Connecting with June

Welcome to Connecting with

Each month, members of the Children & Families team will be sharing their experience of Connecting with natural aspects of our green and pleasant land based on the months of the year. We continue by Connecting with June

June, with its warming days and increased light, offers so many opportunities to have fun and explore in nature generally, but as a pagan it can be even more fulfilling and connect us to our spiritually. In our case, it’s a great time to head out as a family on hikes in the hills, moors, and woodlands in the Northwest, picnic bag on my back full of refreshments. June is a month of abundance and it’s great fun looking at the growing wildflowers, wild animals, as well as the ripening harvests, all benefitting from the increased sunlight. It gives plenty of opportunity for leaving offerings of flowers or a pour of juice to Freyja, for her blessings and bounty. We love to spot all those areas that have flowering Bilberry bushes and note them down to revisit as soon as the berries on ripe to see if we can get a few before the local birds devour the lot.
It’s also a time when myself and my youngest son, Addison, will sit quietly in the wood, listening and watching for wildlife and sign of the Landvættir or land spirits in the areas. This is also great fun around the many waterfalls and streams in the moors and peaks nearby as they sparkle in the sunlight.

But even at home, we leave offerings to the Gods and Spirits as we work on the garden and think about what to grow this year… Radishes, Cucumbers, Strawberries, and wildflowers are always a popular choice.
This year we’re also looking to do more Aether Quests as we adventure through the summer months (rain or shine). Wesað gē hale (Be well)!

Northwest Liaison, Children & Families Team

June is a month that we try and spend as much time outside as possible. The vegetables are coming on nicely and the early beans are already showing their fruit. The apple blossom has dropped leaving the tiniest budding apples in their place. This is a great month to sit and listen to what nature is doing around us. We try and stay as still as we can and wait for birds to approach us. We find the dwindling number of damp hollows to check how the insects and snails are doing as the weather gets warmer and drier. Cloud watching is something else we all like to do. Its so lovely to lie down on the grass and watch the clouds, seeing what animals you can see, or faces or shapes. The smell of the Summer air brings a smile to all our faces.

Southeast Liaison, Children & Families Team

The scented roses in our garden are usually in bloom this month and we will harvest the petals from these and a few from the wild roses in our area. We have a red musky scented one and pink sweet floral scented rose and we will dry the petals which we will use for things like rose salt, potpourri, soaps and gifts.

A lot of the poisonous plants are in flower this month and my little girl knows to stay away from these. The Hemlock water dropwort and foxglove are the most prolific along the canal and in the wooded areas. We’ll often notice bees flying into the tubular flowers of the foxglove.

June is often hot so we will take a lot of woodland walks appreciating the cool cover of the leafy trees and watching the butterflies dance in the sunny glades. Less hot days will be spent watching insects on the canal and quietly just enjoying natures wonders.

Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team

June is a strange month. It either seems to be raging hot or drenched in rain, although it’s often the first month when it feels like summer might not just be a distant dream. At this time of year, as the Summer Solstice approaches, we keep an eye out for crepuscular animals — those that come out around dusk or dawn. Because dawn is super early at this time of year, we’re primarily talking about twilight animals, plus the nocturnal ones that are visible earlier because of the lingering light: barn owls, tawny owls, foxes, hedgehogs, various rodents, and the many snails and slugs that slither out of their various hidey-holes as the day becomes cooler and more humid.

It’s also a wonderful time to watch out for birds. Many of those that nested in spring now bring their fledged offspring out for some life skills training. We often have a family of magpies who bring their youngsters in to show them where the bird feeders are and which cats they can safely taunt. We also see families of jackdaws and the occasional clutch of crows. Bird social structures are fascinating and I’m always awed by how close corvid groups are. My favourite but rarest visitors are a pair of jays whose cranking, industrial calls are one of the loudest noises in the garden — apart from the kids, of course.

Secretary, Children & Families Team