12 Days of Wild: Day 12

And so 12 days wild comes to an end. I always enjoy taking part in these online communal nature pushes. While I live my life this way much of the year it is nice to reflect on what we do. But blogging each day is a drain on time so don’t mind going back to my usual interspaced blogs.

We had a few trips for boring practical purposes to do in the morning. But we popped over Tesco’s carpark to have a quick stroll through the community orchard and along the railway track. Alice told me we needed to look for fairy doors and she was right.

A robin serenaded us from the shadows.

On the way back we saw a few of the ducks along the drainage ditch.

Then in the afternoon, Alice wanted to go down to the beach again. She did really well walking and we made it a good way down the beach. I had taken the bucket along to collect more driftwood. Alice helped out finding pieces she felt were worthy of coming home. The sanderlings were running about back and forth around us. I’ve rarely had them coming so close to us, so that was a joy to see on the last day of 12 days. I didn’t have my camera on me, but I may try walking that way again over the next few weeks to see if I can get some photos of them. I did have my phone though so captured a pic of Alice decorating one of her castles.

It’s been a good break off and I’ve enjoyed blogging about Alice and my nature experiences. The daiy blogging will stop but the love of nature won’t.

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12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 11

After a busy six on Saturday with excellent news, we headed out for a cooked breakfast at the Floral Hall to celebrate my dad’s birthday. After a good feed, we headed down to the beach. I was on the lookout for beach finds to add to my garden. Many of the open gardens we visited last year had interesting found objects from the beach. Alice was after building sandcastles.

Alice settled into building her castles before shifting gear to dig a hole. Nothing quite like working on the biggest hole you can manage. But I’d rather she did it on the beach than in my garden.

Then we were joined by Alice’s cousins, uncle and dog.

Alice poised for one nice photo with one cousin before the tongues came out.

Then the standard entertainment of making big splashes.

Alice collected driftwood to pretend to make a fire.

We found a good few interesting small finds for adding to the garden.

And a good-sized piece of driftwood for the garden. I was thinking of partly submerging it in the border like the seaside equivalent of a zen stone placed in the landscape.

A nice little stroll out but has left Alice tired. Curled in for cuddles and snacks. One last day of 12 wild days. We’ll see what I get up to tomorrow.

12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 10

Today we said goodbye to Christmas. It’s all packed up and put up in the loft with the dahlia tubers. That took up more of the day than we expected, even though it always takes us longer than we expect each year. So it wasn’t until late afternoon I got outside. I’d decided I wanted to have a go at making a fairy house from an idea I’d seen on Pinterest. I needed to saw a log outside. So I picked a nice round one from the log store and got sawing. The birds have been unwilling to come in the garden much lately while I’m out. But once I’m busy the birds don’t mind me. Once I got sawing the blue tits were first in followed by the regular sparrows and blackbirds.

The magic must have been working on my fairy house preparation as I had a visitor I don’t remember seeing in my own garden for a good while. A greenfinch came in for the seed. Greenfinches were hit by disease a few years ago nationally. It’s heartening to know there are still some out there.

Alice didn’t help with much of this project. She did a couple of saw strokes cutting the wood. But the one part she was definite about was that the door should be red.

For a quick little project, I’m happy enough with the result. Alice wants me to make another, so may get better as I go on. I made mistakes with this one I know I can avoid next time. I’m not sure if I’ll varnish it or let it decay naturally. The glue can dry overnight and then we can look for a spot for it in the garden.

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12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 9

We spent the morning getting a few jobs done and went out to do a food shop, so little wild activities. Alice wanted to have a picnic on the way back but the spot I had in mind was parked up. So we had a picnic in the extension room and watched the sparrows coming and going in the garden.

Alice remembered I’d promised her we could go back to the beach to try and fly the kite again. We took the litter picker and bucket down with us and we’d got a good amount just by the end of the street.

We wrapped up well against the elements and headed down to the beach. After a few false starts, we got the kite going.

Then we had a good stomp on the beach. Alice’s current beach obsession is making footprints. She made a good circle of footprints and then checked out all the dog footprints.

There was a lot of driftwood down on the beach including a few substantial pieces. A bit more than Alice can manage, though I am tempted to head back with the car. We took one branch to stick in the garden to give the birds a perch. By the time we headed back, it was starting to get dark. We watched out to Flamborough to see the lighthouse. Alice has been learning about it at nursery so she enjoyed looking out for the flashes. Tomorrow we’ll see about finding a spot for the driftwood in the garden.

12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 8

So we’re past halfway through Wild Christmas and into a new year. We headed out to the beach to see people throw themselves into the water for the New Years dip. We didn’t get make it down in time but saw people heading in from a distance. The crowds were much bigger than when we previously watched. There is already drone footage on youtube showing off the crowds.

But Alice wasn’t too bothered. She only wanted the snacks anyway.

And a slow wander along the beach checking out the best stones.

Then she found a suitable writing stone for writing her name.

A bit further down the beach, someone was blowing the most fantastic bubbles. The photos don’t do justice to how big they were. We asked the mum what they were and found out they were Dr Zigs. It looks a bit pricey but Alice enjoyed chasing a strangers for free.

Back up on the path, Alice had a good scooter along.

Then she thought she was hilarious laying on the grass.

We tried the kite which normally works brilliantly, but there just wasn’t enough wind today for a change.

We had a good time out and Alice didn’t want to go home. A good sign that we’re parenting right. We’ve got a boring morning of packing Christmas away tomorrow morning, then see whether we can get out again.

12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 7

Well, Alice decided to make up for the night before by sleeping much better so I have a bit more energy today. I started the day with some wild music listening to the lost words album: spell songs. This album came after the success of the book. It’s a nice peaceful album for the morning wake up.

