As the end of the first week of the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge draws to a close, it turns out that it is writing up our adventures daily that is the major challenge. Getting out and enjoying nature has been a joy and fairly easy, especially since Roo has started insisting on smelling our gorgeous rose that has just sprung into bloom every time we leave the house!
I’ve had loads to do round the house and garden over the last couple of days so our outdoor adventures have had to be fairly small in scale. Roo and Beth have still had plenty of outdoor time though and its great to see how having a focus for their time in the fresh air helps bring on those all-important observation skills. Mine haven’t done badly either – you have to be equally switched on to nature as an adult to be able to share things with your children and I have definitely been paying more attention than normal.
On Friday whilst gardening I found a really beautiful red beetle on the apple tree. I think it is a Cardinal Beetle (correct me if I’m wrong) but I’m not very good on my beetle identification so had to get out the insect book – you’re never too old to learn! Roo came to have a look too and even Beth seemed pretty interested when it moved. After that I sent Roo on a bit of an impromptu bug hunt.
Further investigations on the apple tree soon showed up a whole load of aphids. Whilst bad news for me and our apple crop this year, Roo was fascinated by the tiny creatures massed on the underside of the curled leaf. With perfect timing, a yellow ladybird arrived on an adjacent leaf. Roo has been telling everyone who will listen her knew found knowledge about ladybirds’ diets ever since…
The bug hunt seemed to continue on and off for the rest of the weekend. Having been switched on to the world of tiny creatures around her Roo was a lot more alert to bugs and beasties when they naturally crossed paths with her. Several times she appeared to show me a tiny fly or bug that had landed on her clothes or loomed over my shoulder as I was planting bulbs to peer down the hole below and forbid me from continuing on account of the woodlouse or worm I had just unearthed.
For our next challenge Roo got to work getting crafty with making some outdoor pictures of a butterfly and centipede. No doubt inspired by her outdoor artwork and our visiting hedgehogs she and her friend returned from a trip out in the garden with ‘hedgehog hands’. Their beech nut case hedgehogs got up to all manner of escapades over the next twenty minutes, somehow ending up being chased by a crocodile Who needs lego and playmobile hey?!
Today’s challenge took a slightly different turn as we headed out for fun in the sun at a local Open Farm Sunday event – more on that very soon but I will say that if you didn’t go to an event near you this year, put it in the calendar for next year now!