#30DaysWild – Days 9-12

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been working the night shift this week so I haven’t had much time at all to do anything or get out with the kids.

Here is a quick recap of what we got upto.

Day 9.

We decided to stay at home and refill, wash and fill the the bird feeders and table.

Day 10.

For day 10 we decided to plant some herbs in our garden. Jasmine and Amber seemed more interested in eating them than planting them. lol!

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Day 11.

We left the car at home again and decided to walk home from school, 2.2 miles to be precise. For me it was tiring as I’m used to my car, for the girls and my wife it was a breeze as they do this everyday whilst I’m at work.

On the way past one of the local parks the girls decided to try some balancing on the large rocks.

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Day 12.

This morning when I arrived home from work at 6am I decided to pop into the garden to see what I could find. I was shocked and excited to find this Red Damselfly on one of the strawberry plants. I’ve never had one of these in the garden!! Due to the fact it was so early in the morning, this beauty hadn’t fully warmed up, meaning I could get a decent picture. I eventually left it alone to wake up, and I went to bed.

I can only assume that someone has a rather large pond near my house, either way I was glad for the visit.

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Hopefully I will get out and about more this weekend. How are you getting on with your #30DaysWild?

Thanks for reading

Matt

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#30DaysWild – Day 8 Left the car at home

Hi Everyone,

So it’s Day 8 of #30DaysWild and today I tried something different, and it’s something we should I do once in a while, I left the car at home.

Normally I will pick my wife up from work in the car, but today I decided against it, and walked instead.

At first I thought about taking my camera, but I didn’t want to be bogged down with it, plus I would have been more concerned with getting an actual photo for the blog rather than enjoying everything around me, I didn’t even get my phone out to take a snap, instead I just walked, with my senses tuned into THE WILD.

As I walked, I went past the freshly cut fields, I could see birds foraging for worms, a light breeze was cutting through the trees, making that soft rustling sound, not too loud to drown out the sound of the bird song, just enough to accompany it.

As I ventured on further, I was met by explosions of colour and fragrance from each garden I would pass. The Erumpant Rose buds starting to show what they have been hiding away for the past few months, flowers blooming everywhere, reds, purples, yellows and greens, the gardens were alive!

One garden in particular was full of Bees, these pollinating machines were popping their heads in and out of flowers, on a mission to gather as much pollen as possible it seemed. In others there were Butterflies, sunning themselves and feeding on Lavender. I saw 10 species of Birds, 3 species of Bee, 4 species of Butterfly, and countless other Insects, all in the space of a 30 minute walk.

All of this I would have missed if I had taken the car, not only that, I was getting myself and the environment a tad healthier by walking and leaving the car at home.

Why don’t you leave the car and cameras at home for one day during the challenge. It will be worth it.

Matt

#30DaysWild – Day 7, Foraging, Spiders and Honey!

Hi everyone,

We’ve had some great weather here today, have you had the same?

We started the day off having a quick look in the garden for bugs. We found this very shy spider, Pisaura mirabilis,  under some bark in the flower beds. I love the face of this spider, it looks like it has tribal war paint down each side, a beautiful spider. Here it has its legs pulled in, a typical defensive position, I adopt a similar position when someone rolls me out of bed.

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Then we headed over to the fair and dog show on the common near our house. We purchased some Honey from the local Bee Keeper and I was amazed at the taste. We had a great chat about all Bees and conservation.

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Jasmine also decided she wanted to climb some trees.

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and try the idea from Day 1 which was hug a tree!

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After a few hours of fun we headed to our local farm. Inside one of the greenhouses they had old birds nests in a crate for everyone to look at, the kids were impressed.

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We also foraged for Strawberries and Gooseberries, it’s a bit early for anything else. Whilst we ventured the grounds we spotted lots of wildlife, Rabbits, kestrels, Buzzards, Butterflies, the list was endless. We also found lots of herbs and wildflowers. The girls are really in their element outdoors, in touch with the wild. So inquisitive, adventurous and happy! It’s the best way to be.

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Not sure what we will get upto this week as work will get in the way, but we will certainly try and do something each day.

Matt

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#30DaysWild – Day 6 #FrogFace

Hi everyone,

How is everyone doing? Enjoying the weekend hopefully.

