30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 29

Earlier in the year I wrote about the plants I was going to sow for the insects in the garden; one of them was borage.  Borage is a herb of non UK decent and native to the Middle East.  It’s leaves can be used for tea and its flowers for decorating salads, I however have planted them solely for the bees (and other pollinators who wish to visit them!) 🙂

I sowed some of my seeds in March hoping I would get a ready supply of flowers throughout the summer; flowering generally occurs in June and July.  I had read the plants can grow to 2 feet or more and because I don’t have a lot of bed space in the garden I have planted them in large pots.  This also means I have been able spread them throughout the garden so the bees can travel through the area collecting nectar as they go.  

I have been watching the borage ever since it started to flower and the bees have loved it.  I have recorded 3 species of pollinator visiting them since June 20th, though I am sure I would see more if I watched all day 🙂

I will definitely be sowing more for next year 🙂 I have read online that one person planted some borage in September and it over wintered well so this year I am going to collect seeds from my plants and do the same, hoping they survive and I will have flowers in April as well!  If you have borage in your garden they do self-sow, so you may need to keep an eye on the number of plants year on year if you have a small space! although the bees will love you more, the more plants you can support 🙂

My Patch – August 2018

August 1st – The buzzard was back on the bale of straw tonight, it looks like it could be a juvenile to me.  

August 2nd – This evening there were 3 mint moths on the mint, so I’m really glad that it has been left to go to seed.  They were also joined by a mother-of-pearl month.  

August 8th – the great spotted woodpecker is still feeding on the nuts! He’s the main bird I see at the moment as he seems to be slightly braver than the other birds and will still feed if I’m in the garden as long as I’m not moving about too much. 

August 9th – I haven’t seen the rabbits in the field since March when I saw them running about in the snow. This morning they were running about near their burrows.  This afternoon I also found a 22-spot ladybird, I’ve never found one before! 

August 13th – One of the hedges has been cut! There isn’t a lot I can do about it as a local farmer is contracted to trim them but really! don’t they know they shouldn’t be doing that until at least September 🙁 There were fledgling goldfinches in the garden tonight, they were making one hell of a racket. I think the parents were trying to get them to feed for themselves. I wonder if they had been displaced from the hedgerows? I also found a buff-tip moth caterpillar, it took me by surprise as it was on the edge of the arm of one of the chairs. 

August 15th – I thought I saw a frog in the garden the other day but wasn’t convinced as it was small and mud coloured, it hopped but I only saw it out of the corner of my eye and it could have been a cricket. Today I saw it again, it was about an inch long, it saw me and leapt under the fence and into the field. 

August 22nd – This afternoon I found a badger in the ditch, I seems it was hit over the weekend and someone had moved it.  We moved her round into the field so any other creature wanting to feed on her wouldn’t be hit too.  The entrance to the field is where there are regular animal crossings. It’s on a slight bend and people just don’t slow down at all, they also seem to drive in the middle of the road so if another car is coming they have to swerve!  You would think if you were a regular driver of the road you would have more sense, but I guess not! 

August 23rd – tonight I took a walk down to the river, there wasn’t much activity.  There was litter floating downstream, sadly this is a regular occurrence each time I visit but the water is too deep for me to do anything about it.  The rabbits are still digging their burrows in the walkways around the field so I walked back along the track as I knew I wouldn’t be able to see them walking back across the field.  I can generally only see them when I walk into the field, in the other direction they are more camouflaged!  I spotted some of the culprits on my way back!

August 24th – One of the cats left a dead rat in the front garden of the house today!  At least we know the rats are still about… there is a barn a little further down the road and we think they catch them there, or next door have chickens so its a possibility they are in their garden too.  I do however think if they catch them they should eat them, not just leave them on the floor!

August 31st – tonight I found lots of caterpillars on the rose bush, after a little investigation I have discovered they are large rose sawfly.  All the gardening websites tell you how to get rid of them but these are happily munching away in the garden!  

30 Days Wild 2016 – Part 4: Days 21-30

The last 10 days of 30 Days Wild…

Day 21: Today I failed to do anything wild. I do however have a very good excuse – I had to take the kitten to a Blue Cross centre. No one claimed him locally. He has settled in well and is now named ‘Bilbo’ as he must have had a great adventure to get to the garage (that is unless someone dumped him which is sadly more than likely the case).

Day 22: Trying to identify the garden birds by their song. I have a lot to learn! Jamie (@proudfoot) kindly suggested a couple of phone apps that can help you identify bird song – BirdUp for Android or Warblr for iPhone.  I’ve had a bit of a play with BirdUp but need to use it a bit more. I found sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Will have to try Warblr next 🙂

Day 23: I often keep a note of wildlife that I see, I have a notebook I carry around with me and log what I see via iRecord. I have also been recording our garden nesting birds via the BTO Nest Box Challenge. Recording sightings is a great way to help the wildlife around us, it’s also so simple to do with apps on our phones.

Day 24: June 20th – 26th was National Insect Week so I decided to explore the garden. My knowledge of insects is limited but reading the website has increased my interest, some of them are quite cute up close! I have a macro lens I attach to my phone so I will have to go exploring more often 🙂

Day 25: We visited a garden centre to choose a new tree for the garden. We have decided on a Red Berried Cotoneaster.

Day 26: Watched the hedgehogs in the garden. We have a small one that comes out to feed slightly earlier than the larger ones, his tactic works well – he gets all the best food 🙂

Day 27: Watched the lovely orange sunset tonight.

Day 28: On the way home from work, I noticed a green woodpecker feeding its young. I pulled over so I could get out and watch for a while.  I always have binoculars in my bag so I could stay a good distance away so not to disturb them.  There was two young and one adult.

Day 29: Driving home from work, I noticed that someone had been fly-tipping again on the country road I use.  In one of the lay-by’s they had dumped bricks, a bath, a bike and some timber.  I have reported it using the Keep Britain Tidy app.  I don’t understand why they just didn’t take it to the recycling centre, its only 4 miles from where they dumped it!

Day 30: I hid hazelnuts in the local park for the squirrels.  Sometimes if they are feeling brave, they come and collect them while I’m still there but mostly they explore when there is no-one around.

I find 30 Days Wild enjoyable and I love reading what other people are doing.  What I have learnt over the last couple of years of taking part is there will always be some difficult days, either because other things crop up or what you plan just doesn’t turn out the way you hoped. June is always a busy month for me at work but I feel this year, I have accomplished more wild things than last. Next year I’m sure it will be wilder again : ) I can’t commit to #365DaysWild like some, but plan to #StayWild as much as I can.