We are now one week in to our 30 Days Wild challenge. It’s been a busy time, not least because those seven days have spanned being on and returning from holiday and getting back to normal routines again, all of which has left relatively little time for extra things.
Still, as we learned doing the challenge last year, whilst spending as much time outdoors as possible is wonderful, a nature interaction need only take a minute or two, or even just a few seconds! It’s about being aware of your surroundings and switching on to those non-human aspects of life that surround us without us even noticing half the time.
If you follow Baby Routes on Instagram then you will already know what we have been up to each day this week for our Random Acts of Wildness. If not, you can find a summary below. Click on first image to start a slideshow with more info on each day’s 30 Days Wild Challenge.
The only day missing from the photos is yesterday – Day 7 . We spent ten minutes before bedtime out in the garden listening to the ‘bedtime birds’ singing their evening chorus. Roo counted how many different types of song she could hear (7 in the end) whilst Beth mainly enjoyed cuddles and the odd moment of pretending to be a bird! It was a lovely, calming activity to do before bedtime. Roo and Beth were snoring long before the birds stopped singing for the night.
Unfortunately, stormy skies, evening light and a reluctance on the part of the birds to come close enough for a decent photo means my photography efforts from yesterday were pretty poor, hence the lack of image!
Today is Day 8 of the challenge and we have had our first successful attempt at making a plaster of paris cast of animal tracks. See how we got on – I’ll be writing it up very soon!
What have you been doing this week that has got you outside and into nature? I’d love to hear all your ideas! You can see what some other great nature bloggers are up to on the 30 Days Wild Challenge over on the blogger website here.
Day 1 – Making Nature Notebooks and Nature Mobiles from Dandelion Seedheads
Day 2 – Slug Walk. We went on a slug walk, finding 39 slugs and a worm on our short paved stroll shortly after a long rain storm. We all spent a lot of time looking at the different colours of the slugs and talking about why they were all out that day. Back home we looked up a bit more info about a slug’s anatomy.
Day 3 – Examining roots. Roo and Beth helped out with a spot of weeding in their Aunty’s veggie patch and combined it with some impromptu examination of roots whilst they were there. We talked about how roots work and why plants need them – re-enforcing what Roo learnt doing a related exercise during last year’s challenge.
Day 4 – Identifying Swiss Wild Flowers. During our holiday we found many different types of wildflowers that don’t grow at home. We also found quite a lot that were the same. On Day 4 we hit the books to identify the unfamiliar ones we had come across whilst heading out to search once more for all those we already knew. One of the key differences was the proliferation of hay meadows in the part of Switzerland we were visiting. They were brimming with wonderful wild blooms – such a rare site now at home.
Day 5 – Exploring our wild bank. Day 5 saw us returning home. The garden had gone a little crazy during our two week absence, not least our dedicated wild bank! We spent some time looking at what was growing and watching the many buzzing insects that were making the most of the pollinating plants we have carefully chosen for each season. It was wonderful to see it so alive – this time last year there was hardly anything going on in this patch of the garden.
Day 6 – What’s in the cuckoo spit? Roo and Beth came bounding inside from the garden to tell me they had found some cuckoo spit on our Rosemary plants. Closer examination of one of the blobs and we could just about make out the faint outline of the tiny little juvenile frog-hopper insect hidden inside. We learnt all about frog hoppers and their odd bubbly cocoons last year after finding an unidentified leaping insect near our pond. This year Roo remembered both what cuckoo spit was and what was inside. Just goes to show how much little people take in when they are interested.