A few photos from August

Quiet beaches

Days out with family

Sunny days

field

Autumn is fast approaching!

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12 Months of Nature :: April 2016

blue_tit

It’s been a very unusual month – from brilliant sunshine, warmth and sunbathing one week, to snow, hail and thunderstorms the next.  Of course I remember there being snow in April before and last frost dates are in May for this part of the country, but even so, as someone who generally has to walk daily from this village to the next to take my youngest daughter to nursery, I’ve been a tad miffed at snow in the last days of April (plus I never know what to put on – I leave the house in sunshine  and sunglasses and return in a torrent of sleet – and as a prescription glasses weather, I imagine I look rather odd, my sunglasses still in situ under glowering, swirling grey clouds).

As we walk to nursery, we pause along the way to notice the changes in nature that are happening all around us. Sometimes I’ll give her the camera and she’ll take some photos of her own (the dandelion and blossom), giving a child’s-eye view of the world.  She picks red and white dead nettle and we talk about the differences between them and the various stinging nettles we see growing.  We note the heart-shaped seed pods on shepherd’s purse, the differing speedwells, the celandines under the trees and she picks flowers to take into nursery to tell them what she has seen on her way.  We talk about the daffodils fading and passing, making way for the first poppies (just hatching from their hairy cases a couple of days ago) and how the blossom that is scattering across the trees will become fruit (and the anticipation of cherries to come, although there is other blossom to be seen).

Sometimes there are particular surprises.  She always thought that ladybirds are red, but by chance we found a yellow one, its markings more merged than spots and we talked about how there are many other kinds of ladybirds and that, by chance, she will come across more, in time.

We’ve seen the first swallows of the year and even a deer, breaking from cover as we approached the bridge between the villages.  It was a little way off and I doubt bothered by us as it galloped from cover across shorter grass and towards the trees beyond.  I’d have loved to get a photo of it, but I’m just not fast enough!

first_swallow

pheasant

There are a lot of pheasants about – this one close by the side of the road (and the brick wall in the background is the wall of a house, its drive just out of shot to the right).  Being so close, even Arty noticed it and hung out of the side of his pushchair to get a better look.

sparrowhawk

I also see a couple of regular sparrowhawks, one a frequent visitor to my garden (where it sits on the back fence or on our, currently empty, coop) and another usually sitting on the telephone lines over the fields and river between villages at the time I’m walking home from dropping Minnie off at nursery.  I often pause a little while and it generally flies off after a few moments.  I suppose it has its daily rhythm and this is a stopping off point as it patrols its territory that just happens to coincide with my usual returning time (as I will sometimes see it every day at about the same time – I guess that when I don’t see it it’s  maybe because I’m running a little later or earlier and have missed it).

There’s always so much to see on this daily walk and we always leave a little earlier to give time for us to pause along the way and investigate anything that might take our interest.  Minnie loves noticing new flowers and insects and learning their names and little Arty just loves being outside, wind in his hair, enjoying the fresh air (but always watching, watching, watching as we explore, learning that we love and value the nature that surrounds us).

Last year we took part in 30 Days Wild with The Wildlife Trusts and this year, the event will be running again in June.  Please consider getting involved and, if you don’t already, making some room for nature in your life.  You can sign up HERE.

12 Months of Nature :: July 2015

A record of what we have spotted during July. You can mouseover for ID captions.  If you can help with any unidentified, it would be most appreciated!

 

52 Weeks of Nature :: July Week 1

As more than a few of my posts here attest, we live close to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and, being annual pass holders, it’s somewhere that we visit a lot.  However, the Wildlife Park offers more than the expected ‘exotic’ species – open your eyes and there are various more well-known and recognisable flora and fauna to be found (and one day I’ll remember to bring our binoculars to have a good look out over the wetlands that border the park!)

rabbit

We often see rabbits, both on our walk to the park and within it.

peering

The children noticed a tiny little moorhen chick following its mother in and out of the reeds.

Black horehound (Ballota nigra) (?) in the hedgerow.

poss_ladybird_instar

A ladybird instar – clearly not far off being an actual ladybird.

Oh, and a Red River Hog. Not a British hog, but a favourite of mine at the park, so I’ve included him just because I can!

red_river_hog

12 Months of Nature :: July Week 1

As more than a few of my posts here attest, we live close to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and, being annual pass holders, it’s somewhere that we visit a lot.  However, the Wildlife Park offers more than the expected ‘exotic’ species – open your eyes and there are various more well-known and recognisable flora and fauna to be found (and one day I’ll remember to bring our binoculars to have a good look out over the wetlands that border the park!) We often see rabbits, both on our walk to the park and within it and there’s plenty to see  in the wetlands surrounding the park (including moorhens and their chicks).   Various wildflowers can be seen, we found some black horehound (Ballota nigra) (?) in the hedgerow (and a ladybird instar).

Oh, and a Red River Hog. Not a British hog, but a favourite of mine at the park, so I’ve included him just because I can!

red_river_hog-500x500