{Wild Challenge} Wild Flower Foray

Wild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open Home

Guernsey is covered in wild flowers during the month of May so it was the perfect opportunity for us to tick off another experience nature activity for our RSPB Wild Challenge, tying in nicely with our regular nature walks.

Firstly, we walked along the coast from Portelet to the Fairy Ring, spotting a surprising amount of wild flowers along the way, 21!

Next we did a cliff walk up at Icart and through the nature reserve where we spotted a whopping 22 different wild flowers.

Then having done a couple of walks near the coast we headed inland to the country lanes of St. Peters to see how many wild flowers we could find on a country walk. The answer? 27!

And for a final wild flower walk we also visited the Orchid Fields down a L’Eree, part of the La Societe Guernesaise nature reserves.

Then to finish things off we searched through our field guides to identify the flowers we didn’t recognise and then drew some of our favourite wild flowers in our nature journals.

Here is the photo evidence:

Wild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open HomeWild Challenge | Wild Flower Foray | The Open Home

Daisies, foxgloves, poppies, primroses, sea pinks and buttercups are amongst our favourite wild flowers.

What are your favourite wild flowers?

{Wild Challenge} Feed the Birds

Wild Challenge | Feed the Birds | The Open Home

The girls have ticked off their first help nature activity as part of their RSPB Wild Challenge bronze award, meaning we’re now half way to achieving it! This time they got their hands sticky in an attempt to feed the birds.

We stocked up on nuts, bird seed, suet bites and meal worms and mixed it all together with some grated cheese, raisins and lard. We were able to create 7 yogurt pot sized bird feeders for hanging around the garden as well as a bird food cake to put in our ground feeder.

Our resident robin in particular is especially appreciating their efforts and the girls feel pleased they are helping nature right in their own back yard.

Here is the photo evidence:

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When was the last time you fed the birds?

{Wild Challenge} Bird Watching

RSPB Wild Challenge | Bird Watching | The Open Home

The girls have ticked off another experience nature activity as part of their RSPB Wild Challenge bronze award, this time by going bird watching. They made use of a break in the rainy weather a couple of weeks back and embarked on a Daddy expedition to the bird hides by vale pond taking with them their nature supplies complete with binoculars, camera, field guide, clipboards and of course, those all important snacks.

They managed to spot snipes and coots, herring gulls and ducks, great tits and pigeons, a robin, blackbird and plenty of crows.

Here is the photo evidence:

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When was the last time you went birdwatching?

{Wild Challenge} Signs of Spring

RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open Home

This year we’ve decided to take on the RSPB Wild Challenge as a family and we’re currently working towards our Bronze Award. For each award you need to complete three “Experience Nature” activities and three “Help Nature” activities. We started with an experience nature activity looking for signs of spring in our beloved weekly nature spot, Candie Gardens.

We spied new buds, admired spring bulbs, sniffed sweet blossoms, counted petals, compared leaves, listened to bird song and hunted for bugs and frogs.

Here’s our photo evidence:

RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open HomeThe Open Home 1421The Open Home 1422The Open Home 1423The Open Home 1426The Open Home 1427RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open HomeThe Open Home 1429The Open Home 1430RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open HomeThe Open Home 1428RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open HomeThe Open Home 1431RSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open HomeRSPB Wild Challenge | Signs of Spring | The Open Home

 

What are your favourite signs of spring?

 

 

{Autumn Nature Study}

Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

The autumn started with such promise, our conker hoard was large this year, but October proved to be the wettest October for many a decade and the rain persisted well into autumn making nature walks increasingly difficult.

We still gathered and explored where we could and diligently kept an eye on our beloved ginkgo tree to be sure not to miss it in all its autumn glory.

We learnt a lot about seasonal weather and bird migration this autumn and have also signed up to the RSPB Wild Challenge and are looking forward to working towards our bronze award in the new year.

Here are some of the snapshots:

Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Golden sunshine on our first conker hunt of the season.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Sensory fun!
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Bubbles’ first nature journal entry.
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The return of welly boot season.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Autumn nature walks in Cumbria.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Nature walk at Derwent Water, the home of Squirrel Nutkin.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Gruffalo spotting and squirrel hunting on our way up Orrest Head.
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A successful climb to the top of Orrest Head.
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Rambling in the Lake District.
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Wild and Free.
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Fabulous fungi.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Rock climbing our way to Rydal Cave.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Exploring Rydal Cave.
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Autumn views at Rydal Water.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Autumn crafts.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Nature walks with our fellow Nature Explorers.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Blossom’s bird migration work.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Ginkgo magic.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
The simple joy of autumn leaves!

 

What did you enjoy most about nature this (wet and windy) Autumn?

{Spring Nature Study}

The Open Home 1204

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Spring never disappoints us. We appreciate every new bloom that comes through, every new bird that visits and every new addition down on the farm.

This spring we’ve learnt about the circle of life as we said goodbye to one pet goat and welcomed in another. We joined in Guernsey’s first BioBlitz and left with a new appreciation for moths and voles. We’ve seen improved skill through our nature journaling, started to dabble in some nature photography and even began work on our very own wildlife garden.

Here are some of the snapshots:

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Up close with the bees and bulbs.
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New arrivals down on the farm.
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Coastal walks and interesting nest sites.
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Rockpooling with Daddy at Chouet.
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Nature journaling first signs of spring.
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Watching the starlings fly overhead.
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Happy days down on the farm.
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Discovering new-to-us bays.
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Joining in the BioBlitz.
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The six-spot burnet moth in all it’s glory.
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My trusty nature backpack.
Nature Study Spring 2019 | The Open Home
Delicate egg discovery from the western parishes.

What did you enjoy most about nature this Spring?

{Winter Nature Study}

Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Winter can be a challenging season for exploring nature and if I’m honest my enthusiasm for it was lagging a little at the start of this year.

We persevered though and kept going outdoors and in the process discovered that beach combing and rock pooling really is the perfect nature activity for the cold winter months. Honestly, when the trees are bare, the birds are still south and the fields have few flowers, the sea shore makes for a wonderful playground.

We’re feeling ready for our spring nature study now though and have been excitedly searching for hints of spring since the start of the year!

Here are some of the snapshots:

Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Pebble games on Fermain with our fellow Nature Explorers.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Lots of sea anemones spotted at low tide on Chouet.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
First starfish discovered, also at Chouet.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Rock climbing at Petit Bot.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Hide & seek in the local park.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
We spotted our first daffodils back in mid January.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
A sensory scavenger hunt in our favourite park.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Glorious winter sunshine.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
First signs of Spring.
Winter Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
A new year and a new calendar of firsts.

What do you enjoy most about nature this Winter?