30 Days Wild

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We are feeling a little glum as we realise that today marks the end of 30 Days Wild. It has been a pleasure to read and be inspired by other peoples blogs and posts, and to share our own wild adventures.

We are pleased that we chose to read The Seed by Pia Kaminski last night, the words on the last page were a revelation; The words summed up exactly how we were feeling about the ‘end’ of 30 Days Wild.

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The beautifully relevant words  (The Seed by Pia Kaminski 2014).

30 Days Wild has left a lasting legacy in the household of Team Lovett; Each day Georgia will ask, “Can we do something wild today?”. Mum and Dad are, of course, thrilled to bits that Georgia has a natural enthusiasm and interest for an outdoors lifestyle and all things wild.

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Team Lovett ♡ Wild

While we may not post a blog everyday we will carry on having wild adventures, and so today we have planted our planned bee and butterfly garden in an old sink.

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Our newly planted bee and butterfly garden.

Georgia had time, of course, to cool down with a refreshing home made Elderflower cordial ice lolly.

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Elderflower cordial ice lolly

Tonight at bedtime we read What a Wonderful World by Tim Hopgood and based on the song as sung by Louis Armstrong; “Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world”.

High-five to the Wildlife Trusts from Team Lovett, thank you for a wonderful challenge. Here’s to next years 30 Days Wild 🙂 🙂 :-).

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30 Days Wild

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Here in Wiltshire today the sun is shining and the skies are blue. The hot weather has brought the insects out in their hordes and the birds have been dipping and diving on them most of the day.

In the garden that Mum was working on this morning she came across a whole posse of snails after clearing an overgrown area. On being disturbed they came out of their shells to see what all the commotion was about. A few moments later a Robin appeared and promptly ate two of the snails and Mum quickly disappeared full of guilt and remorse.

After school Georgia and Mum finished the Bug Hotel off. Georgia is hoping some fascinating minibeasts will move in, while Mum is hoping that the hotel will give at least some bugs a reprieve from the feathered onslaught.

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Georgia’s Bug Hotel

Georgia is very proud of her Bug Hotel and is also excited that her Snake and Swan Gourd seeds have sprouted and are growing strongly. Roll on August when she can pick and paint them.

Just two days ago we sowed some mixed flower seeds in an old sink for the bees and the butterflies and we are pleasantly surprised to see that they are sprouting already too.

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Seedlings galore

Tonights bedtime story was The Seed by Pia Kaminski, “To live is to grow”.

30 Days Wild

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After last nights wild adventure a day of quiet relaxation was mutually agreed upon and so each of Team Lovett pottered around most of the morning catching up on some waylaid jobs and homework.

It seems that ‘Flight’ was to be the theme of our (unplanned) random wildness today. A trip up the lane to put out the recycle boxes for collection tomorrow saw Dad spotting a baby Blackbird at the side of the road beside a thick hedge, from which it had most likely fallen out of an unseen nest. Mum and Dad were all too aware that the survival chances of this very young bird is dismal. We shooed it under the hedge so at the very least it was probably nearer to home and had some protection. Dad later reported that the mother Blackbird had, amazingly, found her baby and was seen to be feeding it a snail, so hope prevails.

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The baby Blackbird

Back in the garden, Georgia was making the most of the wind that had picked up to fly her kite. Again, she was happily running up and down the meadow :-).

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The Kite Flyer

At bedtime Georgia read her library book, Garden by Katie Dicker, from the Sparklers Out and About series.

30 Days Wild

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This morning another appointment at the the opticians resulted in a trip to Savernake Forest for a spot of random wildness, which never fails to cheer up the littlest member of Team Lovett.

We had lunch on the grass beneath an Oak tree. Georgia was very interested to learn that a mature Oak tree can support over 400 different species of wildlife, including insects, birds, mammals, and fungi amongst others.

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Celebrating the mighty Oak

A beautiful, warm and sunny day followed by an equally lovely evening led to the decision to have a BBQ and a camp-out in the garden to look out for moths, bats and owls.

