Animals and Wildlife

The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild

David Robinson

11th June 2020

Throughout June this year The Wildlife Trusts are challenging everyone to do one wild thing a day, every day throughout the month. Here’s some ideas to get you started without leaving your own home and garden.

Find out more at : Sign Up For 30 Days Wild

This is a photography blog so, obviously, I’m thinking of wild photography ideas here, but you could do so many other things too. How about a wild picnic if you have some space outside, cooking something over a small fire or a camping stove, making a den or putting up a tent and living outside for the day, or going bug and plant hunting to see what lives around your home?

My way of entering in to the spirit of the challenge has been to take a “wild” shot every day without leaving the garden. Yes, I know we can go out now, but I fancied the challenge of proving that you can find wilderness without leaving home.

Raindrops on a garden flower

Photograph by David Robinson

At the moment there are flowers, new growth on the trees and even grasses (if you havent cut them with the mower) with immature seed heads on them. Get in close and tight- see what you can find and photograph. When you are up close either a macro lens or a wide-angle lens are ideal to help you capture the smaller things in reasonable focus. An alternative approach is to stand back and use a telephoto or long lens to “zoom in” on the subject.

Its not just plants out there- you’d be amazed how much is going on at ground level – insects, worms, snails, wood lice and all sorts of critters live in the grass, under stones and in flower beds. Some of them prefer to hide away when the weather is dry and hot, particularly the worms, slugs and snails that like it wet, but others like butterflies and bees love the sunshine and will pose for you. OK, bees do buzz around a bit but that adds to the challenge. If your camera allows it, take bursts of shots to increase your chances of getting a good picture before the bee has flown off to the next flower!

Garden snail having lunch after heavy rain

Photograph by David Robinson

‘And, of course, there are the birds. Just about every garden has a pigeon pass through every day even if the other species arent such frequent visitors where you live. You can set up bird feeders just about anywhere, even outside windows / on balconies in blocks of flats. (Disclaimer: Check if you need permission, and MAKE SURE IT CANT FALL OFF!). Cats are the sworn enemy of wild birds so avoid hanging feeders where cats can lurk or pounce. Low down, on fences and in easily climbed trees are NOT good places. Find a spot with clear ground around it so birds can see any cats, hammer a long pole into the ground and pop a feeder on that. If there’s a bush not too far away where birds can sit and observe the surroundings, so much the better.  With some parience and a bit of luck you’ll start attracting assorted birds to your feeder 🙂

Great Spotted Woodpecker enjoying fat balls

Photograph by David Robinson

Have a go at their challenge, and if you sign up they will give you a link to their “downloadable pack of goodies” to help you plan your activities. I think its a fantastic chance to either dip your tioes in the wild side of life, or to challenge yourself to look at your home surroundings in a different way. You don’t need to go to Africa or India to get wildlife shots – you won’t (hopefully) find cobras or tigers in the garden, but if you happen to be an aphid, finding a ladybird is just as scary!

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