Tag Archives: wildlife

Monday Midnight Tea

Hello and welcome to Wildmoor Heath. We have to be quiet so as not to upset the locals. Their bushy tails and gleaming eyes are barely visible in the surrounding darkness, but we know that they are out there, somewhere.
Do be careful as you enter the den. The children made it today and spent quite a few hours finding the branches and twigs to create the little  hideout. In case you’re wondering what it looked like during the day, below is a picture of the finished product. 

Right! Now that you’re settled on the purple blanket, I’ll make some tea from the flasks we’ve carried up here with us. One lump of sugar or two? Sorry, no milk tonight – too much weight!

After we’ve had our tea and a packet of crisps (kindly packed by my youngest Sprog), let’s go for a walk in the rest of the forest and see what we can find. 

Earlier this evening, we spotted fireflies on the heath; a most spectacularly sight as I’ve never seen one before. The moment was spoilt as Henry decided to eat each one as it lit up! Needless to say we had to move along swiftly to avoid exterminating the few fireflies left. 
If you’re up for a little adventure, we could take the path leading through the red barked conifers. It’s so silent there, you can hear your heartbeat and flutter of your eye lashes. Further on, the stench of swampy water is a clear warning to watch your step in the darkness. If you miss the signs, Henry will remind you as he loves to take a dip in the stinkiest bog and shake himself close to you. So beware.

Once we’ve had our walk and return to the den, we can use our torchlight to make shadow puppets and animals until it’s time for bed. Fierce competition will arise between those that can create the perfect kangaroo and bear. Whomever wins getting bragging rights and the first share of the slab of chocolate. 

You look as though you’ve nearly finished your tea. I’ll pack up the rest of the things and we can start the evening’s adventures. 

I’m so glad you’re here to experience it with me. The kids loved it as the first activity for their summer holidays. I hope you do too! 

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Monday Coffee

20170520_182708673_iOSIf I were to whisk you away,

far from the maddening crowd  of everyday

To a place where clouds drift on an easy breeze

And dandelion dandruff makes you sneeze;

If I were to whisk you away,

Far from here

Would you come with me? Would you, my dear?

To a place where dreams become reality

A restful place just for you and me.

I’ve packed a flask for us and included a container with different tea bags and coffee, just in case you fancy something different. Thank you for joining me out here on the hill right outside my front door. It’s the best time of the day: when the moon flashes her smile at the sun before he disappears to light up the other side of the world. Here, let me lay out a blanket for you and we can sit and watch the stars show their faces, one by one as the colour drains out of the sky.

It has been a busy week and weekend and I’m glad that I don’t work full time. I get to appreciate the days when I can sit and write, dreaming up places and events that mimic real life. Yesterday I took the family out on a walk in the woodland next door to us. It was the first time for all of us to explore the area together. Usually, I tend to disappear into the forest with the dog and return an hour or two later completely relaxed (it’s better than going to a spa!). They loved it and hated it at the same time. Bugs flew up their noses and into their eyes while the challenge of climbing a large tree with the remnants of a tree house let them forget their studies and stress for a while.

You see, I have three children writing different exams. One child has finished but the other two will be completing their exams over the next few weeks. The stress levels have been high; food has been a top priority as well as soft drinks. When they do emerge from their little caves to refuel, we try to make it as fun and relaxing as possible for them. The walk was my way of seeing all of my children at the same time and actually doing something fun for an hour before they disappeared back into their caves.

Now, I know I have a different personality to most people, but if I lead you up a rather dubious track, wouldn’t you follow me? With all the confidence in the world, I tried to convince my little sprogs to follow me down the hill into a thicker part of the forest filled with swamps and gorgeous little streams, but they refused! Oh, the shock! The Hubble started the recourse, heading for a well used track that made mine seem unkempt and dangerous. I was rather put out by this and felt the need to sulk a little. Seeing my upset, the littlest sprog offered to follow me into the swamp, against the advice of the other mutineers who I should have left stranded at the top of the hill. Lucky for them, my common sense prevailed and I led the little sprog down a safer path to the same destination I had planned all along. They followed suit, complaining again about the bugs and nature.

After taking copious amounts of photographs for my memories, I allowed them to escape back to civilisation and food. The Hubble fell back and waited with me while I took in the terrain, enjoying the peace of listening to the water and the birds try to synchronize their songs. I love this place. It is the epitome of serenity.

With a reluctant drag to my feet, I followed the sprogs home where household chores welcomed me with open arms, as usual.

What did you do this weekend?

Quick Pics!

