Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Day 30: Photo scavenger hunt: June 2015

Just because the Scavenger Hunt isn't tricky enough, I decided to give it a 30 Days Wild twist. All of the photos have some connection to nature, some a lot more tenuous than others!

J is for...: Juxtaposition. I was struck by the contrasting textures and materials of the wool, plastic and stone in this piece of art in the woods of Rydal Hall.

Rust : An old rusty garden implement on display at Manchester Art Gallery as part of the Lost Gardens installation. I think it's a lawn aerator.

Smooth : The glossy, smooth coat of a friendly horse.

Imagination: What lies beyond the garden gates? Let your imagination lead the way...

Classic: A classic car in a farmyard, with grass and trees.

Similar: Lots of Canada Geese on the lake: very similar but every one is unique. Chickpea calls them replicators because of their habit of swimming in the same direction - she thinks they're creepy!

Parallel: Parallel lines in the crops in a field.

Socks: Little white socks on a cute but very watchful cat.

Bead: Beads of rain on a hosta leaf.

Mug: My Emma Bridgewater 'pinks' mug with some red pinks in my garden.

Post: A rotten wooden post which I spotted on a walk through the fields.

Whatever you want: Cute cockapoodle dog who came over to say hello.

Thanks as always to Greenthumb of Made with Love who organises the Scavenger Hunt each month. You can find the other entries and the categories for July over on the Scavenger Hunt site.

This is also the conclusion of my 30 Days Wild as we're setting off for a couple of days in York this morning. Before we go though, I have one last photo for you. At the start of 30 Days Wild, I sowed some radish seed in the hope that they would be ready to harvest at the end. So...

Day 30: Harvest a vegetable

Ta-dah! Just in the nick of time!

And so we've come full circle. I started out full of enthusiasm and admit it's been tough along the way. Doing something wild was the easy part as I always take note of nature, even if it's just checking progress of the plants in my garden or admiring the scenery on the way to work. What was more difficult was finding something different to write about each day. However, it's given me some wonderful experiences: flying a kite, visiting Brockholes (and their playground!), discovering new moths to name a few. The polka dots on my lawn will be staying a while longer too.

A big thank you to the Wildlife Trusts for organising the challenge, and also to Louise and Ian whose daily posts kept me inspired when enthusiasm was flagging.

See you all in a few days. I'm off on my hols!!! x

Monday, 29 June 2015

Days 26-29: Barefoot, bubbles and birds

Day 26: Watch the rain

I was at work all day and had just over an hour at home before I had to go back to work for the evening.

Unsurprisingly, I hadn't planned anything for 30 Days Wild and fully expected to be having a 'day off'. But then the rain came. I stood by the patio doors and watched as it fell, harder and harder in one of those summer cloudbursts which arrives in a flash and leaves just as quickly. I love to watch the rain. I only thought to video it after the best of the downpour had passed.

Day 27: Stand barefoot in the grass

It's not often that I work Saturdays but this was one of them. It was also the day of my Aunty and Uncle's Ruby Wedding party so I again didn't have long at home before we had to leave.

Just enough time to stand in the long grass with a cup of tea, soaking up the sunshine.

This is the best of the polka dots with lots of clover...

and this purple-coloured plant which I haven't identified yet.

My sweet peas have just started to flower too. It says on the label that they're supposed to be scented but the scent is proving elusive. Such a shame as that's why I chose it but I'm enjoying the flowers all the same.

My orchid is also in bloom. It appeared one summer a couple of years ago and has come back every year since then.

Day 28: Blow bubbles in the garden

I shamelessly stole this idea from Louise! Some of the activities I've enjoyed most in this challenge have been the ones inspired by childhood like playing on the zip wire at Brockholes and flying a kite.

I couldn't resist this one even though bubbles are very tricky to photograph! There were 5 bottles in the pack so I'm saving the rest for my 4th July BBQ next weekend.

Day 29: Watch the birds

Another quiet day in: we've been packing as we're going away for a couple of days tomorrow! I decided to just enjoy some time in the garden, soaking up the sun, reading a magazine and watching the birds.

In particular, this starling kept me entertained for ages as he tried to get the last crumbs from the fat ball.