Then I got out to top up the bird feeders and enjoyed a cuppa out in the cold morning frost.

The sparrows are always quick to get in first on the feeders. They are a bit skittish at the moment and don’t like me being out so struggling for quality photos.

The dove watched on, not wanting to come in while I was out.

The tits showed off their acrobatics hopping through the honeysuckle and lilac to get to the fat balls.

One fed and dressed Alice and I headed for the Mere. There was a good haze over the fields when we arrived.

The sun was low on the water, but a nice crisp winter temperature to be out with the sun shining.

We had brought seed to feed the birds Alice was a bit scared of the geese, which is understandable. Normally we feed the ducks from further round where the geese don’t go but it was a bit boggy. A good mix of gulls, ducks, moorhens, swans, and geese out today.

Constant snacks form a vital part of any outing to prevent a grumpy child.

Alice was keen to read all the bench memorials leading to us discovering about Wilfred Cutting’s world record-breaking roach catch.

The rowboats all out of the water for winter.

Alice checked out the distant birds.

The teasel still looking architectural along the water’s edge.

And a sighting one of my favorite birds working its way along the jetty. The wagtails characteristic hop is always good to watch.

I’ve enjoyed my stroll out. Good to get outside properly after a good few days with little movement. Tomorrow sees the yearly New Year dip. I won’t be taking part. Even with the wetsuit on it’s too cold for going in. Having seen people emerging from the water like the D-Day landings I’m willing to just watch and give my donation to the RNLI. The litter around Hornsea has been really bad today, so may take the litter picker and a bag to do a beech clean while we’re down there. Alice has been picking up all the rubbish today on our walk. While I am proud of her sense of civic duty it does make for slow progress walking.

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12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 5

Today we made it out for a brief walk around Hornsea Freeport. Not the wildest location for 12 days wild. But Alice and I have been wearing our wildness the last week. She had one of the RSPB badges with a robin with a Santa hat on, while I have a robin on a holly branch. Alice’s has been put down somewhere in the house but don’t know where. I’m sure it will turn up after the Christmas period is done and she’ll then insist on wearing it. One of the cafes at Freeport stocks the collection box, so she choose a new badge. We looked through as she was asking which we got in our garden. We had a choice of several finches, sparrows and butterflies.

Alice went for the peacock butterfly, a regular visitor to our garden in summer and sometimes into autumn.

I’ve also done my bit for promoting the Wildlife Trust wearing my bug shirt. Alice always likes asking me about the different insects on this one.

My gardening jacket is gradually filling up with the wildlife that visits the garden.

Back at home, there doesn’t seem to many signs of life in the garden. A bird of prey seems to be circling the area. Combined with the wind there isn’t much visiting the feeders today. The wren and dunnocks are sticking to the shelter of the shrubs and the sparrows are flitting in and out. The pots are showing signs of things to come, though I think the weather will probably go colder again slowing their growth. Time to settle in the warmth inside with a fire and a good book and chill out.

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12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 4

Well, today I’ve managed to get out in the garden quite a bit, only in short bursts, but better than nothing. I’ve finally got round to sawing up the whitebeam that has been sat against the fence for a month. While I was sorry to remove this tree it wasn’t right for the position whereas the holly looks to be well suited. The tree has been sawed up and added to my pruning pile. I keep my prunings between the lilac and the Dryopteris fern They don’t really show there but will provide habitats for several creatures while they slowly rot. Between the branches and foliage in this area the frogs liked it for shelter in summer.

Alice was out with me for a little bit using a stick to poke holes for bulbs. The last of the alliums are now in. Most went in the borders but Alice stuck a few in random pots so we’ll see where they come up.

The hellebores have managed a few flowers that haven’t been completely chomped to pieces. A few insects were still flying about but signs of life are currently low out there.

The birds were happy to see me go in. They headed straight for the feeders as soon as I headed in.

I feel better for getting out, even if it was only for a little bit. Sawing up the tree and planting the last bulbs takes two jobs off the list. I’ve got a bit of winter pruning to do and trying to get the bin tidy flooring done in the front garden. My new wheelbarrow will get a decent run out. Enjoy the rest of your weekends.

12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 3

We started the day at my parents and we’ve enjoyed one last chilled day before returning to normality. We’ve largely spent the day inside as we aren’t quite over our coughs but I have managed to enjoy a few tastes of nature. My mum’s Christmas cactus looking good now it’s flowered.

I’ve popped out a few times to check out the birds in my parents garden. The robin was out and keeping an eye on me while I was out.

I heard a bird I wasn’t familiar with and eventually worked out what it was. My parents have a blackcap visiting. These are common visitors in some parts of the country but are new to there garden, so a pleasure to see.

We returned back to our home where I’ve found homes for some of our new wild decorations.

Hopefully, I’ll now have some time to settle in with my new wild reads. Alice has enjoyed herself enormously being surrounded by family but she is happy to return home to all her presents. Tomorrow we may manage to get out a bit more and maybe enjoy some of my own presents now all of Alice’s are assembled.

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12 Days of Wild Christmas: Day 2

We got through Christmas day with a very tired little girl and now enter day 2 of 12 Days Wild. She went to bed very early at half five. This has meant I’ve been up early enough to see the sunrise. Not the most exciting sunrise, a grey blue sky through the clouds.


But it did mean we got to hear the dawn chorus. The blackbirds and dunnocks were the first to come into the garden. These were followed by the robin singing away merrily. The chirpy blue tits joined the mix and then the discordant starlings came along.


Alice has got some stunningly illustrated nature books for us to enjoy at bedtime.

Hopefully tomorrow we may make it outside a bit more now if the weather isn’t too bad. Time to look at walking off some of the excess.

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