The road goes ever onwards

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

J.R.R Tolkein-The hobbit

Sunday saw Alice and myself escaping out the house to escape paint stripper fumes. Amy has been working hard stripping paint off the stair bannister. We’ve tried to avoid Alice being around it. We headed off along one of the footpaths through the new housing estate that brings us out into the countryside. The crops were being harvested today. A great amount of dust and wheat shreds were in the air.

The side of the path has a number of the largest buddleia bushes. The peacocks who were absent a few weeks ago are now swarming all over it.

From here we explored a bridleway I’ve not ventured down yet. It runs alongside one of the caravan parks and is quite well kept in comparison to other around.

A number of speckled woods departed as we came along.

The bridleway took us out back along the coastal edge. The path took us down past a boat club. Along the path are a number of objects diving crews have brought ashore.

We stopped the pram to let a ground beetle cross our path. It seemed to be in more of a rush than us.

The sun was out bright and the sea was looking spectacular.

Flamborough Cliffs looking good today.

We walked as far as the pram would safely go before returning back along the coast path back to town. On the way saw a distant rabbit hopping back into the hedges as it saw us.

Alice had a run around on the grass along the coast edge before heading for the park. She was in a very sociable mood today chasing other families shouting hiya and waving bye as people went past.

Alice discovered a stick. She’s starting to realise why this is one of the most popular toys of all time. She engaged in some mark making on the path, running and waving it around and bashing other sticks. An excellent toy available in a range of sizes and limited colours. She carried it most of the way home before dropping it as we got back to our street.

We fitted in a quick go on the swings before leaving the park. She’s becoming a bit of a thrill seeker enjoying going higher and higher.

As a teacher I get these long periods of time off for the Summer and it’s lovely being able to spend time like this with Alice. She’s really starting to develop rapidly now. Her understanding is improving daily and her desire to communicate and interact. She loves getting out and has started fetching her shoes and going to the door to show her preference. We’re lucky that we have so many wonderful places to explore around us. I hope everyone had as pleasant Sundays as me and Alice.

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What was in the garden today?

Today I’ve carried on with clearing the old compost heap, which was filled with more rubbish after the house was rented than compost material and I’ve had quite a few visitors to the garden.

Big Butterfly Count

It was the last day of the Butterfly Count today. Today I just counted from the garden. I counted three red admirals, one peacock, two small whites and a painted lady. I didn’t get a photo of the painted lady, but nice to see. I’ve spotted them in the local area but not in my garden. Not a great number, but a nice variety of butterflies. Hopefully this will of been a record breaking year for the count with many people logging sightings.

Mouse

While I’ve been levelling paving slabs for compost bins to sit on I’ve had this little mouse watching. I don’t know if I should be concerned that it has little fear of me. But it was good to see it nibbling some of the unwanted weeds.

Afternoon out

With the paving slabs laid ready for delivery of compost bin later in the week I headed out with Amy and Alice as lots was going on in Hornsea today.

Hornsea District Lions Club were celebrating 50 years with free entertainment in the Memorial Gardens. They had put on a Johnny Cash tribute, “Keep it Cash“. The main singer was pretty much spot on with the voice when singing. They did two solid sets of Cash classics. Alice enjoyed it swaying back and forth, dancing to lots of songs. With plenty of tunes with good rhythm she was happy. Who’d of thought Johnny Cash would make good family fun?

In between sets there was a Punch and Judy show for the kids, but we left for a walk as it was a bit above Alice’s head.

Rescue Day

Down at the sea front it was emergency rescue day. Many of the emergency services had representatives demonstrating their jobs. The rescue dogs were demonstrating their water searches when we arrives. It was good to see the divers showing how they rescue stranded marine animals. A nice little finish to Marine Week

Then we returned for some more Cash in the gardens. A good day, a garden job done, some wonderful wildlife visitors and a marvellous afternoon of music. What have you done with your Sunday Fun day?

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Cabin fever

Today and the next couple of days we are having our hallway plastered. So the house is a little bit topsy turvy. So with little space for Alice to go back and forth we headed out for a walk to prevent cabin fever.

I discovered a new picnic area has been put together with a display showing what wildlife we might see

The spot overlooks part of the mere.

At the moment we have a scarecrow trail around town. At this new picnic spot I discovered one, an actual scary-crow scarecrow.

From there we walked around to the mere’s edge. The mere is a large body of fresh water. It has an abundance of bird life. Within the habitats available it attracts wetland, farm and sea birds. Even on a grey rainy day like today I still saw more variety than many trips to nature reserves.

There were lots of Canadian Geese.

I saw a good number of ducks. Some mallards and some I don’t know.

The jackdaws were hopping in and out of the other birds. As discussed before I like corvids and particularly jackdaws. I know some people consider them evil looking, but I rather like the blue eyes and apparent intelligence.

Alice thought the ducks and geese were hilarious, but they didn’t seem as keen on her.

We saw a number of types of gull. Springwatch released an article last week pointing out that there is no such thing as a seagull. So with that in mind here are black headed gulls and a herring gull.

