Friday, 17 June 2016

#30dayswild days15-17 - nettle tea, recycling, rose and alliums

Wednesday 15th June

I was going to York University to attend the One Planet York Launch so I decided I would do an observation experiment with myself by walking to the Ron Cooke Hub from the York University Library one way and walking back a different way.

I discovered very interesting things such as I do actually have to pay attention if I want to notice things. I was talking to my wonderful brother for part of the journey in the morning (hence the longer walk because I went round and round the campus whilst still talking to him.) It meant that I wasn't observant at all. I did however notice that there was way less bird song on the campus and wondered if this was due to lack of trees.

The transition between walking on campus and then onto Field Lane was a noticeable increases in birdsong which surprised me. The gardens on Field Lane were filled with flowers, hedges, trees and this seemed to encourage wildlife way more than the green on campus.

I still love it on both campuses because there is a lot of green and water which is great. However at present I prefer the West Campus just because of the diversity of green with trees, bushes, lawns, wildflowers, etc.

I spotted Jack by the Hedge on the way back so now I have nailed that one I need to move onto another edible plant that I can try and recognise out in the wild!!!

I also discovered this bug in my filofax and managed to get a picture and with the help of facebook and instagram friends discovered it was a ladybird larva so thanks #30dayswild - I learnt a new thing today!!!

I then started my Ecology online course whilst waiting for my dh to finish up at work.

It looks really good and shouldn't take me too long. I have been meaning to learn more about ecology for ages so thanks again #30dayswild for giving the impetus I needed to actually just get on with it.

The link is here in case you are interested yourself.

Thursday 16th June

Today was about learning the plants in my garden which I mentioned at the beginning of this challenge in this blog post. Whilst the kids were busy playing with their friends I took the opportunity to check if I could remember the plants that my Mum had told me about 2 weeks ago and I didn't do too badly!!

I checked under the trampoline and got my photos.

Obviously I know that this plant to the left is Jack by the Hedge and although it is growing ok here some of the plants nearby at struggling without support so I thinking that they should be moved to over by the fence. However I definitely recognise this plant now even in the wild which is great.

The eaten plant to the right is wild garlic or ransoms and I thought it had disappeared last year but it came back this year. It isn't faring too well probably not helped by the wild geranium next to it.

And then we have this other variety of geranium (Geranium phaeum) near by with the purple patches on the leaves. The chickens love eating this. Then there were the yellow and red poppies. Pretty little plants on the edge of the trampoline.

Trying to discover what plants are edible isn't always easy so resources like this or this are really helpful.

It was then time to chop up my dried nettles and store them ready for a cup of tea. Oh and then have a cup of nettle tea in my wonderful see-through glass infuser tea mug from Marks and Spencers here. Well worth the £7.50 I spent on it. See below.

Friday 17th June

A home education trip to meet fellow home educators at Castle Howard resulted in watching kids playing, having a picnic, trying to get fresh water oyster shells out of the lake, photographing peacocks, chatting and generally having a good time.

The weather held even though it had promised rain and the sun even came out once we had left the playground area and gone to admire the walled gardens.

I am not normally a fan of roses but I took the time to smell all the roses as part of #30dayswild.

It was really fun working out the roses that I actually like the smell of - namely The Nun to the right (which smells like a typical rose but not too overwhelming) and the Leander rose which smelt like peaches and is now my favourite rose.

I also learnt about alliums and get some lovely pictures on my phone including the purple one in the middle with a lovely, very yellow bee on it.

When I then started writing this blog I wondered whether ransoms (also being of the onion family) also had an allium name and they do - allium ursinum. I love alliums!!!

They were all so beautiful and the one in the left corner made me laugh by being called allium purple and round - genius!!

I then did my bit for the wild by making sure that I collected and brought home as much recycling from the youth club I volunteer at as I could and putting it in my recycling bin.

And bringing back the tuck shop emptied for my son to store his lego pieces in.

All in all a fab few days of #30dayswild moments and pictures.

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