Another day of yuckiness in our house today. Wild was in very short supply! We sat outside this evening and watched the world go by; the tree opposite our yard and the sky above.
We saw squirrels, crows, red kites, sparrows and I think a thrush… whatever it was, it was wonderfully noisy!
Fingers crossed we’ll enjoy the sunshine tomorrow.
With our adventurer suffering with an ear infection we’ve had a quiet day today. At her request we headed out to walk the dogs this evening which seemed like a great opportunity to do one of our June Mud and Bloom activities; make a nature walk journal.
The journal was all ready in our box, folded card with some double sided sticky tape.
The journal had pride of place in the trike basket.
This stick was a bit too big.
But it did come in handy later.
We even spotted a ladybird.
Our finished nature journal looked lovely.
A nice, simple activity for a poorly girl.
Making the bits and bobs for our nature area has been pretty fun for all of us and today was the one I’ve been looking forward to. We brought back fab memories from my childhood and cracked out the hand-drill to make a home for bees.
Starting with a chunky log..
.. we worked together to drill holes of different sizes.
Our adventurer had lots of fun decorating the new bee home.
We decided to drill the holes in one section so that we can easily see if it’s being used and so that in the future we can add more bee accommodation.
It looks pretty good next to our bug hotel and mini-pond.
We’re planning on sowing grass and wild flower seeds later in the year so that next year this will be buzzing with bug, bee and amphibian life.
A bit of a late one this evening as we made our way up a hill with an amazing westward view to watch the sunset.
We wrapped up warm, took a blanket and snuggled up (it was more than a bit blustery) to watch the sun as it was going, going, gone..
And tried to explain the sun, world, spinning situation to a three year old….
Here’s another picture of the sunset… but with a dog for added interest.
Our wildlife area is coming together nicely thanks to #30dayswild focusing my efforts to get it done. Today we added to the accommodation by building a bug hotel.
We started out by using yesterday’s frog and toad abode as a base…
.. and building upwards using the materials we had available.. brick pavers and slabs.
Next we filled the gaps with all different bits and pieces; leaves, sticks, twigs, wood, bricks and bamboo canes, leaving some gaps for future finds like pine cones.
To finish we built a small log pile next door…
.. and made sure the bugs know where to come!
Anyone interested in a stay at our hotel with adjoining log pile, private pool and damp cellar?
Today we had a slight sink-pond malfunction as our plug seal hadn’t held and the water had mostly drained out. No problem, just clean it up and seal again… until I was moving the rocks out of the way and found a huge toad has already moved in!
Hopefully Toadie will make use of today’s construction so we can do our repairs; a frog and toad abode.
More digging to start with.. can you why we waited for Daddy’s days off!
Once we had our hole..
.. we carefully filled it with bricks, sticks, stones and logs to make a space with lots of places for frogs, toads and newts to hide and snuggle up in the winter, making sure we left spaces for them to get in and out.
At the back of the new abode we piled soil…
.. to finish we popped a slab over the top to keep the entrances safe and to provide a base for a future bug hotel.
As a finishing touch we collected some grass seeds from the verge opposite and sprinkled them onto the soil.
The malfunctioning sink pond and frog and toad abode are looking good in our new wild area.
Who will move in next?
As part of our #30dayswild we really wanted to create a wildlife space that we can observe and investigate through the coming months and years.
There is a small space outside our yard, next a quiet lane that we have decided to “wild” and today was the first day of the transformation. When we moved into our house there was an old Belfast sink half buried in the yard, this has now been reburied to create a mini wildlife pond.
The first task… to dig a big hole!
The sink went in.
We put in some steps so that if any animals fall in they can get out.
Very close to our house is a stream so we gathered a few more rocks, a log and water from the stream.
Tomorrow we need to have a hunt around the stream for some plants to put in our mini pond, but for tonight I’m pretty pleased with the beginning of our wildlife area.
Birds, birds, birds. We are regular bird feeders, although a bit less regular in the summer, and we love to watch the birds that visit our garden. Today we refilled the seeds and made some quick fat balls for our feathered friends for feeding and watching the birds.
In our fat balls we put oats, sultanas, peanut butter, grated cheese and a small amount of lard.
We squished it all together with our hands and made little balls.
Then hung them up outside.
Putting the crumbs on the bird table.
We filled up our seed feeder too.
Considering we did this quite late in the day there was a surprising amount of action while we were eating our tea.
Sadly my phone camera hasn’t got the greatest zoom through a slightly grubby window… so here are some grainy photos of Great Tits and Blue Tits feeding their babies!
One of them had three fledgling chicks. Too cute.
I’ll take birdwatching over tv any day.
As promised earlier in the week, today we used up a whole 2kg of carefully handpicked gooseberries and did the only good thing you can do with gooseberries (in my opinion); we made jelly-jam!
It was definitely mummy’s activity today with a few helpful, and not so helpful (throwing in an entire lemon), moments from the adventurer.
We started out with our gooseberries and picked some elderflower from the tree outside our yard.
We crushed the gooseberries up with a rolling pin and boiled them for 5 minutes. For the second batch we added mint and thyme from our yard at this point too.
Then we pushed the cooked puree through a sieve. This isn’t a usual jam thing but as we were making a jelly-jam this meant that there wouldn’t be skin and pips in it. It’s a bit of a pain BUT it does mean you don’t need to top and tail the gooseberries to begin with which is a win in my books.
The smooth bits were then weighed, some lemon juice was added and it was boiled with sugar (the same weight as the puree) for 15 mins. We swished some elderflower round the first batch at this point.
Once it passed the setting on a saucer test we funnelled it into sterilised (recently dishwashered) jars, sealed and labelled.
Of course we tested a bit of each jam with some yoghurt and we can confirm that they are both YUMMY!
Another Friday and another Wild Welly Walk with wonderful friends. This week we climbed a hill to see a view.
Our wander at Pant-y-Llyn was blustery and beautiful.
The walk up here is gentle and the scenery is breathtaking.
It is such a good thing to be able to share these kind of adventures with friends and to watch the children exploring and just having fun together.
Definitely a wild place that’s well worth a visit.Take a look at our blog for a detailed guide with lots of photos and directions.