Mum and Georgia set up camp around the den in the meadow and Dad was in charge of the BBQ (You know how it is!).

Dining in the Great Outdoors

Dining in the Great Outdoors

The next hour ensued at a leisurely pace enjoying outdoor dining with quiet family conversation (Mum silently noted this and basked in the moment), appealing dog expressions, swallow chattering and bee buzzing.

Swallow display

Swallows putting on a great display

Our camp-out was a different experience altogether; ‘Wild’ comes to mind, but completely in the wrong context to 30 Days Wild. It started off ok. Dad and Georgia changed into their pyjamas, climbed into their sleeping bags in Georgia’s 2-man tent and Mum sat in the doorway with Hazel and read the bedtime story; Kipper’s Monster by Mick Inkpen, a story about camping in the woods, owls and snails. Then we all settled down to wait for dusk in our respective shelters; A tent of impatient chattering and constant rustling and a den of quiet companionship and tranquil peacefulness (Bearing in mind that Mum is deaf).

The Happy Campers - A tale of two halves

The Happy Campers – A tale of two halves

9.30pm, two and a half hours after Georgia’s usual bedtime and dusk has yet to fall, but there is lots of ‘wild’ activity going on; Georgia is running up and down the meadow, flapping her arms and hooting like an owl, Hazel is watching in bewilderment, Dad is laughing his head off, and Mum is exasperated with the lot of them thinking that any wildlife must be at least a 25 mile radius away from us by now.

10pm and dusk finally descends with darkness following quickly behind and some semblence of calmness is restored as the brightness and beauty of the moon captures attentions.

The moon over the meadow

The moon over the meadow

Then it all falls into place; the moths come out and flutter around like little ghosts, a solitary bat flies by just a couple of metres away, and finally a Tawny owl is spotted swooping over the bottom of the meadow and the distinctive too-wit too-woo is heard.Yay!

We stay out for a little while longer, enjoying being out in the dark and soaking up all the sights and sounds of the night, before collecting up our stuff and heading indoors to our beds.

Team Lovett wish you all a good night 🙂 🙂 :-).

30 Days Wild

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As we wind down to the end of another school year Team Lovett have been busy with the school social calendar and after school today we were to be found at the Summer Fair on the sports fields.

On the way down to the fair we stopped beneath a cherry tree to read an information board, which is part of the schools nature trail, and on it was the lovely poem by A. E. Housman; 

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Beautiful!

In honour of 30 Days Wild Georgia had a butterfly painted on her face. Later the heavens broke open and the little butterfly fluttered around happily and wildly in the rain with her friends.

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The little butterfly

Tonights bedtime story was the Weather Monster by Steve Smallman and Bruno Merz; When the Weather Monster is sad it rains.

30 Days Wild

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Today Mum and Hazel spent some quality time together over lunchtime. We went up the garden and sat on the grass by the meadow. It was interesting to view a moment of random wildness from a dogs perspective.

Hazel enjoys rolling on the grass just for the fun of it; she likes nudging Plantain sticking up out of the lawn with her nose; she loves pushing through the grasses and flowers of the meadow sniffing out small animal scents and getting covered in grass seed and daisy petals; and she’s just happy to lay in the grass watching insects (with an occasional snap at them), listening to all the sounds, and sniffing with her nose in the air and her eyes closed.

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Hazel enjoying random wildness

After school Georgia had HER moment of random wildness enjoying a picnic supper in her tree house, shared with her best buddy (and partner in crime), Hazel, of course :-).

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Supper in the wild

Later, all of Team Lovett headed up to the field for a walk before bedtime. Hazel, bless her, disturbed a Red admiral butterfly that we otherwise might not have noticed, and we were able to take our first butterfly photo during 30 Days Wild when it came to rest again.

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Red admiral spotted on evening walk along field margin.

Our bedtime story tonight was Kipper by Mick Inkpen; a story about a dog who tries out the beds of different types of wild animals.

30 Days Wild

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After a weary few days we sat quietly in the garden after work and school and enjoyed building an insect house together that Georgia had been given as a gift.

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Busy building an insect house.