I had a quick twenty minute journey in my car today to see if I could spot any birds of prey, but I was unsuccessful 😦

I decided to call at my mates house on the way home and found this beautiful very small Solitary Bee.

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We haven’t had the best weather here today so we decided to do some bug hunting and bird spotting in the garden and take part in the RSPB #frogface challenge. If you want to find out more about the #frogface challenge check out the link click here.

Here is Jasmines #frogface

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Here is Noah, our nephews #frogface

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And here is mad as a hatter Ambers #frogface

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Enjoy

Matt

#30DaysWild – Day 4 and 5 Wildlife SOS

Hi everyone,

Firstly I have to apologise that I didn’t blog yesterday, I was as busy as a bee.

So let’s start with Day 4 of #30DaysWild. Yesterday on the way to school my wife and two daughters noticed something large and brown at the side of the road, it was very still. They all ventured over and discovered it was an injured/poorly Hedgehog!

Luckily the place they found it was right outside the school where my wife worked, so she quickly nipped inside to grab a towel and a box, carefully picking it up and inspecting it.

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It had a scratch on its nose and some blood was visible, it’s possible it had been knocked by a car or maybe attacked by a cat or dog? She placed it in the box and let the girls have a look, being careful not to stress it out any further. They were amazed! Their first encounter with a Hedgehog!!

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Jasmine(6) said looking upon the Hedgehog ” You know that feeling you get where you’re happy and sad in your heart, that’s what I’ve got now mummy”

My wife got in contact with the RSPCA when she got home and they come to collect it shortly after.

My girls first animal rescue and encounter with a Hedgehog, definitely a wild day.

Now onto Day 5 and another rescue mission, only this time on the way home from school.

We had just picked the girls up from school and was driving down the road leading to our house when we spotted something crawling in the middle of the road.

I pulled over and my wife jumped out to see what it was, An injured grey squirrel, it looked bad. No use of it’s back legs at all, it would have never made it across the road if we didn’t intervene.

Now, some people would have drove past as a lot of people consider a Grey Squirrel to be vermin. But we can leave that debate for another time. This was about something much more than that, this was about educating our children on how to act towards the wildlife all around us, no matter what it is. We brought it home with us, put it into a cat carrier and phoned the RSPCA again.

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The RSPCA Officer has just turned up, he was a very pleasant bloke. He showed the girls his metal plated gloves and let them try them on. He gave them some sound advice, thanked them for helping and gave them a sticker. He also posed for a quick photo.

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Once again the girls were fascinated, seeing a squirrel up close doesn’t happen often, and they were really concerned, so much so they actually cried for it. For me this was a powerful message, a hunter or poacher can shoot dead an endangered Rhino and not think twice, and here we have 6 and 4 year old girls crying for an injured Grey Squirrel that they didn’t want to die.

This is why we need to educate our children, the future of this planet! If we can instill this passion, enthusiasm and empathy in our children then our worlds wildlife will have a great chance, and maybe just maybe we can change the thoughts of others too.

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#30DaysWild – Day 3 #WhatsInYourGarden

Hi everyone,

Let’s just take a second to welcome back Mr Sun, Today was glorious! As I drove to work at 5am this morning the sun had just risen, some light mist on the fields, the roads were clear and the only sound you could hear was the dawn chorus of the birds…..Stunning.

The day got better, I was promoted at work 🙂 Wahoo! The elation was short lived however, after arriving home and discovering we had a leak from the bathroom. The kitchen was flooded! Disaster! It completely put a spanner in the works for our Day 3.

So, after the plumber had been it didn’t leave us much time to get out and into the WILD.

I do another blog called #WhatsInYourGarden on a Wednesday or Thursday so I decided to merge the two blogs for Day 3 of #30DaysWild.

So #WhatsInYourGarden……….Red Ants….Quick RUUUUUUUN!

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Well that’s the 1st thing most people do, these Ants have a bad name. Why? Because they pack a painful sting! Only if they feel threatened or you disturb a nest though.

One of the most common Ant species we get in the garden, The Red Ant, Myrmica rubra, is around 4-5mm big. It favours garden soil and lawns but will form colonies under stones and rotting wood.

For me, Ants are without doubt the best insect to watch in your garden. Just spend 10 minutes each day in a different section of your garden and you are guaranteed to see an Ant carrying out its particular job.

One may be carrying a diseased or dead Ant away from the colony.

