Friday 26th June:
You may have noticed that my blog contains quite a few photos I’ve taken of invertebrates. One of the many things I’ve realised about myself whilst taking part in 30 Days Wild and also reading other wildlife blogs is that I have a habit of walking with my nose to the ground. That is to say that I’m always looking down for insects, wild flowers, feathers and other treasures. Today I decided to try and break this habit and in between my two shifts today I took a walk around the University Park Campus determined to keep my head held high and look for things at shoulder height and above!
One of the first things I picked up on (apart from the crick in my neck) was the amazing patterns when different leaves come together in the light and form beautiful mosaics against the sky. This picture really doesn’t do justice to what I was seeing but I think if you use your imagination a little I think you will find the beauty in it.
After the shapes and patterns, I thought about colours. When we contemplate the countryside, we think about green… but how many different shades there are when you look closely! Althought I have 3 art GSCEs, I’ve never been very good at still life or detailed painting. I wish I could recreate some of this beauty and I think when I’m up in Scotland next week I might take some art supplies and give it a good go.
It wasn’t long though before an invertebrate caught my eye. This wonderful Speckled Wood butterflly, Pararge aegeria, fluttered by and it wasn’t until it stopped on a leaf that I realised it was missing a wing! It almost looks as though something has taken a bite straight out of it’s side, though I presume it must have been pecked at by a bird. This disabled butterfly seemed to be doing perfectly well though; the resilience of nature never ceases to amaze me!
I spent some time listening to the noises on the park. It’s rather peaceful at the moment as many of students have gone home. However, today was an open day for the university so we had lots of prospective students and their parents visiting. I heard a few comments about the fantastic green campus, which was one of the main reasons I chose this university to study and work at. As I continued along the lakeside path I heard something rustling in this patch of bamboo. I approached slowly and quietly and saw a lovely little wren peeping through the stalks. It disappeared as I got closer and I tried to follow it into the bamboo where I found this wonderful little nest! I don’t know if it is the wren’s nest or something else. There didn’t seem to be anything inside but I carefully retreated just in case I disturbed something.
I continued my little walk, concentrating really hard on not looking at the ground for a change. I’m sure I must have missed some lovely flowers and insects but I noticed other just as lovely things like the bark on an old tree that reminded me of lava running down the side of a volcano. I looked at a few different trees trying to use their bark to identify them – something I want to practice and hone. I followed the path round to the old walled garden and then headed off to work in a lovely relaxed mood and feeling pretty wild -I had spent the afternoon looking at the world in a different way and it made me feel interested and enlightened!
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