Between taking part in #30dayswild and watching Springwatch, it has been all about nature here at Crafty Chai towers. We’ve been obsessed with the starlings on the bird feeder in the garden, watching fish in the Thames, counting bees at every chance we get and tried to catch glimpses of bats at sunset.
That being said, this week has been crazy. With a few early dog walks before work, late nights thanks to book group and watching John Grant (with a special appearance from Kylie!) at the Albert Hall, there hasn’t been much time for getting wild. However, I’ve still been watching and managed to see lots of red kites circling above the M40 and little bunnies at the roundabout joining the A34. I’ve also managed to photograph these little beauties:
Even as I walk about school, I try to keep my eyes peeled to the nature around me. Wagtails bobbing about after lunch, huge raindrops during thunderstorms causing lots of squealing in the classroom next door and basking in sunshine as I walked between buildings. The weather has been really weird in the last few days. I’ve never known there to be so many thunderstorms so close together. Am really hopeful that the weather next week will be more settled, if for no other reason than to help the bees and the butterflies!
Between watching Springwatch and taking part in 30 Days Wild, I am all about nature right now! Whether I’m driving to work, walking Poppydog or washing up and looking out at the garden, I’m busy spotting birds, bees and wildlife. I know that it’s all around, but sometimes it takes something like 30 Days Wild to remind me of this.
Have you been watching Springwatch? This week was really brutal, with three out of the four remaining great tits being fed by their adoptive blue tit mother, being eaten by a jay and a stoat climbing a tree to kill all of the chicks in a woodpecker nest. I have to admit, I did cry at that. It was one nest attack too many. Don’t mistake this for naivety. I know the jay and stoat have lots of mouths to feed. That is nature. It just puts into perspective, for me, the way humans impact on nature, whether it’s through what we eat, where we build our homes or how we consume this planet. Watching the stone curlew getting drenched night after night last week was truly heartbreaking and the thought that our actions can make the lives of these little but vital creatures worse make me feel sick to my stomach. I really hope that we as a species stop looking at money as the most important thing ever, but at our home and act accordingly.
If you’ve been following me on social media, then you will have seen an increase of posts about the great outdoors. That’s because I’m taking part in The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild. You can find out more about it in this post here. So far it’s been so easy to do, as the weather has been pretty decent and it’s been the half term holidays. We’ve done some epic dog walks in a bid to enjoy the best nature Oxfordshire has to offer. So far, it hasn’t disappointed! Take a look.
Apart from a walk in Oxford, all the other pictures are from Abingdon. It’s fascinating to see wildlife all around you, whether you’re looking for it or not. We also did the Oxford Wildlife Trail on Sunday, which was fascinating and took me to parts of Oxford I never knew were there. I recommended it to a friend at work too and she said she loved it, as it showed some of the best parts of Oxford, without the rubbish shopping bit in the middle! On Saturday, I planted up some sweet peas in the garden and just stood and watched. There were bees buzzing around, birds swooping onto the bird feeder, little bugs exploring the flowers in the garden and Poppydog keeping on cat watch, which is a good thing as the local cat/pest took a baby starling last week. Annoyingly, the cat doesn’t wear a bell on it’s collar so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to keep any eye out for it so we can protect the birds!
I’m hoping to see some more butterflies, wild flowers and birds over the next few weeks. If you’ve got any tips of great places to see them, let me know.
After many weeks of being busy with school work and sorting out the redecorating of our bedroom, we were finally able to leave all of that behind and head out into the spring sunshine for a much needed breath of fresh air. We decided to head back to Stowe Gardens, as we really enjoyed our last visit there but wanted to see it in spring. We packed our bag, forgetting much needed binoculars and camera, and headed off towards Stowe Gardens.
We arrived early, while there was still a chill in the air but that soon disappeared. It was fairly quiet, though busy enough for Poppy to enjoy a few rubs from other people. You could hear the sheep and their little lambs bleating away in the sunshine. They were so cute!
The gardens were really gorgeous in the spring sunshine. Everything looked so bright and fresh, what a change from the misery of winter!
The gardens were packed by the time we were coming to the end of our walk. We tried to head in directions and along paths we didn’t go down last time. It was so busy that we couldn’t get into the cafe for lunch as they were queueing out the door! Next time, I think we’ll pack a picnic, as there are so many great areas to sit and watch the world go by.
We did over 10,000 steps and were thoroughly pooped by the time we got home. It’s a great place to go for walks, as you can do as much or as little as you like. I like it because while you’re looking around at the flowers, the buildings and statues and the wildlife,you don’t really notice the length of the walk. It was the perfect way to relax over the bank holiday weekend.