Wild art, searching for grass snakes, poptastic slime moulds, and a hare in the living room…
Our Wild Learning Officer, Lucy, is looking back at what we’ve been getting up to over the past couple of weeks.
For day 10 we were delighted when nature loving artist, Jamey, joined us for a social media takeover and took us with her as she explored and then drew wildlife she spotted when out on one of our reserves.
Jamey’s subject for the day was swifts. Heading out to our Redgrave and Lopham Fen with her artistic assistant Toto the dog, Jamey observed her rather fast subjects, taking in their shape, colours and the scenery surrounding them before heading back to her studio to bring her sketch to life. Explaining why she loves swifts, Jamey said “that to her they are like sharks of the sky “ and recalls how she loves how their bodies are built for speed.
It’s been many years since I have picked up my water colours but after seeing and being inspired by Jamey’s drawings I feel it’s time to dust off my paintbrushes. I think, however, I will stick to slower subjects for now and go in search of an obliging slug or snail.
Day 15 – going in search of garden grass snakes
Day 15 saw an end to a two-week garden grass snake hunt for Charlie, one of our Wild Learning Officers.
After having heard reports from her family that a grass snake had taken residence in their garden, Charlie went to investigate. Day after day, Charlie went in search of the grass snake, searching the long grass areas left for wildlife to no avail, scanning her garden pond with no luck, rummaging in the compost heap in vain, Charlie was starting to think this could just be a rumour. After two weeks of solid searching however, there the grass snake was, in all places, in the middle of the short cut lawn, just sunning itself casually! It is sometimes as if wildlife knows and has a sense of irony!
Day 16 – An after-work paddle and watching wildlife from the water
When temperatures were rising last week, myself and colleagues Bev and Claire decided to head to the water to cool off. Is there a better way to cool of from the heat after work? Well, actually, we did have ice creams packed to enjoy on board too, but we forgot those, but other than that – we’re sure there’s no better way!
As we paddled there were hundreds of banded demoiselles flying and we were delighted when they came and landed on us and our oars allowing us to admire them. We were all delighted as well to hear a male cuckoo calling, softly drawing us upriver towards him.
Day 18 – Muddy hot chocolate in the woods
The water theme continued through to day 18 where the heavens truly opened and soaked our members of staff across the county whilst out delivering their learning sessions. I was in Holywells Park in Ipswich with a brave group of Wild Tots and parents who splished, splashed, rolled and danced in the rain with me, embracing the rain.
A muddy “cup of hot chocolate” with petal “marshmallows” was on the menu halfway through the session for our elevenses and I was pleased that this time, my imagination and rumbling stomach didn’t get the better of me, remembering not to take a big muddy slurp!
We here at Suffolk Wildlife Trust don’ let the rain out us off, in fact, quite the opposite, it often makes the session even more fun!
Day 21 – an insight into an intricate nest
Our Head of Conservation, Ben, shared this beautiful blue tit nest with us allowing us to see how intricately it was made. The constructors of this nest used natural materials such as moss and tiny feathers and also some man-made material including the bright yellow fluff from a tennis ball.
Having this chance to look and admire this wonderful natural creation was a reminder of how we as human’s can impact our natural world and the affect that man made resources can have on nature.
Day 22 – Searching for poptastic slime moulds
After a day of fluffiness with our blue tit nest, followed a day of slime, ooziness and goo, as I investigated slime moulds in Holywells Park in Ipswich.
Having caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, I took the opportunity to investigate these further and was delighted to find this bright orange slime mould covering a log in the park, With all of the rain and warm weather we ‘ve been having, it’s created perfect conditions for species such as slime mould and some fungi.
Wolf’s milk is a great slime mould to look out for and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to notice their gooey liquid center oozing out.
Day 23 – Watching hares from the comfort of the sofa
This wonderful visitor in the video approached one of our reception teams’ living room window as if to highlight how it is even possible to enjoy 30 Days Wild when you get back indoors after your wild adventures outside!
Whilst hares are usually spotted in fields, rather than gardens, this hare seemed quite at home and Claire was certainly delighted to have them come to visit. Golden-brown in colour with a pale belly and white tail, the brown hare is larger than a rabbit, with longer legs and longer, black-tipped ears. They have the ability to run at speeds of up to an amazing 45mph, if pursued!
This visitor however, found a ready supply of nice young shoots to nibble, and was quite content in the rain.