But I've decided to resurrect it at least temporarily, as this month, June 2015, I am taking part in the Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild challenge. The idea is to 'do something wild every day for a month', get outside, engage with wildlife, enjoy nature. This introductory video gives some ideas of the kinds of things you can try:
To be honest, this challenge isn't a huge stretch for us. We are lucky enough to live in a village surrounded by glorious countryside, and Ted (3 this month) is a very 'outdoorsy' child; he and I are out and about every day as he regularly (as in twice a day!), rain or shine, asks to go on a 'ickle ork' (translation: 'little walk'). We grab his balance bike or his scooter and head off around the village. 90% of the time this is the same circuit, and 90% of the time we do the same things - look at the trout swimming by one bridge, see the ducks and swans on the lake, feed the village chickens, play Pooh Sticks at another bridge, race each other down a hill (him on a bike, me running. He wins), back through a farmyard to view the tractor/telehandler/horse lorry/truck (whatever is in the barn at the time), across a couple of fields filled with cows (plenty of cow poo to examine on the way!), and back home across 2 more bridges (sometimes more Pooh Sticks is played).
But I thought the challenge might just give me some new ideas. I am really keen that Ted's interest in the natural world is encouraged; I grew up passionate about wildlife and, largely thanks to my Granny, pretty knowledgeable about it too, especially butterflies. I'd love to impart some of this to Ted, but need a bit of a refresher course myself! He's now pretty good at naming wild flowers (he knows daisy, buttercup, dandelion, cow parsley, clover, herb Robert and speedwell), but that's nearing the end of my own rather rusty knowledge too. Having a focus each day might help us to see new things in the world around us, help us both to learn, and of course provide plenty of opportunity for more fun too! Some days I'll try and plan something specific, other days we'll just see what happens.
So, here we go...
Day 1 dawned sunny and bright so I set off for a run. Living in a rural area all my runs are in the 'wild'. Today I did 5km, mainly on roads, but across a few fields too. At 8am it was lovely and quiet apart from a couple of dog-walkers, and I loved just listening to the birdsong as I ran (it almost drowned out the sound of my gasping for breath!). My exciting wildlife-spot was a pair of goldfinches! As I was having a restorative cup of tea on my arrival home I looked out of the window and spotted a bullfinch - 2 finch-sightings in the space of 20 minutes! Here's a slightly sweaty mid-run selfie:
Mid-morning Ted and I went for a cuppa with a friend, and from there we continued on around the village with Ted on his bike. However, within minutes we found ourselves in a howling gale, looking at a very black cloud and feeling the rain starting. We really weren't dressed for this, so quick turnaround and a very speedy dash back through the village just cemented our 30 Days Wild achievement as 'exercise in the wild'! Not as exciting as it could have been for day 1, but fresh air and exercise nonetheless. We arrived home just before the downpour, just as Rob arrived home from his bike ride too.
It's remained freezing and blowy this afternoon and I'm not ashamed to admit that I don't fancy heading out again, so that's that for today's wildness... although I was delighted to find a CBeebies programme called 'Minibeast Hunt with Jess'. Ted and I watched it and it was all about worms and how to find them. I think that might be another 30 Days Wild activity we could do.
Back tomorrow (not all my entries will be this long!).