Louthonians, if we can be called that, you help is needed, and rather urgently! The National Biodiversity Data Centre, the organisation that collects information about plants & animals in Ireland, are putting together a Mammal Atlas, a map of all the wild mammals in Ireland. To do that, they need records from people living in every county in Ireland (that’s you!). To date, very few records have been received from county Louth. We are almost at the bottom of the leader board, with only around 150 records submitted!
To lift us from the bottom, I am asking all Louth residents who have spotted a badger, hare, fox, squirrel (both red and grey) or any other wild mammal to send this information to the NBDC. You can also report sightings of road kill and cetaceans (whales, dolphins etc.). It only takes a minute via this link, and it will literally put Louth on the map!
Before I joined the #30dayswild challenge with the Wildlife Trusts I thought my days were reasonably filled with wild forays. From bird watching, walking in the hills, jogging in the woods to the odd spot of gardening. But as the month of June has passed I have realised that I am a creature of habit. My wild time is fairly predictable and in a way repetitive, which isn’t altogether a bad thing, but it leaves many doors unopened. Most of my outdoor time is spent surveying or exercising, all be it in different settings.
The #30dayswild challenge has opened my eyes to the many other possibilities that the outdoors has to offer. I don’t have to be counting and documenting, or burning calories in nature, there is plenty more to do in the great outdoors. The twittering updates from people of all ages and background provides many great ideas and motivation. Wild can be much much more than I ever imagined.
For the rest of the month I have set myself a few goals, with the aim of opening a few more doors into the wild.
1. Engage all my sense, and focus less on the visual. My plan is more tasting (with caution), sniffing, touching and listening to all things wild.
2. Create more homes for nature, building, collecting, planting, what ever it takes. I’m usually an observer and not a creator, so this will definitely add something new. A bug hotel is on the cards and who knows what else!
3. Doing every day things outside. Although the Irish weather can be a deterrent, we have started eating more meals outdoors and taking cups of tea or coffee to the greenhouse. There is something very calming about sitting with our newly planted tomato plants, watching them grow. I want to find more ways to bring the outdoors into my everyday. Reading, relaxing, yoga, whatever.
4. Share and be proud. I’m crazy about all things wild, but sometimes I’m cautious in showing this passion to others and sharing this awe. Maybe I’m afraid it will come across too strong, or people will think i’m a “crazy bird lady” or worst off all, they may not be interested in the slightest, and this would break my heart. For the next few weeks I going to try and throw caution to the wind, share more with passing strangers, family and friends. This will be interesting!
I think this is enough to keep me busy and to broaden my own version of wild.
Wish me luck!
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Three weeks ago today we got on a flight from Copenhagen and landed in Dublin. It seemed like any other visit we have made over the last 3 years, but this time, it was a one way ticket. This time we took more luggage, including two bikes. This time, we are here to stay. Almost a month has passed, like a dream. There has been so many new faces, smells, challenges and surprises and so many memories which pop up at unexpected times. But we are taking each day, one at a time, and doing our best to remember why we made the decision to move to Ireland. What it is we want from this chapter in our lives. More family time, more mountain time, more wild time. Here’s my “best of” so far, which involves a lot of family, hills, birds, bikes, a bit of exercise and the odd dead thing.