I have wanted to take a picture of Willow with her tree’s namesake since she was born and today was the day.
A very beautiful tree but, of course, not a patch on my Willow.
Thanks to our Tiny Talk class teacher Lynne we now know how to sign thunder and lightning following Wednesday’s stormy excitement.
Typically, whilst today had better weather in store for us, we had indoor activities planned with a play group followed by the toddler signing session.
Not only did we learn signs to do with the weather but we also planted sunflower seeds in pots we decorated for daddy ahead of Fathers’ Day (shh don’t tell daddy until Sunday).
I hadn’t had anything else wild planned ahead so thanks Lynne for inadvertently taking the pressure off! And I must say her bubble machine makes much nicer pretend rain than the real downpours we’ve been walking in recently.
But Luke is quite capable of finding his own natural entertainment anywhere we go too and my mini explorer took time to find a stick to drag and a leaf pile to kick through (what season are we in?!) even in the most urban of settings of the middle of a road crossing.
Just like these fungi we spotted, determinedly poking through the bark on the edge of the supermarket car park, nature fortunately always wants to reclaim our concrete jungles doesn’t it?
Clearly when planning for #30DaysWild instead of heading to my local library, bookshop and hitting Google for ideas what I should have been doing was popping along to my nearest outdoor apparel store and making sure we were all decked out head to toe in waterproofs.
Fortunately the children are quite well catered for, unfortunately – as Tuesday’s puddle that was higher than my shoe testifies to – I am not. This probably won’t be rectified this month though so we’ll just have to keep trying to duck in between the raindrops on our way.
And an early evening trip to the park post downpour allowed for cooped up little legs to be stretched and footprints to be made in the mud and we went to sleep with Usborne’s Peep Inside The Garden as one of our bedtime reads.
Thunder and lightning proved very unfrightening on Wednesday according to Luke’s nursery leaders who told my husband he’d been clapping and laughing excitedly at each large crash and flash. Willow was unfazed too as she was sat in her trike at the time which appears to be one of her absolute favourite things at the moment. Mummy’s legs, however, gained a bit more momentum as the ensuing rain threatened to drench us once again.
Thursday was thankfully drier and I even had the chance for some fairly peaceful repose in the grounds of Lincoln Cathedral – until a tour guide group turned up!
I’ve often seen this statue of Lincolnshire’s poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson but I’m not sure I’d ever read the poem below it before – being in the middle of #30DaysWild certainly made it more thought provoking anyway.
“Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.”
Is that what we’re all searching for in our wild adventures?
Whatever Luke might have thought had he been there, he was just as happy saying hello to the fish at the pet store later in the day.
When planning for #30DaysWild and worrying about rainy days I took a couple of trips to two libraries ahead of the start of the month.
On my second trip I was rewarded with finding a copy of The Stick Book: loads of things you can make or do with a stick by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks.
I’ve spotted this once or twice on visits to National Trust property shops and have been very tempted so was glad to have a chance to borrow it.
Luke is very partial to collecting sticks and the pushchair has often found itself adorned with ones that absolutely must be brought home with us – a decorative use I could add to the book’s 70 projects.
He would certainly understand the feeling behind the book’s introduction:
“Let’s go on an adventure. All you have to do is run outside and find a stick. Choose it with care and it can be anything you want it to be: a sword with which to fight off fierce dragons in the forest, a tracking stick to help you creep after secretive creatures, a wand to cast magic spells or a broomstick to transport you to other worlds.
“The stick is perhaps the best-loved toy of all time, the starting point for endless adventures for generations of children all over the world. Sticks are easy to find, natural and, best of all, totally free. So, if you haven’t got your own special stick, what are you waiting for?”
Projects featured include building a den, making a stick sword, a wand, a wriggly snake and a picture frame, drawing in mud and sand and wild weaving.
There’s certainly enough ideas to keep everyone going through #30DaysWild!
We braved the rain at its lightest drizzle on Saturday evening to go for a trike ride to get the mini ones some fresh air after they had been inside most of the day.
A fall just before leaving almost prevented us going altogether, and sadly Luke has quite the bump on his forehead to show for it, but when he’d calmed down he decided he did want to go after all. As long as daddy was pushing him anyway, as he does the best wheelies.
Willow enjoyed running her hands along the hedges and feeling the leaves when mummy’s dodging steering allowed her to get close to the edge of the paths.
Sunday was a bit more successful for outside time as we were able to get out and about early and take advantage of a dry spell.
Much to Luke’s delight not one but two mini steam train rides were paid for and allowed for a sit down and chug alongside village fields.
In the afternoon, in between showers, Willow made friends with a horned resident of our local ice cream farm.
And in the early evening they tried out the new watering can and plant pot given to them by grandmum on the vegetables that grandma and pops have been growing for us, our original attempts either having been enjoyed by snails or subject to overly zealous watering from our littlest helper.
This only required the two outfit changes for Luke when he decided to water himself as well as the vegetables but he did also enjoy chomping into a squishy tomato or two straight from the vine again, one of which might even have been nearly ripe enough for picking.
Some days are better than others and today was one of the others.
A small hiatus in the constant stream of minor irritants that were all threatening to be the straw that broke this mummy’s back was 15 minutes spent in a community garden.
With the sun still holding on at the time, numerous daisies and buttercups to run and roll through and the freeing feeling being in the fresh air brings, it was definitely one of the few highlights of the day.
An appointment day again but I still had the chance to stop and stare.
I hope the bees that were very busy at the edge of a car park, buzzing in and out of these deep pink flower bells, were able to take a break at some point too.
There are at least two bees in the photo, honest! They just seemed to master the art of disappearing up a bell every time I clicked.