Tag Archive | wild

Spring seed sowing!

It’s funny the way things happen. Usually I’m busy when my other half is not, or vice versa. But today we found ourselves at home with some free time. This usually means we get started on a project. Today we turned our attention to the garden for a few hours.

Mending a bird bath

Our reuse-recycle theme is still going strong. After reading a little more about how to have a fuglevenlig (bird friendly) garden, I decided we needed a bird bath. We had a look in our local recycling area and found a large broken plate. Bingo – a bit of repair work and we will have a bird bath (fingers crossed!).

Increasing garden space with hanging baskets

I have to say, I’m not the creative one in the relationship, or the handy person either! Last week Rasmus came up with the idea of making a hanging garden to increase the growing space in our garden. We replanted some parsley in the top and planted rocket and some edible flowers in the lower tiers. The baskets are carefully suspended from the top of a wall that divides our garden from our neighbours. Quiet an ingenious design, I think! If you look carefully on the brick wall you may be able to see the hemp string that makes up a spider web design. This is in preparation for some peas which we have planted along the bottom of the wall. Climbing plants are ideal in our small garden as they maximise ground space and grow up!

Hanging bike tyre baskets - maybe they will work!

Hanging baskets have been done before, but hanging bike tyres, maybe not! We decided we would give it a go and planted some water cress (karse) as an experiment!

Tomatoes growing indoors

This is a project we started last week. We sowed some tomato, strawberry and sunflower seeds indoors in preparation for being planted outdoors. The tomatoes and sunflowers sprung up in no time at all, but nothing has happened with the strawberries as of yet. Today we planted the young sunflowers outside. Hopefully the shock of going from warm apartment to cooler garden won’t do them any harm. I’m hoping for some tall happy flowers this year!

Eggs with breakfast!

This morning after breakfast, while the garden was quiet we took the opportunity to have a little look in our home-made nest box (redekasse). For the past few days, when I’ve had a little look in the box in the evenings a bird (great tit – musvit) has been sitting tight. Usually when you approach a nest box, a bird in a box will come out or “be flushed” but this female didn’t budge. She simply looked up at me, and remained calm. This usually means they are sitting on eggs, but I thought it was a bit soon for this, as they were still building the nest. This morning I understood why! They have finished building their nest and are now laying eggs. The eggs are very small, about the size of the finger nail on your thumb. It’s very exciting! I wonder how many she will lay? How many will grow up to be chicks? How many will survive their first year? I will keep you posted!

Great tit nest with two eggs

Walking wild

As a slightly alternative and less costly holiday this easter we went north to Jutland to wander for a few days in Thy National Park (see website, also in English!). Our walk began at Svankær went south, then west to the coast and north through Stenbjerg, Nørre Vorupør and then looped back to the car.  Armed with gas stoves, dried food and large amounts and cheese and sausages we walked for 3 days and stayed in shelters for 2 nights. This wasn’t my first snail-like experience. There is something so appealing about carrying all you need to survive on your back. It simplifies things and allows you to focus on the nature around you with no distractions except maybe your sore feet!

A Danish style shelter (like a big dog kennel) - our home for the night.

We were blessed with fantastic nature as we wandered along wetlands, sand dunes and through forest plantations on Denmarks west coast. So far I have found it a little difficult to get close to Denmarks nature, or better said, away from Danish civilization! Denmark is a flat land, which allows for easy cultivation, and as a result a large percentage of the country is arable. This forces one to look a little closer, turn a few more rocks and wander off the path a little further to find the wild things. But believe me, they are there! Here’s some of what we found.

Wetlands next to sand dunes, near Svankær. Althought not in the picture...here we spotted two cranes (trane) flying overhead (a first for me!) and a group of 10 female red deer (kronhjorte).

Fossil in chalk on Denmarks west coast - north of Stenbjerg

Green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris) grøn sandspringer is a sun loving beetle that lives on dry soils. Green with cream spots.

Buzzard (Buteo buteo) musvåge, soars above us in clear blue skies. If you look closely you can see it's missing one of it's primary or flying feathers. A very common bird of prey in Denmark.

The glanville fritillary, okkergul pletvinge a type of butterfly spends most of its life as a small black spiny caterpillar.

Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) skovfirben - When the sun was shining we came across many small brown lizards like this one sunning themselves at the edge of the path. If it's a warm day, they can be very hard to get close to!

I have an affinity for small mammals, and we came across this dead shrew (spidsmus) and I had to pick it up!

Simply beautiful - but easily overlooked

Getting closer, getting a better perspecitve, it's amazing what you will see.

Common ringed plover - stor præstekrave. Hard to spot on a stony beach.

Possibly herring gul (Larus argentatus) sølvmåge, most juvenilles.

Our backpacks taking a well earned break at Stenbjerg in the sun.

It’s taken me a while to learn to appreciate the more subtle beauty of nature here in Denmark. It’s an important lesson for me. I’ve been spoiled by large wild spaces in the past, but now my personal challenge is to find the beauty that exists in smaller amounts. Wild is everywhere, I just need to get better at looking.