We have plans to build a bug hotel out of recycled materials we’ve collected and this little insect house will be the penthouse suite.

At bedtime we read Mad About Minibeasts by Giles Andreae and David Wejtowycz; “The sun is in the sky and it’s a lovely Summer’s day. The minibeasts have seen you and they want to come to play!”

30 Days Wild

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After school today Mum and Georgia with Grandma headed down to the local Washpool. In recent years this area has been the subject of a Washpool Area Restoration Project, a community based project with the help of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The Washpool had become neglected and spoilt by BMX bike riders and fly tippers, but after a lot of hard work clearing and replanting the area is now recogniseable to Mum and Grandma as the lovely, peaceful wildlife area it was when both of them were young. Mum used to spend a lot of weekends playing in the stream and the wooded areas when she was a child and it is a joy to be able to share that wonderful experience with her own child.

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Enjoying wild fun

We spotted all sorts of lovely wild things; lots of different species of ferns, grasses, wildflowers and indigenous hedgerow shrubs. We spotted water bugs, Red admiral butterflies, unidentified white/yellow butterflies, bees, possibly a damsel fly, and although we didn’t see any, we know there are amphibians and water voles to spot if one us lucky enough.

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Lovely wildness

There are some new handcrafted ‘wild inspired’ wrought iron additions to the Washpool, a gate and a bench, which are shaped organically and incorporate moulded wildlife creatures. Georgia was enchanted by the gate; it was fun to spot the creatures and they are very tactile too. Wonderful!

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Spot the creatures

We think the Washpool is a special place, a little wildlife oasis and a great place to visit for some random wildness.

Tonight we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle at bedtime to celebrate finally spotting a butterfly long enough to identify since starting 30 Days Wild.

30 Days Wild

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This afternoon Team Lovett have been enjoying the schools Sports Day. Georgia has had a wonderfully ‘wild’ time running like a hare, leaping like a frog, and swinging, climbing, balancing and shimmying down poles like a squirrel with her friends.

Afterwards, we stopped off on the way home from school at our ‘Top of the World’ (Charlbury Hill, Wiltshire trig point) to cool down in the warm wind and celebrate the afternoons fun and achievements; our moment of random wildness 🙂 🙂 :-).

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Heading home after a quiet moment of random wildness.

A happy, but weary Team Lovett wish you all a good night.

30 Days Wild

Today on Day 21 of 30 Days Wild it is also Father’s Day and as a special treat Team Lovett headed off to the Jurassic Coast and spent the day fossil hunting, rockpooling, and doing, seeing and hearing lots of random wildness at Kimmeridge Bay.

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Father’s Day at the Jurassic Coast

Rockpooling with an excited and enthusiastic 5 year old was fraught with ‘near heart attacks’ for poor Mum and Dad. Does fully clothed flat on your back in the very first rockpool count as a moment of random wildness? A quick change into a wetsuit sorted that one out, but rock leaping, seaweed sliding and wading out to sea continued with gusto. A learning process for all of Team Lovett, but nevertheless great fun and very rewarding 🙂 🙂 :-).

Our rockpool forages turned up Edible periwinkle, bright yellow Flat periwinkle, Common limpets of all sizes, little Edible crabs, red Beadlet anemone, orange Breadcrumb sponge, and lots of different seaweed including Spiral wrack and Serrated Wrack.

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Rockpool finds

Fossil hunting turned up some lovely specimens embedded in the flat rocks around the pools and some we found hunting through the fallen shale below the cliffs. The formation of the rock with all the different layers was clear to see in the cliffside from the beach and Georgia was very interested (Proving yet again, that while books are a great learning resource there is nothing quite like getting outdoors and experiencing it first hand).

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Fossil hunting finds

We spotted lots of different coastal flora along the cliff top and alongside the steps down to the beach, including Mallow, Thrift and Wild carrot.

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Flora finds on the cliffside

All of us have had a wonderful and memorable day celebrating Father’s Day being wild at the coast.

Our bedtime story tonight was The Storm Whale by Benji Davies, a story about a special friendship between a little boy and a whale.