Within the thistles and cow parsley goldfinches and pied wagtails flitted about. The goldfinch was slightly rude refusing to turn so I could take a photo of its better side.

The thistles were still seeing quite a few visitors despite the colder weather.

After the mere, we walked along the seafront home where we saw the lesser spotted sea pigeons.

Before heading home I gave Alice a quick run around outside the Floral Hall.

The Floral Hall is a community run venture with a cafe and hall. They put on live music, club nights, theatre shows and cinema nights. The flower displays are always lovely. The bug hotel they built this year is looking good and with plenty of teasel around it should see some visitors. Teasel is high on the list of flowers I would like to get growing in the garden next year. It is loved by pollinators and the birds will eat the seed heads.

Not a bad way to fill time staying away from the plastering in the house.

New Naturalist Library

Just a quick mention that a number of the Collins New Naturalist Library series are selling for 99p on Kindle currently. The New Naturalist series covers a wide range of Natural History. They are lovely in there hardback forms, but can be pricey. So 99p is a bargain as the quality and content of the few I’ve read has been excellent.

Woodlands-Oliver Rackham

The Isles of Sicilly-Rosemary Parslow

Yorkshire Dales-John Lee

Gower-Jonathon Mullard

Nature in towns and cities-David Goode

Shallow Seas-Peter Haywood

Brecon Beacons-Jonathon Mullard

They are usually fairly hefty tomes, so I won’t get through them quickly with my limited reading time. But as several are covering my area of the country I’m interested to read.

 

 

30 days of wild: day 17-rainbow hunt

Today I decided to go with an act I didn’t do last year; the rainbow hunt. I thought it was too much of a hassle, but today through my garden, walking to the Floral Hall, the beach and the park I have kept my eyes peeled for colours.

Richard (red and pink).

Of (orange).

York (yellow)

Gave (green).

Battle (blue).

In vain (indigo and violet).

I hope you like my kaleidoscope of colours. Alice’s had a nice potter in the park along the way. The rainbow hunt was a nice activity. Next year when I’ve got more planted I might try it in school.

 

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30 days wild 2017: Day 10-Back in time

Today started off with some digital acts of wild. I caught up on springwatch and gardener’s world. Alice was not too bothered for Springwatch, but wanted to sit with me for gardener’s world.

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Then did the wild act to share wild news. BBC earth shared the news that bees are not only at risk from pesticides, but also fungicides that were thought safe for bees. The more people aware of this news the better, so please share.

News source

After Alice’s nap and lunch we headed out for, not one, but two vintage events. First a vintage fair inside at the Floral Hall. Then out to the Hornsea Museum for a vintage tea party.

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Hornsea Museum is in the centre of town. The museum was originally the Burn’s family farm in the 18th century until 1978 when it became a museum of Hornsea life. It has an old school room, relics from the farm, Hornsea pottery and clay industry (clay bricks were once made in the area), model railway and war relics. This may not sound all that exciting, but they put on nice events regularly including craft sessions for children. The courtyard is very pleasant with a nice variety of planting.

Alice wanted to be out using her new walking skills straight away.

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Today was a vintage tea party. Lots of people were dressed up and tea, cake and sandwiches were available. So I ticked off enjoying a cuppa outside with the sound of birds around the courtyard. Sparrows on the roof and blackbirds on the trees.

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They have a miniature beach hut set up currently as an ice cream shop. Alice loved this and spent most of her time going back and forth choosing new ice creams.

The house martins were busy overhead dashing back and forth.

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Interestingly they have local apple trees grown from seed in the courtyard including details about the variety.

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The planting is pretty good for wildlife with cuckoo spit on the fennel and a variety of bees amongst the flowers.

We listened to a few golden oldies from the singers before heading off.

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As Alice had enjoyed the ice cream shop so much we ended up buying her the kitchen toy from the shop. It was a bargain though for a mini wooden kitchen including pans for a tenner. On the way back we stopped in at one of Amy’s sisters. Then went back by the seafront. We were going to have fish and chips but I forgot we’d spent the cash we had on the kitchen set. Alice was getting tired though by the sea, so we went home. Too much longer out before tea and I think she would of got seriously grumpy. A nice day out back immediately time.

I’ll finish with a quick shout out to how good the new 30 days wild school pack is. It has a handful of ideas of activities for teaching linked to key stages. There is a pack of stickers, a wild teacher badge, and a calendar poster with the 30 days on. There is also a large set of the wild acts cards. These are lovely and could easily be marketed to raise more money for the wildlife trust. I’m sure these sets will be very popular.

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30 days of wild 2017: 9- wild haiku

Watching this evening out of the window I could see and hear a blackbird silhouetted on a tree branch. For me the blackbird is the quintessential garden bird. Always close by. I was taken by the bird, so wrote my wild poem in the form of a haiku.

Shadow on the branch

singing softly up above

brings much joy below.

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In my garden the hanging basket of sweet peas are flowering. It’s the weekend now, so hopefully manage some bigger wild acts over the weekend. Wish me luck.

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