Day 8 of our 30 Days Wild Challenge adventures saw us squeezing our plans around dancing and swimming lessons. We are usually quite chilled with plans, taking full advantage of being home educators…my life may be more hectic with all 3 at home 24/7, but their life is a lot more laid back now with huge unstructured times, and nature generally being the main focus of our day in some form. The one day this is an exception is Saturdays where our little lady does swimming lessons, followed by 2 hours of four different forms of dancing…but this is her big passion, so we work round it. I take one twin off to dancing and the other one stays at home with Dadda, meaning each mini man gets 2-3 hours of 1:1 time (the little lady is in dancing the whole time so I am left enjoying one mini man and we rotate it weekly).
Today we thought we would try one of the Wildlife Trust’s local reserves that we had never ventured into, at Swanwick lakes. This turned out to be teeming with life and quite a few well laid paths (although we could tell the winter had been a wet and muddy one by the way the ground had dried. Definitely need wellie boots in winter and spring there. The paths were fantastic and they weaved a lot so you could never see very far ahead, bringing surprises around every corner. A few fishing lakes were there, in which huge fish could be seen with the naked eye from quite a distance (very good when out with 2 fast moving 4 year olds!!). There were tiny brooks with cute bridges, boarded walks, wooded areas, lots of wildlife, and a gorgeous meadow area. I was very conscious though of the serious spotters and fishers around and how much noise we make with three exuberant children. For 2 hours I think they probably didn’t see or catch a thing.
Our random act of wildness card today was to sketch up close. I think describing the challenge as using a pencil to capture detail, shapes, and texture is probably a little over optimistic in our case. We had one Dadda not really participating, one 8 year old fully immersing herself into one of her favourite hobbies who went on to make a whole “nature book” of drawings and a club with badges!!, two four year old twins making random marks, and one Mamma trying her best, never having been able to draw anything other than stick men, and having brought only badly sharpened and broken children’s pencil crayons for everyone to draw with, whilst leaning on wire mesh on the pond dipping platform :-). Not too shabby a job done by the two girls though (no photos of the mini men’s, even though they were proud of them, due to one being yellow crayon on yellow paper, and the other one pale orange on yellow paper!!). The subject matter was one of the hundreds of lovely, bright, sunny buttercups decorating the reserve.