25th May 2017 – Last day of term

IMG_0498There wasn’t a cloud in the sky for Izzy’s school’s Maypole Dancing in the church grounds. Everyone slapped on the suntan lotion and enjoyed a cream tea, whilst the children threw flower petals onto the grass and wove ribbons around the Maypole.

After school, we headed into Seaton, to paddle in the lovely cool sea, where rafts of seagulls bobbed. As the tide turned and started to come in, I took the opportunity to teach Izzy about the influence of the moon on the tides.

A great end to the term!

Total wild time – about 1 hour on the beach

22nd January 2017 – Cattle Egret and #2minutebeachclean

IMG_0069 When we were last at Seaton Wetlands, I noticed that a Cattle Egret had been recorded in fields off Cownhayne Lane, so on our way to Tesco, we stopped off to take a look. As promised, there it was, following a cow through a muddy field, which was also full of Lapwing and gulls. This rare visitor was not much different from a Little Egret, but had greyish legs and a yellow beak.

IMG_0075B and Izzy went to Tesco, whilst E and I took the dog for a walk on the beach, which was gorgeously sunny and calm. There were people fishing all along the shoreline and plenty of people strolling along the sea front. As I had a load of dog poo bags in my pocket, I decided to do a #2minutebeachclean and quickly filled my bag with plastic bottles and bottle tops, tangles of fishing line, crisp packets, polystyrene and random bits of plastic.

E was happy to find some white stones, a handful of manky old feathers and a mermaid’s purse. He enjoyed throwing handfuls of shingle into the air and listening to them raining down onto the beach.

IMG_0073Total wild time – 40 mins (E), Izzy (0 mins)

8th December 2016 – Blast on the beach

B, E and I took Bramble for a quick run on the beach. Fog hung over the cliffs and the waves crashed against the shore. At one point, whilst we examined shell fragments, I had to snatch E and jump out of the way of the water to avoid wet feet. We found a Cuttlefish ‘bone’, which Bramble enjoyed playing with. There was more rubbish on the beach than I have seen before, a consequence of winter storms, I suppose.

Total wild time – 20 mins (E), Izzy (0)IMG_20161208_120156589

24th November 2016 – A windy walk

IMG_20161124_140638986I was expecting B to say ‘No’ when I asked him to go for a walk on the beach with E, the dog and me, but he agreed surprisingly readily. So, we hopped in the car and parked next to Seaton Boat Club. The sound of the wind amongst the masts was unbelievable – a shrieking, whistling, rattling kind of noise. E took his time plodding along, poking around in puddles of water on the wall, digging in the pebbles with a bit of driftwood, whereas B, wearing totally inappropriate clothing as usual, wanted to walk quickly before he froze to death. We breathed in the smell of the sea and watched a gull playing in the wind, skimming the surface of the water, then lifting effortlessly back into the sky. I found a crab on the strand line, still alive, which B threw back into the sea, hoping it would survive. B picked up E and carried him the rest of the way.

Total wild time – 25 mins (E) Izzy (0)

17th November 2016 – After-school beach walk

We went for a family walk on the beach after school. It was misty and atmospheric, as the light faded from the sky. E threw his arms wide and roared at the sea. We lobbed pebbles into the waves and balanced stones on top of each other to make towers. A boy zoomed past on the pavement, pulled along on his skateboard by his dog. We were only out for half an hour, but we all returned to the car energised by our blast on the beach.

Total wild time – 30 mins

4th November 2016 – Autumn beach walk

IMG_20161104_163257925 IMG_20161104_163845936_HDR

We had quite a good day today, with Izzy making a witch’s broom on a rainy school welly walk and E playing sand pits in the rain in a friend’s garden.

Then, after school, we had a lovely dog walk on the beach as the sun was setting. Izzy has the school teddy for the weekend, so Mr Bugby came, too. We walked towards the estuary mouth and were amazed by the hundreds, if not thousands of waterbirds (more than 114 anyway, according to Izzy) flying out to sea. E found a bit of metal, which made him happy and Bramble, the dog, managed to run through a load of Burdocks and came out covered with seeds, which took an age to remove at home.

Total wild time – 55 mins