10th February 2017 – A cold welly walk

I helped out at Izzy’s school welly walk this morning. The kids had been learning about capital letters, so they were set a task to find each letter of the alphabet, on number plates, road signs etc. Once at Road Green park, they were free to race around and climb trees as they wished. However, by this stage, Izzy was crying because she was so cold. Back at the school, they were promised hot chocolate to warm them up.

B took E out for a dog walk, but they turned back when E got cold.

Total wild time – 1 hour (Izzy), E – 30 mins

29th January 2017 – Big Garden Bird Watch

IMG_0087We put out the bird food we made earlier in the week (although it didn’t work properly, as it got stuck in the moulds), as well as some cheese, oats and seed. Then, pen and paper at the ready, we sat in Izzy’s window seat and started the timer for 1 hour.

We recorded 1 Blackbird, 1 Starling and 1 Woodpigeon, as well as 2 House Sparrows, but the rain that set in after 10 minutes did not help our rather pathetic total. We did notice a Blackbird with a white feather and saw a Pheasant land in a neighbour’s garden (quite surprising in the middle of town!) and the kids had fun looking up the birds in their ID books, learning the differences between male and female birds, sketching and recording their results. To be honest, I was quite surprised by their enthusiasm and that they stuck with it for the full hour.

IMG_0089Later that day and despite the pouring rain, we took the dog out for a family walk. The kids burnt off some of their overflowing energy, pretending to be super heros, jumping in puddles and singing ‘the world is lovely’ at the top of their voices. We returned home drenched, but happier, to a mug of hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows.

Total wild time – at least 1 hour 30 mins

23rd January 2017 – Ice-skating Mallards

IMG_0077 (1)E, my mum and I visited Borrow Pit whilst Izzy was at zumba and were amazed to find that it was almost entirely iced over. The Mallards skating around on the ice must have been very confused! There were geese flying and honking overhead, as well as thousands of gulls and other waders heading out to sea.

Total wild time – 35 mins (E), Izzy 0 mins

20th January 2017 – Star gazing

IMG_0062Izzy had a welly walk at school, whilst E, B and I went into Exeter, where we had lunch. Afterwards, I took E around the RAMM. He was really interested in the insect room, was a bit wary of the stuffed Tiger and generally gave me the run around. After a quick visit to the library, we went for a stroll around Rougemont Gardens, which wasn’t exactly welcoming due to the numerous pockets of people drinking and listening to loud music. We were on a mission to find squirrels though and were rewarded when one dashed in front of us and away.IMG_0061

After dinner, we wrapped up warm and headed out in the car to Trinity Hill Nature Reserve, which is also a designated dark sky discovery site. It was bitterly cold, but the sky was completely clear, the moon had yet to rise and the stars were amazing. We knew the names of some of them, including Venus and Mars, The Plough and Orion’s Belt, but using an app, we could identify some of the less well known stars , too.

Total wild time – Over 1 hour in total

13th January 2017 – Welly walk and unexpected deer

IMG_0043I accompanied Izzy’s class for a chilly welly walk to a muddy field next to the river. Izzy, having refused point blank to wear gloves, hat, scarf, or woolly socks, was freezing and miserable by the time we returned to the school.

Later in the day, I had a brain wave and decided that after school, we would go to Seaton, buy hand warmers and take the dog for a walk on the beach at Beer, before heading to Peco for soft play. On the way to Seaton, I pointed out a Roe Deer in a field near the wetlands. The hiking/outdoor shop didn’t stock hand warmers (obviously!) so we set off for Beer without them. The road was shut though, so we took a diversion. By this time it was getting late and the sun was starting to set. We were excited when we spotted a little bit of snow on the ground and even more excited when three Roe Deer ran in front of the car, one after the other, giving us a lovely close-up view, before vanishing back into the woods. It was almost dark by the time we got to Beer, so instead of getting the kids out and kitted up, B jumped out and gave the dog a quick blast on the beach, whilst we stayed in the car, watching the sun set. E didn’t get his wild time, but he didn’t mind, as he got to go to soft play instead.

Total wild time – Izzy – 1 hour, E – 0 mins