In the morning we visited my grandparents and the kids raced around their garden for a while, before going home to watch E’s new Tractor Ted in the Summertime DVD. Then, we went to my parents’ house and the kids picked some of Grandmum’s tulips to bring home. Grandad found an egg (probably Wood Pigeon) in the garden.
Total wild time – about 1 hour in total
The kids and I enjoyed a walk by the river with the dog and my parents. The Wild Garlic was flowering, there were millions of cows about, Herons and Egrets flew overhead and there were lots of people enjoying the springtime.
Total wild time – About 45 mins
We had a lovely, sunshiny day, starting with an event at Seaton Wetlands called Birdwatching for Children. We didn’t see the Fox that E was desperate to spot, but we did see Oystercatchers, Herring Gulls, Moorhens and my personal highlight, a Common Sandpiper. Through the telescope we spied on nesting Herons and although E was a bit noisy and over-excited, both kids enjoyed themselves.
After Tesco, a picnic and playing in the playground, we went home to potter around the garden, before heading out again to the dentist. Then, when B finished work, we took Bramble for a walk at Seaton Hole. There was hardly anybody else about, the sea was blue and calm and it was all pretty idyllic.
Total wild time – 2 hours at least
My mum took Izzy. E, Bramble and I for a walk at Holyford Woods. The kids enjoyed running down the hill from Seaton Down, but once we got to the woods, Izzy started whingeing because she didn’t want to wear or carry her coat. This continued for some time, until she eventually carried it with her hood on her head. E copied her. Once the wailing had stopped, we were able to appreciate the amazing sound of birdsong that rang through the woods. We had a guess at how many birds we could hear – Izzy suggested 5. I told her that I thought it must be much more than that.
We noted a single Bluebell in flower, but the woods will be a sea of blue in a few weeks. We walked past the pond and through some very sticky mud. My mum regretted not putting her wellies on and I had to carry E over the worst. E picked up a stick and Izzy decided to make a fairy boat, which involved a lot more whining, because she couldn’t find a stiff enough leaf to use as a hull. I found some Wood Sorrel and we snacked on the leaves. Izzy was interested to know what else we could eat, so we tasted some Stitchwort and Gorse, too. We gave the Wild Garlic a miss, though. Looping back around on the higher path, we found some muddy puddles full of tadpoles. Both kids were fascinated, but I had to stop E sucking the stick that he was poking in the water. We walked on, but E wandered back towards the puddle, where he got stuck in mud up to his knees and had to be rescued. I then had to carry him back up the hill to the car.
I gave my mum carrot cake when we got home – I think she felt she had earned it! Later, we logged our Bluebell sighting on The Woodland Trust website.
Total wild time – 1 hour 40 mins
It was a gorgeous, sunny morning, so E and I ate our lunch in the garden, noticing the buds growing on the apple trees and a pair of Jackdaws sliding down the thatched roof of the house opposite.
After school, we dragged a reluctant Izzy out to the beach for a dog walk. The waves were crashing against the pebbles, as we practised Parkrun, by jogging along the promenade. We took the steep steps up the cliff to walk back through the park, then kept Izzy happy by buying her a drink and a Kitkat in Coast cafe.
Total wild time – just over 1 hour
Warmth! Sunshine! Even though I was still ill, I felt so much better with an improvement in the weather. I cleaned the house, I mowed the lawn and after lunch, I took E and Bramble for a walk on the East Devon Pebblebed Heath. We parked at Joney’s Cross and ambled aimlessly around. E walked for the entire hour, without asking to be carried or whining about anything. He enjoyed plodding through the dry Purple Moor-grass and picked stems for his friend Olive, Izzy and B. He also filled my pocket with pebbles he wanted to take home. Apart from the road noise, it was very peaceful on the heath and there was a lovely view towards Sidmouth and the sea. I returned home feeling energised.
Izzy went to the playground with her class on their welly walk, so she got out and about in the sunshine, too.
Total wild time – 1 hour
This was a hellish week. Izzy passed her cold on to me (and my mum), then B had to go into hospital for a minor operation and afterwards stayed in bed, recovering, whilst I tried to keep everybody alive for the next week. I managed to take E and Bramble out for some walks around Colyton and we spent some time enjoying the garden, but mostly we watched films and left the house as little as possible.
Total wild time – barely any
Not sure where all the birds were at Seaton Wetlands this morning. It was much colder than I thought it would be there, with a bitter wind. E on his bike and Izzy on her scooter, raced around the paths. We were on a mission to find frogspawn, which has been recorded there according to their whiteboards, but we failed to spot any. We paused in the bird hide and saw some Blue Tits, a Pheasant, some Mallards, a Woodpigeon, a Moorhen and what I think was a Yellowhammer.
Later, I took Izzy out for a pony ride and there were signs of Spring everywhere, including a few flowering Barren Strawberry and Primrose plants.
Total wild time – 35 mins (E), Izzy – 2 hours 35 mins
I took the kids for a quick wintery walk, down to Road Green, where we found some lovely icy puddles to smash through.
Buds were bursting on the trees, though, so Spring is on its way.
Total wild time – about 30 mins
I took Izzy on a pony ride around Umborne. We saw tons of Fieldfares and it was pretty cold in the wind, but there were also some signs that Spring was on its way – the hedgerows were starting to green, with Navelwort, Primrose, Cleavers and Foxglove. Gorse was flowering and catkins had appeared on the Hazel trees.
Total wild time – 1 hour 20 mins (Izzy), E – 0 mins