24th September 2016 – Allotment gardening

The whole family helped out on the allotment this morning and the experience was much better than the last time we tried, thanks to Ethan being that much older and less of a liability. The kids helped to pick out the weeds from the raked soil and enjoyed finding Beetles and other beasties. Izzy made a worm school and was convinced they were eating the leaves she provided and were growing before her eyes. B’s knee was giving him gyp, so he gave up digging fairly quickly, but the plot is very slowly starting to look more like a veg patch and less like a jungle, so I was happy. We picked some rather pathetic sweetcorn, (which were nevertheless delicious) and a mooli, which I have no idea what to do with, scrumped some apples from my parent’s tree and went home for lunch.

Total wild time – 1 hour 30 mins

23rd September 2016 – River dipping

IMG_20160923_162703539 We had a little river dipping session at Whitford Bridge this afternoon. To be honest, I’m not really sure whether we were trespassing or not, but hey ho, it was easy to reach the river bank from the road. Izzy quickly discovered that her welly had a hole and there was a fair about of whining about who’s turn it was with the net, so it wasn’t entirely relaxing, but we caught half a dozen little fish and some cased Caddisfly larvae, as well as a Lesser Water Boatman and some snails. I had to wring Izzy’s socks out.IMG_20160923_162637194

Total wild time – 25 mins

6th September 2016 – Mud slinging

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Izzy was tired and grumpy after her second morning of school, but she seemed to know that a walk was just what she needed and didn’t complain when I suggested it. We went to the playground, pottered around the green collecting conkers, then walked along the river. I had the bright idea of setting conker cases afloat as fairy boats, but whilst my back was momentarily turned, Izzy managed to push E into a cowpat and we had to wash his hands in the river. Then, once the boats were safely on their way, Izzy started scooping mud up in her hands and flinging it at me. My trousers were soon covered in mud and she was laughing hysterically. When I decided that it was time we all headed home for a hot bath with plenty of soap, she suddenly realised that her socks were wet, her wellies were rubbing and a meltdown was imminent. I let her sit in the bottom of the buggy all the way home and then sent them straight up for a bath.

Total wild time – 1 hour 20 mins

25th August 2016 – We’re going on a dinosaur hunt

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We went in search of prehistoric wildlife this afternoon, on the Exmouth Dinosaur Trail. We were a bit disappointed to find that some of the ‘life size’ dinosaurs could more accurately be described as ‘life-size baby’ dinosaurs. We also failed to find a number of them and the Stegosaurus definitely appeared to have gone walkabouts. However, it was a lovely way to explore some of Exmouth’s parks, including the urban meadow in Manor Gardens, as well as the seafront. Until Izzy fell over and grazed her knee and B had to race back to the car so we didn’t get a ticket, at least.

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Total wild time – 1 hour

23rd August 2016 – Mud pies

DSC_0581 (1)The kids had a lot of fun making mud pies and ‘mud custard’ using their play kitchen utensils in the garden. They added some herbs to make it smell nice and got thoroughly muddy.

Walking back from ‘holiday club’ we noticed that the leaves were starting to change colour on the Beech and Cherry trees in the car park and concluded that it was a sign that it was almost autumn. We found some Beech mast on the floor and Izzy crept up behind me to throw grass seeds on my back. In the garden, we listened to the Collared Doves cooing to each other on the neighbour’s chimney pots and practised cooing ourselves.DSC_0588

Total wild time – about 1 hour in total

19th August 2016 – Smartest Giant in Town

Slightly cheating here, because we didn’t go anywhere wild, or see any wildlife, but we did spend the evening outdoors at Burrow Farm Gardens, for an outdoor production of The Smartest Giant in Town. We had a picnic overlooking the lake and some amazing old trees, whilst waiting for the play to start. It was a fantastic evening, with the cast doing an amazing job, especially considering the distractions of excited children exploring the gardens and a fly-over by the Red Arrows. E sidled up to a little girl, put his arm around her and was rewarded with a piece of popcorn from her pot. They quickly became firm friends and ran off to play together around a huge tree. The rain held off until we got in the car to go home, at which point the sky turned a funny shade of yellow-grey and the heavens opened.

Total wild time – 2 hoursIMG_20160819_180532489_HDR

4th July 2016 – Crab fishing

IMG_20160804_162555056It was a lovely, breezy 21 degrees as we arrived at Axmouth harbour and there were several other families fishing for crabs off of the wall. It was a little stressful having two small children so close to a sheer drop into the estuary, but with B there, it was just about manageable. It quickly became clear that our equipment was not up to the task, as the crabs kept falling back into the water, so B improvised a net, baited with bacon, attached to a crab line, which worked much better. We caught 4 little and 1 big Shore Crab, which we popped in a tray for a closer look, before gently lowering back into the water.

Total wild time – 1 hour

25th July 2016 – A walk in the woods

IMG_20160725_133230324My mum and I took E  and the dog out for a walk somewhere we hadn’t been in Colyton before. We walked through a lovely meadow at the top of Ridgway, then along Sand Pit Hill Lane, through a field of cows, past a hollow tree, then down through a very peaceful woodland, full of Enchanter’s Nightshade, Honeysuckle and Downy Birch, where E fell asleep.IMG_20160725_135400184

We got back home just in time to leave again to pick up Izzy from Holiday Club. At the Playing Field, we made a map, did some sketches and explored the river bank.

Total wild time – Dog walk (E) – 1 hour 30 mins, Map-making etc. (E & Izzy) – 45 mins