This month’s regular post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about nature explorations…..
This week has been filled with nature explorations. From chasing bees to watching butterflies, Little Man has been noticing it all. Spring is such a lovely time to go exploring in nature and although farmers fields aren’t exactly natural they are right on our doorstep and have lovely natural edges leaving plenty of space for us to discover birds, berries, flowers and flies.
The fields surrounding us are filled with rapeseed at the moment. Lots of people dislike this crop, especially hayfever sufferers (my brother being one of them) but I love the bright sunny colour and I don’t even mind the smell. Luckily Little Man seems to be fine with pollen so a waltz around the local fields is always a pleasure, especially as there are tons of butterflies around at the moment. They flit in and out of the yellow mass, dancing with each other and sunning themselves along the paths and whenever one parks itself along the path in front of us Little Man stops, goes quiet and whispers to me as he creeps up on it hoping to catch it.
Birds also capture Little Man’s attention and we have to stop and listen as a Blackcap shouts out his warning call. It sounds like two stones clinking together and Little Man is enthralled, desperately trying to see where the sound is coming from. We just catch a glimpse of it as it flies away and he shouts ‘birdie!’ as it goes. This time round we also spot Pigeon and Jackdaw and a female blackbird that lets us get quite close as she hops about her business before she finally takes flight.
A quick jaunt round the fields is a whole body experience for Little Man; he uses his listening and language skills as well as all his motor skills, hopping, skipping, climbing and crawling. We often hop in-between fields by climbing in and out of the dry ditches and Little Man loves to beat us across. It can sometimes be quite a mission keeping up with him because he can squeeze through gaps much smaller than us! At one point I did lose him amongst the crop (don’t tell the farmer!). Despite my pleas for him to stick to the paths he decided climbing through a jungle of rapeseed was far more fun. By the time we get home I am always shattered, even if we keep it short, but Little Man, as is the way with most toddlers, seems to run on super energiser batteries. I love the way toddlers find wonder in everything they come across, it is absolutely infectious!
What are your favourite local adventures? Is it the local park, do you find adventure among the local houses or are you lucky enough to live right next to the beach?
Leila writes a personal, nature inspired blog at Mud Marvellous Mud. She is passionate about connecting children to nature and writes about her son’s experiences as they explore together. She is trained to Forest Schools and Beach Schools level 3 and is currently studying for an Open University Open Degree.