And elsewhere in the garden, my purple mangetout have finally started to produce pods.

This evening we'll be enjoying the random act of wildness that is watching my Mum in a crown green bowling match! Enjoy your evening however you spend it. x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Day 22-25: Mostly moths and bugs

Another 4 days of the 30 Days Wild challenge have been completed and it's so close to the end! Here's what I've been up to.

Day 22: Create something inspired by nature

Having been inspired by nature for my May journal quilt, I decided to have a creative evening as it was threatening rain.

The beginnings of a crochet daisy chain. One is slightly bigger than the others because I picked up the wrong hook by mistake. But then daisies are not all the same size ;-)

Day 23: Eat in the garden

Day 23 was Tuesday, the day I go to yoga. I'd been too busy during the day to fit something in, so I decided to eat outside before going to my class. Something light before all that stretching and bending: tea and toast.

From here I could see the progress of the polka dots.

And all the growth in the garden.

This plant has been a surprise. I thought I'd planted honeysuckle but it turned out to be a clematis! It's a darker purple in reality.

The radish are still growing strong but they'll have to get a move on to be ready for the end of the month.

The birds have definitely been getting a move on as there's hardly anything left of the fat ball. I saw a young starling helping himself but didn't get my camera out in time.

After eating, it was so warm and sunny that I popped out for a quick walk and spotted something white on a poplar. I moved in for a closer look and found...

...a Puss moth! My first ever sighting! Apparently its name comes from the fact that it's covered in cat-like fur! It's an odd looking thing but not as odd as the caterpillar (see here).

Day 24: Make a bark rubbing

After the excitement of the puss moth, I decided to go hunting round the trees again with Chickpea and do some bark rubbings at the same time. As well as discovering my inner wild, I'm also rediscovering my inner child :-)


Horse chestnut.

Norway maple.

And did we find anything? Well, no sign of the puss moth but Chickpea spotted this......

...a White Satin moth caterpillar. Another new sighting for me!

Day 25: Go on a bug hunt

Fired up with enthusiasm after the moth and caterpillar finds, this evening has seen me out looking for bugs again. Apologies in advance for the rubbish photos but I didn't have my usual camera with me.

After finding both of the moths on poplar trees, they were my first destination. I found another White Satin caterpillar and then this moth, hidden in a crevice. No idea what it is.

On the other hand, I knew what this was straight away, a cinnabar moth. It was in my parents' garden.


I need to look the rest up in a bug book.

Some kind of shield bug

14-spot ladybird
Only 5 days of the challenge to go. It's going to be really tough the next couple of days though as I'm working all day and evening tomorrow, and I'm also working part of Saturday and have my Aunty and Uncle's Ruby Wedding celebration. Wish me luck and quick wins! x

Monday, 22 June 2015

Journal quilt: May

No 30 Days Wild post today as I wanted to show you my May journal quilt. Actually it would have fit the theme nicely given its subject matter.

If you've been reading my blog this year, you'll know I'm making an A4 size quilt each month as part of my quilt group's annual challenge. As always, I'll start with my inspiration.

First was this stained glass window which I saw at the beginning of the month. I've been trying to do a different technique on each quilt and thought stained glass window would be a great idea for this one. I also liked the idea of doing a triptych.

Next, could it be anything else but bluebells? We saw so many on our travels - they've been stunning this year. The bluebell design is based on one I found on the internet.

Lastly, there was the Holly Blue butterfly which found its way into my garden.

When it came to making the quilt, I just couldn't figure out how to do a proper stained glass window with lots of little panes, without it taking ages or being too fiddly. The solution was to give the idea of stained glass by outlining all the elements in black. I really should have thought this through properly. A quilting tip: don't sew around pale fabrics in black unless your sewing is excellent. Let's just say it's not my finest hour, sewing-wise. Chickpea will testify to the amount of huffing and puffing and under-the-breath cursing which went on!

Anyway, here it is...

Ta-dah! I have to say it's grown on me. It will never be one of my favourites but it's probably not one of the worst things I've ever made!

I haven't started my June quilt yet but the inspiration for it was never in doubt: it has to be 30 Days Wild. Back soon with my latest random acts of wildness. x