Day 23, 24, 25 and 26……. four days doing our little bit to honour National Insect Week, Hedgehog Friday and National Unplugging Day, as well as 30 Days Wild.
Mum was browsing amongst the plants at the local garden centre at lunch-time on Thursday, Day 23, and was drawn to a table of wildflower plants by the number of bees on the flowers and also noticed that the plants had been reduced to 5 for £10…… bargain, just right for revamping Georgia’s bee and butterfly sink garden from last years 30 Days Wild. On paying for the five selected plants Mum was informed that they had been further reduced to 5 for £5…… double bargain!
So….. on Georgia’s return from school we had fun together cleaning out the old sink, filling it with fresh soil, planting the new plants and giving them a good drink of water. We stood back and admired our handiwork…… we had planted a mix of plants attractive to bees, butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects; Allium sphaerocephalon, Greater knapweed, Meadow clary, Rough hawkbit and Yarrow.
Green fingers at work
The finished Bee & Butterfly Sink
We had made plans at the beginning of 30 Days Wild to make a hedgehog house to go in the garden and with Friday, Day 24, being The British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s Hedgehog Friday it seemed a fitting day to finally make it. We’d been given some wooden storage boxes awhile ago for this purpose, so we hauled them out, dusted them down and set to…..
We just need to do a bit more research in the the garden to find the best place to site the newly built hedgehog abode and put in some suitable dry leaves for bedding.
On Saturday afternoon, Day 25, we went to an event run by our local trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. It’s been bugging us that we hadn’t yet attended any of their events and we are so happy to have finally made one…..
After swim school we headed to WWT Lower Moor Farm, Cricklade, Wiltshire, which also includes Clattinger Farm, Sandpool and Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow, for a BioBlitz….. and what a fantastic place it is! A really exciting place with so much to see and do, we got involved with Bats, Microscopes, Butterflies, Mammals, Reptiles, Damselflies and Dragonflies, pond dipping, and Bees. Georgia was thrilled to be shown how to hold a Damselfly, in this case a Common blue damselfly, correctly (By genttly holding their wings together) and then be given the responsibility to hold it herself, and also to meet her first Slow worm. We spent a most enjoyable and enthusiastic time pond dipping and identifying invertebrates and all the different Damselflies and Dragonflies that were flying around. We were given some great advice on what to look out for in the stream in our garden, and we also came away with some interesting information from the Butterfly Conservation stand and feel inspired to set up a moth trap at some point in the near future to identify the species we have in our garden.We were buzzing with our wild adventures when we left.
Wild adventures with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
The wild adventures continued when we arrived back home with a totally random and mutual decision made to camp out overnight in the garden and hopefully spot some great moths and other nocturnal wildlife…… and so…… the Team Lovett 30 Days Wild Camping Farce Mark II commenced.
I think all of us will agree that this years ‘Camp out’ has pipped last years in the farcial stakes. Last year we had a blip, but it got back on par and turned out rather successful, this time, however, it never fully got of the mark at all. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but in this household a combination of enthusiasm and sheer bloody mindedness is a real driving force against all odds, rightly or wrongly.
Firstly, we couldn’t find the tent…… and it is at this very early point that ‘Hindsight’ already springs to mind. Well, we couldn’t find the right tent, the small one, but after finally admitting defeat Dad made the decision to use Georgia’s pop-up tent rather than the big tent, that WAS found. Georgia’s pop-up tent IS a ‘proper’ tent, but is suffering from rips from being dragged around the garden and used for zorbing, but even with threatening black clouds coming and going it was deemed fine to use after a patch up job (‘Hindsight’ is now flashing in neon). The patched up tent is also a two-man tent, so Mum and Hazel, with very little persuading were banished to a night indoors in their usual lovely warm beds.
There had been some rain and drizzle on and off throughout the afternoon so everything outside was damp, so rather than waste time trying to start a camp fire we took the easy option and got out the gas stove. In this way we made tea with water from the stream and toasted marshmallows on Hazel sticks, suitably wild we thought.
Dusk descended, night time followed rapidly and the rain clouds rolled in and it began drizzle. Dad and Georgia adjourned to their tent and Mum and Hazel went indoors to the dry and warmth of the house and the promise of comfy beds, and as the drizzle continued all thoughts of moth and wildlife hunting evaporated.
In the early hours of yesterday morning, Day 26, the ‘Happy’ campers were forced to abandon tent hastily when the heavens opened and a continuous, torrential downpour made it’s presence felt in the tent and everything from foot to knee became instantly sodden. Georgia was adamant that they continue the camping experience and stay wild, so until she fell asleep they continued to ‘Camp’ on the sofa .
Mum looked at them both that morning and KNEW ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.
It was hard to believe how wet and wild the weather had been the night before on looking out of the window, the sun was out in blue skies and the ground was only slightly wet giving the perfect opportunity to spend National Unplugging Day out of doors..
We started the day by cooking breakfast on the camping stove and eating outside, and went on to take Hazel for a walk along the lane blooming with Elderflower, Cow parsley and Dog rose, watched the Red kites flying over, counted the bees for The Great British Bee Count, took a bike ride to the local water park and went to Go Outdoors to buy a new tent.
🙂 🙂 🙂