30 Days Wild 2016

Day 30!…… and here in Wiltshire even the weather now seems to be lamenting the sad fact it’s the last day of 30 Days Wild 2016.

We posted this book extract at the end of last years 30 Days Wild and it still sums up how we feel….

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The words of Pia Kaminski from her book ‘The Seed’

…. and so we carried on from where we left off last night and have been doing some further dipping and identifying in the stream running through our garden. We will carry on and stay wild.

We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing our wild adventures with you all and at the same time have enjoyed reading all your wonderful blogs and social media posts. 30 Days Wild has been hugely inspiring and we have learnt so much. Thank you to all of you, especially Brock Badger and The Wildlife Trusts. See you all next year!

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Gin & tonic with Elderflower ice cubes and Georgia’s Elderflower ice lolly

#StayWild and “Cheers” from Team Lovett 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

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30 days Wild 2016

 

Day 27, 28 and 29!….. small, but wonderfully calming, and wildly exciting, moments of random wildness as Team Lovett juggle a week  of work, courses, after school clubs and a full school programme of family activites as we head into the last week of the school year next week.

On Monday, Day 27, it was Sports Day at school and we always head up to our ‘Top of the World’, otherwise known as Charlbury Hill, Wiltshire Trig Point, afterwards to celebrate a great afternoon and unwind in with some random wildness.

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The views from ‘Top of the World’…

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…and the vantage point

We were hoping to spot some butterflies, about this time last year there were lots about, but it was rather blowy today and we spotted just one Meadow brown and also a single Six-spot burnet moth. Georgia was impressed to learn that the bright red spots on this moths wings are a warning to predators to stay away, because it’s poisonous from feeding as a larvae on the wildflower Bird’s-foot trefoil, which contains the deadly chemical cyanide. Of course, she had to ask the question, “Why don’t the larvae die  from eating the poison?”……. “Good question! We’ll look that up together when we get home”……. and on looking it up we found out that the larvae only eat small quantities of cyanide, so not enough to poison them, but it will make both the larvae and adult either poisonous or distateful to predators, particularly birds.

We were pleased to spot that the Pyramidal and Common spotted orchids were out and dotted around in various stages of flowering and so too were Common knapweed, Bird’s-foot trefoil, Tufted vetch and Kidney vetch.

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Pyramidal  and Common spotted orchids

We also spotted the parasitic wildflower, Broomrape, which up on this hill seems to favour the roots of Clover and Knapweed as hosts. It is very distinctive, a total lack of chlorophyll renders it a rusty brown colour and with pinkish-yellow flowers and an upright stance it is easily spotted amongst all the green grasses.

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Common broomrape

Day 28 and Mum and Dad had interesting wild finds at their respective places of work.

Mum spotted AND managed to photograph a Small skipper butterfly and a Garden chafer beetle in the garden she was working in, which she was pretty pleased about….

… and also a Pigeon eggshell, which Georgia was thrilled to add to her wildlife collection.

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Pigeon eggshell, surprisingly interesting

Dad spotted Bee orchids at his ‘Outdoor office’ for the day….

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One of the many Bee orchids spotted

…. and then he out did all of our other finds with one of the ‘Holy Grail’ of all wild discoveries……. a full snake skin!

Day 29, the penultimate day of 30 Days Wild,  and the rain that started yesterday evening has continued throughout today and poor Georgia wasn’t feeling too well after school, so we were not feeling confident of having any wild news to post today.

However, a quick trip to the local garden centre resulted in us spotting a beautiful queen White-tailed bumblebee on the array of colourful flowers. She was huge and she put a huge smile back on Georgia’s face.

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Queen Bee

After supper Mum got random with a vengeance, snatched up the crabbing bucket and a dipping net and headed out into the rain and down to the stream that runs through the garden. We’ve only lived here a few months and have not investigated the stream for any life yet, but it has been on the agenda. The depth of the stream varies from about 2″ to 6″ depending on how much rain we’ve had, obviously, but never dries up, and runs through quite fast. We’ve never felt confident that we would find any life in it, not sure why, especially now, because the first dip Mum did brought up a whole bucket full of life, including Freshwater shrimp and Caseless caddis fly larvae.

The whole of Team Lovett, including Hazel. were totally thrilled to bits. Guess what we’re going to be doing tomorrow?!

Happy wild days from Team Lovett 🙂 🙂 🙂

30 Days Wild 2016

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Another year, a fresh challenge and a new garden…… 30 Days Wild…… bring it on!

Tomorrow is the first day of the Wildlife Trusts ’30 Days Wild’ a challenge to do something randomly wild everyday for the month of June. Team Lovett had a great time doing this last year and the anticipation has been building up in the household since the arrival of our 30 Days Wild pack.

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Having recently moved and with the disruption involved we have had less time for planning ahead, so there will definitely be an emphasis on randomness to the wild things we get up to this year. We have a lovely new garden, which we are still getting to know and combining the two should be an exciting and worthwhile experience for both us and the wildlife. Signs of hedgehogs have already been spotted after a scout around the garden during Hedgehog Awareness Week (1st-7th May 2016) and we DO have plans to build and install hedgehog housing, so….. one down and 29 to think about…..

Happy wild times from all of Team Lovett 🙂 🙂 🙂

sky @happy hippy d

 

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 🙂 🙂 :-).

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.

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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.