30 Days Wild – Day 27: Identification Challenge

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I found identifying wildflowers and other flora really challenging, much more difficult than I thought it would be! Thanks to members of the 30 Days Wild group and some other friends who helped me and shared their knowledge.

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1. Bluebell seed heads- When the flowers die, green seed pods are formed. By July these will be dry and brown and full of small black seeds. The seeds may take 5 years to develop into a mature flowering bulb.

2. Sheep’s sorrel (rumex)- This is edible with a sharp lemon taste.

3. Statchys- Nicknamed lamb’s ears because it is soft and furry. My daughter loved the feel of these, and bees love them!

4. Red leaved cherry tree- I don’t know if these are edible or not!

5. These red ‘eggs’ are caused by parasites (mites?) inside the field maple leaf so the leaf reacts by producing a growth.

6. Blackberry brambles- I look forward to some foraging when they fruit, yummy!

7. Gorse bush- The seed heads explode when ripe so that the seeds spread widely. It also has yellow flowers that smell like coconuts!

8. Chicken of the wood- This edible fungus tastes like chicken, hence the name.

9. Cow parsley- Short lived but very common, it can be found spreading wildly along roadsides, meadows, woods and other places in early summer.

I am going to make a simple identification chart for Squiggle to use to find out the names herself and I will also use these pictures/ descriptions to make a matching game for her too.

30 Days Wild – Day 26: A Different Kind of ‘Wild’

Squiggle enjoyed this ‘wild’ crocodile bouncy castle slide at Larks in the Parks today…

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She also took this photo earlier on today because she loves that the thistle now nearly reaches the top of our 5ft fence! (Hopefully our neighbours share her enthusiasm!!!)

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She was also very excited to see that a radish is starting to grow…

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There are so many different ways to celebrate 30 Days Wild, it’s fantastic!

30 Days Wild – Day 23: Nature Art

Squiggle loves creative activities so today she decided to do some nature- themed art. She did some leaf rubbing, observation drawing and printing. We also remembered some nature art activities that we have enjoyed doing previously, both at home and at art group too.

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Leaf rubbing

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Observation drawings

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Leaf and grass printing

My demonstration of printing…

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Previously we have studied the work of Andy Goldsworthy, who is one of my favourite artists…

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And we have also used twigs to paint with too (no pictures though)!

30 Days Wild – Day 22: Bug Hunt and Litter Picking

We enjoyed spotting various insects today.

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We observed a bee collecting pollen, laughed at the challenge of taking photographs of hoverflies, watched a beetle hiding under a leaf, held a ladybird and a fly that landed on Squiggle’s leg, saw other insects too, and studied some mite eggs on a leaf.

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We also appreciated the beauty of rain drops on the web and the gorgeous colours of a tree…

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And we picked up litter too…

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30 Days Wild – Day 21: Urban Nature

Squiggle captured the following photos on our walk home from music class. It is actually very urban surroundings; concrete pavements alongside busy roads, walking past nothing but houses, shops and company buildings. I really love that she seeks out and spots the hidden nature regardless…

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Our garden has been left to grow freely all this month and is now looking very wild! As I sat earlier, watching various insects and other wildlife going about their business, I felt rather disappointed that at some point it will have to be cut again- it’s their home! But it’s lovely to sit in the long grass and quietly watch and enjoy the nature all around. Here is how it looks now…

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And in honour of insect week (day 2)…

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30 Days Wild- Day 20: Creatures Great and Small

Today marks the start of National Insect Week here in the UK. For more information on events, activities and competitions see www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk

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This seems a good time to mention our ongoing campaign to save Butterfly World Project. This was a local conservation project that sadly announced its permanent closure last December and therefore did not reopen this season. However, we have since been working together to try to find a solution. For more information on this, check out our website www.savebutterflyworld.com

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Also, it has just been announced today that EU has agreed an action plan to tackle wildlife trafficking and other crimes. Great news! This is one of many wildlife, conservation and environmental campaigns I have supported recently. It feels good to know that we can all make a difference- whether it is relocating an insect to safety or using our voice to support campaigns or taking any other kind of positive action- we can all do our bit to make the world a better place.

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30 Days Wild – Day 19: Simple Things

Today we had a nice lazy Sunday, including a lovely countryside walk.

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Squiggle had a ‘wild’ time…

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I enjoyed taking nature photos…

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Squiggle would like to know what this is…

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One thing I am loving about this challenge is that it serves as a constant reminder to stop and notice all the little things, and to appreciate everything. There is so much value in the simple things in life!

30 Days Wild – Day 18: Sylvanian Families at Whitchurch, Hampshire

Ok, I admit that Sylvanian Families might sound like a very loose connection to the 30 Days Wild theme! But this lovely day out is held in a picturesque village, set up by a little river with ducks and other wildlife, with a pretty flowery backdrop for the character meet and greet. It was very scenic! It was really nice to visit somewhere different, as well as the excitement for Squiggle of a Sylvanian themed day out of course- as has been mentioned on this blog many times before, she is a big Sylvanian fan!

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Squiggle meeting Tiffany Silk Cat

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Dancing in the marquee

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Ralph Walnut Squirrel

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Lots of goodies!

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Freya Chocolate Rabbit

It was a really lovely day out. Thank you to Sylvanian Storekeepers in London www.sylvanianstorekeepers.com for organising!

30 Days Wild – Day 15: Tree Trail

Today we visited Highfield park in St Albans to do the tree trail. A map of the trail, including information about each of the trees, can be downloaded here Highfield Park Tree Trail

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Each month, Highfield Park Trust picks a ‘Tree of the Month’. Last month was the Common Lime (number 6 on the trail)…

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This month the chosen tree is the Deodar Cedar (number 16)…

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Here are some of the other trees we found out about on the trail…

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Monkey Puzzle. This tree is named because monkeys would find it confusing to climb due to its shape. It grows very slowly to begin with but can eventually reach up to 25 metres…

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Red horse Chestnut…

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Squiggle loves finding the numbers and studying the trees. This one is a Dawn Redwood…

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Holly. A well-known native evergreen with spiky leaves…

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Common Larch. This was originally introduced to Britain as an ornamental conifer but is now planted as a timber tree…

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London Plane. This tree is about 100 years old. It gets its name because it is often planted in London and copes well with city pollution…

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Purple Sycamore…

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Swamp Cypress. This tree originates from southern US and is one of the first species to have been introduced from America to Britain…

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Squiggle enjoying our adventures around Highfield park…

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30 Days Wild – Day 14: Puddle Jumping

“Don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain.”

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Today has been a very wet day. So we danced in the rain and jumped in puddles. So much fun! There is something wonderful about being outside it the pouring rain- it is so refreshing and somehow freeing too- no one to tell me to get inside, or to put on a coat, or use an umbrella!

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Squiggle also took some beautiful photos in our garden too…

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