Nature and wildness is everywhere. When you are doing something like the 30 days wild challenge you find yourself appreciating every little detail, spotting that bit of wildlife wherever you are. A snail on a patch of nettles, the birds circling overhead, the bees hard at work and the amazing weather that we have where one minute we are basking in glorious sunshine and the next we are soaking wet and being battered by a storm rapidly followed by a beautiful rainbow. When you pause to admire these things, as part of a month long challenge you really do notice the beauty in the every day things that normally you may not see.
We have completed our second week and are loving every minute of it. As well as our own experiences and observations we have learnt new things and have enjoyed the photos and posts on social media from others across the country taking part.
Day 8 : We had a friends birthday celebration as Chessington world of adventures. While there as well as the usual theme park rides we met some life like animatronic baby pandas (we were told they were real 6 month old baby pandas and only research upon getting home made me realise we had been had! still, it was fantastic!), we watched the otters splashing about and we played in the rain when a storm hit and all the rides were temporarily closed.
Day 9: We took a trip through a local safari park with friends, the lemurs were sitting on the railing of the walk through so we were able to get up close with them. We spotted the bear cubs, baby elephant, baby giraffes, tiger cubs and a tiny baby monkey still clinging to its mama. The sealions were out basking on their rocks which we dont often see as usually they are swimming around and the penguins were sat on nests in the nesting area.
Day 10: We went out for a walk to collect Elder flowers. There’s a lovely woodland walk quite near to our house where we have done a lot of foraging, usually for berries during autumn. We used the elder flowers to make cordial and fritters, experimenting with sugar / sweetener and methods of cooking. While on our walk we spotted a snail in the middle of the path so we moved him into the safety of the undergrowth. Small was fascinated by the snail so I made a point to remember this interest for future exploration.
Day 11: We did some work in the garden. We tied back our over grown honeysuckle and noticed some strange looking little beetles on it. Upon researching these we found out that they are lady bird larvae which we all thought was pretty cool. We collected a couple of snails into a pot with some leaves for small to watch for a little while, and spotted a rather large spider. We found caterpillars, and moth pupae buried in the soil. The challenges of being a home ed mum had me marvelling over the experience that the children would have in watching these emerge if I had reburied them in a jar vs the fact that I am absolutely terrified of moths! My fear won out over education on this occasion. Hey, I have managed to take them into butterfly houses and supported my sons enthusiasm for learning about the Atlas Moth so its not all bad!
Day 12: We were hit by yet another day of rain, add to that the fact that I was working…… but small enjoyed a lovely afternoon getting soaking wet splashing in puddles with daddy and we spotted a beautiful rainbow after the rain. A had her first practise expedition for her Duke of Edinburgh award. Not an over night trip but a day out hiking and cooking lunch on camping cookers so she was out being as wild as she could be.
Day 13: Not very wild with a trip to the RAF museum, however even at a museum you still cant beat a game of “it” outside on the grass to burn off some steam, followed by running across the car park in a sudden downpour! We took a visit to nanny’s afterwards where small played with the water features in the garden and then upon arriving home we set our snails back out onto some nice wet dock leaves.
Day 14: We paid a visit to an exotic pet shop where we saw a large black throat monitor lizard out having a walk around. We had a look at some of their dangerous animals including a black mamba, rattle snakes, a red headed spitting cobra and an American Alligator. Along with checking out their bearded dragons. There was a bearded dragon there who had been looking for a home for 12 weeks, he had a stumpy tail and was missing part of a toe due to old injuries, probably he had been put in a vivarium with lots of other babies and not fed sufficiently so they attacked each other. He is a big boy, approx 4 years old and we fell in love with him. I paid for him and arranged to go home and get the set up ready to collect him at the end of the week, (we didnt wait that long and returned the following day.)
Day 15: A day of wild and free play in the local adventure playground. Picking daiseys, splashing in puddles and running up and down hills. Followed by collecting the new addition and making him at home. He settled in right away and has been hunting and exploring his viv and seems happy being held and stroked.