The adventure continues.  Here are a few pics from the Lion and Cheetah Park.

Enjoy!

   
    
 As you enter the park, you are greeted by the sight of one of the big five: the regal lion!

   
    
 Within touching distance of these great creatures, we held our breath when one of the females decided to move to a cooler spot, closer to our car!  Everyone was hissing at me to close my window, but I had to capture her relaxing, curled like a kitten.

   
This is Leo, a South African white lion.  His partner, Lola, is expecting Cubs in the next four months. Apparently white lions are far more ferocious than our brown maned locals.

    
M

Meet Tommy.  He’s over 300 years old and has be the longest resident at the park.

 

  
 These little guys are already six months old.  We are hoping to return one day to see them all grown up, probably not as large as Tommy though!

   We were driving around the game park, hoping to catch a glimpse of just one giraffe and instead we’re blessed with a view of four giraffe, zebras, Impala, wild boar and an ostrich.
    
Hidden in the bush next to the car were two zebra.  I screeched, “Stop! Stop the car!”  

Meanwhile, just ahead on the dirt road was a herd of buffalo.  Everyone else could see the buffalo but no-one had noticed the zebra by my window!

   We were always told to be wary of the buffalo.  I don’t know how true this is but, if you see one separating from the herd, move away.  It’s usually the alpha telling the rest to stampede or attack!
I hope you liked our trip to the Lion and Cheetah Park.  Unfortunately the four resident cheetah were poisoned a few years ago and some of the other animals had died from old age.  I hope they do get a chance to replace them as the animals are very well looked after in their own large enclosures where there is less of a chance of them being hunted and killed. Freedom is always the best option, but in a world where few things are preserved and respected, maybe it’s better for them to be in a game park.

Book Tuesday

Wow!  The week has flown by and it’s already Tuesday again!  Welcome to Book Tuesday where we can share our love of books.  Today, I do not have a special guest lined up, but decided to write a quick story. This story is inspired by my visit to my daughter’s Brownie unit tonight. We were busy planting bulbs in Wellington boots for the local businesses and schools when I asked a little girl to name the worm I caught for her welly.  She decided his name should be Oggy!  Well, this story is all about Oggy and the Wellington Boot.
OGGY AND THE WELLINGTON BOOT

Oggy watched the children dip the blue gloved hands into his home.  He squiggled further down into the manure and waited.  Sure enough, another blue hand groped around. 

“Charge!” he shouted to his fellow worms.

They wiggled and wove through the wet whiffy walls of manure.  

“Eek! I found one,” squealed an excited Brownie.  Her face scrunched as she examined the big, fat worm she had caught.  “I shall call you Bob!”

With a plop, Bob was re-homed in a bright pink butterfly Wellington boot. Bob was not the only worm to be found and re-homed. William, Betty, Jess and little Wiggles found their way into the Wellington boots of different sizes and colours.

Oggy smiled and wiggled his way closer to the top of the horse manure.  It was his turn soon. Another group of chirpy little Brownies came outside into the chilly evening air. Scorpie, their Brownie Leader and some of the mums were helping to fill Wellington boots with horse manure and bulbs for next spring.  Tilly, the smallest Brownie, carefully grabbed a handful of manure to fill her red and blue boot.  Oggy felt his wormy body lift into the air.  

“Oh my! Oh my!” he squealed in delight. He watched as she carefully pulled the soil apart to take a closer look at him.

“Well done Tilly!”said Scorpie.  “What shall we call him?”

Tilly thought for a moment.

“Oggy!” was her confident reply.  

Oggy grinned and did a wormy dance, just for Tilly.  With a bounce he landed in the Wellington boot and set to work weaving holes so that the bulbs could breathe.  He knew what an important job he had ahead of him and was very excited to be a part of the Wellington Boot Club.  It wasn’t often worms had the opportunity to live in a boot and watch their bulbs grow.  There was only one thing Oggy would miss out of this whole adventure – his friends! With a sigh, he continued on his merry way through his new home.  

Suddenly, another plop of manure fell into the shoe and squished down.  A tiny voice called out in the darkness.

“Hellooo!  Anybody home?”

Oggy dashed towards the voice.  Could it be?  Would he be so lucky? Was that the voice of his best friend, Woggy?  With one final shove, he shifted the manure and came face to face with another earthworm.

“Woggy! It is you!” They hugged each other in delight and danced around the daffodil bulbs.  The Wellington Boot Club would be the best thing ever.  After all, what better way to spend the rest of your days than with your best friend living in a pretty red and blue Wellington Boot!