 m/s2 over 2mm when it jumps, I am unlikely to spot it.
I was back at work but my commute was made shorter by being given a lift into town. But that didn’t mean I would be deprived of nature. Work is encased in glass and concrete, but outside, plants find ways to develop around our structures. Like this flower I shared on social media. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I liked the simplicity and smallness of it. A few minutes went past, and people soon told me I had photographed a geranium robertianum, also known as herb-robert. I was glad for the help as I often find it difficult to identify plants (less so with trees). What resources do you use to help you name the plants you see around you?
I had managed a day at work and was back for another one. I was again driven into town, but I was early. So I paused a moment by a church and watched a jay hop about in the sun. It looked happy jumping from one spot to another, and I could imagine it delighting in the sun and its warmth. But soon it flew away and I left the grass and sun by the church for the concrete and artificial light of work.
I had managed two days at work but I was still feeling incredibly tired. I wanted to get out and enjoy the sun after my shift but had no strength left for it. So I did the next best thing. I picked up a book and began reading about the natural world around me. Uncommon Ground by Dominick Tyler is a wonderful book. It is adding a rich layer of vocabulary to the outdoors. What I thought was nameless or long forgotten is now named, described, and intimate.
Just as I began to feel myself again, the rain arrived accompanied by gusts of wind. It didn’t make for a pleasant walk after work as drops lacerated my exposed face. But all around me, they fell on nature and man-made structure alike, hanging, conglomerating, and letting the light bounce off their surface.
The rain continued sporadically but the wind picked up, making a downhill walk much harder than it ever is. My garden turned into a patchwork of leaves. Green on green it was very monochrome but in puddles they took to life and twirled with the drops, a dance to a music only they could hear.
The wind lingered but it was out of breath. I on the contrary was feeling stronger and for the first time since my attack of the flu, I decided to hop of the bike and cycle to work. The main roads soon faded from view as I pedalled by the Avon New Cut, the familiar sight and sound of the river a delight to my eyes and ears.