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One may be bringing back supplies.

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However ambitious.

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You may find some grazing on near by plants.

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and if you’re really lucky, one surfing 😉

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They truly are fascinating to watch, but don’t take my word for it, watch this video I filmed today of two Ants dissecting a small fly, using those powerful mandibles to rip off its wings. Sorry about the background music.

 

Enjoy

Matt

Jacks Story

I want to tell you a story, it’s a hard read but please read on. It’s about someone I know, his name is Jack.

Jack was born healthy and had two brothers, together with their mother and father they lived in a cosy little house in the country, just big enough for the 5 of them.

Growing up Jack would often play with his brothers out in the fields, playing tag, running around, jumping out scaring each other and sometimes toy fighting. They were happy.

Jacks mother cared well for them, constantly cleaning up after them and making sure they stayed out of trouble. Jacks dad was the bread winner, always going out to work each day putting food on the table, Jack and his brothers were very lucky.

One spring evening Jack was on his way home after a day out, he always took the same route home, he was a creature of habit. On this occasion however something had changed, as he walked through the forest leading to his house Jack heard a commotion ahead. Treading softly, being careful not to crunch on the old rotted twigs beneath his feet he approached with caution. Out of nowhere a gang of lads started shouting and pointing at him, startled and scared Jack turned around a made a run for it, sweat dripping down his head, a heart pumping so fast it almost felt like it could burst out of his chest Jack ran for miles until the gang eventually gave up.

‘What was that about!’ thought Jack as he rested up on a near by farm, ‘who were they and what had I done to make them chase me like that?’ he said to himself. Gripped by fear and exhausted Jack made his way back home on a different route.

Jack and his brothers had grew into strong, charismatic and handsome boys! One by one they left the comforts of their home in search of their own life and family.

A few months passed and Jack had met a girl, they loved walking through the flowered meadows, watching the sun go down. They would roll around in the tall grass, laughing and joking. He was in love. Not long after, Jack and his new girlfriend found a home together and not long after that they had been blessed with the birth of two children. Jacks family was complete.

Just like his father before him, Jack would go out each day putting food on the table, supporting his perfect little family. His kids would jump on him when he arrived home, ‘yay, daddy is home’, he truly was loved.

Day in, Day out Jack worked his butt off, until that one evening that changed everything.

On his usual commute home, Jack decided to take a detour, a trip down memory lane and visit the old forest he often walked through as a child. It was just as he remembered, tall trees blowing in the wind, bird song in the distance, bees buzzing past, he lifted his head high, breathing in the glorious fragrances around him, it felt good to be hear again. He stayed for a few minutes then began to make his way back home, back home to his loving family when he heard it, that noise, that commotion.

Instantly Jack was sling shotted back to that night years ago, and just like then his heart began to race, his breath began to draw short, sweat dripping down his head, without a moments thought Jack started to run, out of the bushes the gang appeared. Bigger and faster than before. He ran and ran, up the hills, through the streams, across the neighbours farms, but they were not giving up. The chase went on for hours, he was nearly home, only a few miles left to safety but the gang were relentless, they were gaining on him, he was exhausted, he had no energy left in his legs to run, ‘I must hide’ he thought.

Jack hid in the bushes. As quiet as a mouse he lay still, peering through a gap in the branches he waited.

One by one the gang members went past, all was still and silent…….’I’m safe’ he thought…….Then BAM! One of the gang members spotted him. He grabbed his leg, pulling Jack out the bushes, shouting and screaming to the other members of the gang to come back. One by one they laid into him, kicking, biting, punching, stamping……Jack had no chance. He was outnumbered 50-1. As he slowly began to lose consciousness,  as he felt the life being beaten out of him Jack tried to think of his family, how would they cope without him?, will I ever see them again? WHY ME? WHY NOW?

Then it stopped, the gang had done what they set out to do and Jack was dead. A life over just like that. A family left with no father.

Laying in a pool of crimson blood on the floor, limp and lifeless, beaten to death……………Jack was murdered.

The End….

How did that story make you feel? Angry? Scared? Confused?

Did you feel sorry for Jack and his family?

What if I told you that Jack wasn’t actually a human being? Re read it, I never once said he was.

Would it suprise you if I told you  Jack is in fact a FOX.

Now how do you feel?

Matt