Tagged with " toddler"
Not quite the end
By     |    Jan 4, 2014
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Not quite the end

Izzy and I have had a wonderful year of wildlife watching together – we have visited some beautiful places and seen some amazing sights. But, things didn’t always go to plan and we didn’t always see what we set out to see – we failed on half a dozen occasions find Water VolesĀ and the late spring ruined several planned trips, including one to see Snake’s-head Fritillaries. At times, when Izzy [...]

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Winter ducks at Slapton Ley
By     |    Jan 3, 2014
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Winter ducks at Slapton Ley

A wave takes me by surprise and, dragging Izzy with me, I scurry back up the beach, water lapping at my ankles. Having learnt our lesson, we wander, hand-in-hand, along the shingle shore at a safe distance from the water’s edge. We pause often, to build miniature houses out of large, flat stones for pebble people, to inspect shells, or seaweed, and once, to study a sea wash ballĀ more closely. [...]

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Lichens and tantrums at Ingra Tor
By     |    Dec 7, 2013
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Lichens and tantrums at Ingra Tor

Winter has arrived, but Izzy doesn’t seem to have noticed. For the past couple of weeks she has refused to wear anything other than a cotton dress. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried dressing her dolls and myself with her clothes, I’ve tried begging, I’ve tried to slip a jumper over her head whilst she’s distracted, I’ve tried letting her choose her own outfit, I’ve tried calling her bluff, but when [...]

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Ash trees on the common
By     |    Oct 26, 2013
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Ash trees on the common

Minchinhampton Common is glowing in the low autumn sunshine. The limestone grassland, pockmarked with scars left by prehistoric field systems, Neolithic long barrows, quarries and second world war defences, provides a wonderful natural playground and Izzy is having a whale of a time racing up and down the steep sides of the depressions. I did the same as a kid. I have many happy memories of kite flying, dog-walking, blackberrying, [...]

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Fruit and nuts
By     |    Sep 14, 2013
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Fruit and nuts

Autumn has arrived with a thump and the hot sunshine that characterised 2013′s wonderful summer has well and truly vanished. The drizzle that was falling when we left the house has turned into a downpour, but I am determined to carry on foraging. Izzy, in wellies and winter coat, appears to love the rain, and, splashing through puddles, is happy to follow. It seems to be a bountiful year and [...]

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Rockpooling
By     |    Jul 27, 2013
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Rockpooling

We slide and slither down the steep, rain-gouged path to the beach and race to cool off in the sea. We swim in the gentle waves, then, refreshed, potter about the rock pools with a net and white tray. With our first dip of the net we catch a Common Prawn. Then, we lift some stones and find a handful of Common Shore Crabs, which wave their pincers at us [...]

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Discovering woodland butterflies
By     |    Jul 21, 2013
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Discovering woodland butterflies

Glad to escape the glare of the midday sun, Izzy and I follow the waymarked path through the cool conifer forest to a clearing filled with chirping grasshoppers and butterflies on the wing. Supercharged in the heatwave, the Meadow Browns and Large Whites zoom through the soupy air above the wildflowers, never pausing long enough for us to get a good look or a photograph. “Another butterfly!” I cry, each [...]

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Red Squirrel Conservation
By     |    Jul 11, 2013
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Red Squirrel Conservation

It is a scorching day at Escot and we are entering the Red Squirrel enclosure for the second time today. Our first attempt to see the squirrels ended in failure, with not a creature stirring amongst the trees. So, we explored the wetlands, got lost in the Beech maze, played in the pirate ship, had a lolly, visited the Wild Boar and the birds of prey and had a great [...]

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Flower-filled meadows
By     |    Jun 28, 2013
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Flower-filled meadows

Izzy appears to have early-onset terrible twos. Her favourite phrases at the moment are “‘Bel do it,” and “Mummy wrong.” I figure that the best thing to do is to get both of us out of the house and get some fresh air, so we take a trip to Okehampton Castle. Unfortunately, this does nothing to stop the tantrums. Before leaving the car park there is a meltdown about climbing [...]

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Carnivorous plants
By     |    Jun 16, 2013
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Carnivorous plants

Izzy thinks that the fluffy white things fluttering in the breeze are feathers, but they are actually the seedheads of Common Cotton-grass and they indicate that we are stepping onto boggy ground. Carefully, we pick our way through the mire, over cushions of Sphagnum moss, searching for an exotic-looking species called Round-leaved Sundew. Then, suddenly, we find ourselves surrounded by dozens of the plants, tiny, red-tinged rosettes with sticky leaves [...]

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