Hedgehogs, Insects, Identification and Jumping in Puddles! (A-Z of 30 Days Wild)

H is for…
Hedgehogs! We were so excited the one and only time we have ever spotted a hedgehog in our garden!

I is for…
Insects. We really enjoy studying insects, observing them and finding out more about them. We have completed many activities around this topic!

Identification
I is also for identifying the various flora and fauna we come across. Squiggle really engaged with her environment and was keen to know more…

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#30DaysWild – Day 27: Identification Challenge πŸ’šπŸŒΏπŸƒπŸ’š . . . 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! πŸ’ 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. . . . Huge thanks to members of 30 Days Wild group and other people who helped me to identify and shared information with me πŸŒΏπŸ˜ŠπŸ’š . . . Any mistakes please let me know!

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J is for…
Jumping in puddles!
Squiggle loves puddle jumping!

And even better when they are really muddy puddles!!!

A-Z of 30 Days Wild. Image of red insect
How are your wild adventures going?

How To Protect Garden Wildlife This Winter

As the weather turns colder, the trees grow bare and frost lays on the ground, it is time to start thinking about how to protect the wildlife in our garden this winter. The main thing we can do is provide safe shelter and food. One of the simplest things that anyone can do is to let grass and hedges grow long and wild over winter. This provides a natural place for a variety of wildlife to hide. But there are also lots of other ways we can help too.

For example, we spotted this hedgehog hideaway at a local garden centre recently, which we thought was a great idea! However, if you do see a hedgehog out during winter when they should be hibernating, it is best to contact your local hedgehog hospital or other experts for advice.

garden centre, protecting wildlife, winter, Rattan Direct

Another popular idea is a bird house or feeder. Squiggle attempted her own DIY version; it is rather on the large side but a very interesting design and all her own work of course! She is going to try making a smaller feeder next, using a carton with entrance hole cut out and stick perch. I’ll post the results when it’s done! Remember to keep bird feeders away from anywhere that predators can easily reach them, but still near shelter if possible.

Bird feeder, protecting wildlife, winter, Rattan Direct

For our tiny members of wildlife, we have a couple of thick logs in an overgrown section of our garden. They provide a great place to hide during anytime of the year, but it is especially helpful in the winter months.

On the subject of wildlife, Rattan Direct are holding a wildlife photography competition and currently have a poll running to choose your favourite photograph from the final selection. There are some really interesting, and cute, pictures included. I have picked my favourite one, but I will let you look and decide for yourselves of course! The poll is here:

http://www.rattandirect.co.uk/blog/wildlife-competition-poll/

I’m looking forward to finding out the winner, it was a tough choice! In the meantime, remember those tips for keeping a wildlife-friendly garden this winter, and do let me know if you have any other suggestions too. Stay wild everyone!

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.