“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard
It was a very early start this morning as my daughter headed off on a school trip to France and then I spent the rest of the morning (on my day off work) packing for my son to go on cub camp this evening. I know that my two kids are going to have a wild time in the outdoors for the next couple of days, so I needed to plan something just for myself and my husband.
As I sat in my garden planning and then with a cup of green tea and a good book, I noticed in the corner of my eye a squirrel on my bird feeders, as I looked up he caught my eye and then darted off on my wall. About 3 minutes later back he came only to notice me again and then proceeded to scamper off again. This happened about six times with him watching me all along, it really made me smile to watch him, as unlike most of the other squirrels that come into my garden he was just so shy.
It is amazing what you can hear when you just sit quietly outside, I really need to learn some bird sounds as I heard at least five different ones as I relaxed. I have recorded the sounds on my phone so when I have a free moment I will work out what they were.
Over the last week or so we have purposely left our lawn to grow, the buttercups and daisies were not far behind which gives me an easy place to get photos of insects.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
After work and running my son to his football clubs I returned home at 8pm and decided I would spend 15 minutes in my garden to relax and collect my thoughts from the day.
It definitely worked and I felt so much better after my busy day, I felt so much calmer. Although I was a little frustrated with my photos as my focusing was a little off today for some reason, I sure hope it is not my lens!
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein
After school we decided to go for a quick walk to Winkworth Arboretum through the glorious woodland scenery. According to the National Trust website Winkworth was “established in the 20th century, this hillside arboretum has now been maintained by the National Trust for 60 years and has built up a collection of more than 1,000 different shrubs and trees, many of them rare”.
As we arrived and showed our National Trust card at the desk, the lady asked our mini me’s (aged 12 and 10) if they would like to do the challenge “50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4“, my daughter promptly told them she was too old! The woman responded quickly and I totally agree with her response, you are never to old to enjoy nature! This spurred them both on so off they ran intending to complete at least one of the challenges on our walk.
We have been very busy as a family over the last few months with house renovations so it is bliss just to forget it all and spend some quality family time outdoors even though the rain was not far behind us! Last year I visited here with my daughter to see the bluebells which were just spectacular.
Alas, this year we were a little late as they were past there best, but it was still a wonderful walk. My kids had a great competition seeing who could see and name the most trees and bugs and running up and down the hills seeing who was the fastest
They even managed two of the 50 things and even “hugged a tree”!
Tree hugging, was often thought of as a hippy generation idea, but it has been shown to have scientific validity after all! Contrary to popular belief, touching a tree does make you healthier. In fact you don’t even have to touch the tree to get better, just being within its vicinity has the same effect. Countless studies have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological effects in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants. They demonstrate that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas. Well I know for sure my two had beaming smiles as they climbed the tree and then hugged it, such a wonderful thing to see for any parent. While researching about tree hugging I found this site, dedicated to trees which really made me smile. It even gave these tips on how to tree hug:
Find yourself a quiet park, forest, or woodland area
Walk among the trees until you feel comfortable in their presence.
Feel the different bark textures with the palms of your hands.
Smell the scent of the various woods.
Absorb their life’s energies as you look upwards to the sprawling branches overhead.
Find the perfect tree that fits your mood. You will know which one is right for you.
Vertical Tree Hug: Encircle it with your arms while gently pressing your cheek to the trunk being careful not to scratch your face. Squeeze tightly. Sigh deeply. Be one with your tree.
Full Body Tree Hug: Sit upon the ground wrapping your legs around the base of the tree and at the same time embracing it with your arms.
Up in the Air Tree Hug: Climb a tree. Sit upon a strong limb and straddle it with your legs. Bend forward and place your belly against it while wrapping your arms about it.
Why don’t you give it a go today and hug a tree, if nothing else it will make you smile.
No 1 of the 50 things completed, climb a tree
No 28 of the 50 things completed, climb a huge hill
Just a few of the other photos I took during this hour packed with nature filled fun are below, we are all looking forward to day two and beyond 🙂
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star. “
– W. Clement Stone
Another quick post today as this week is half term holiday time for my children and my husband and I also have had time off phone work 🙂
Have a great weekend and see you on the other side when I start my 30 Days Wild Challenge 🙂
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”
I could not resist taking a photo of this owl carving when I saw it at Winkworth Arboretum as my daughter loves owls.
On the edge
I so love it when the garden comes alive with butterflies and bees, it means my macro lens gets a good workout 🙂
I am counting down the days before my 30 Days Wild project starts, even my kids are looking forward to it as we have a few things planned.
The Daily Post photo challenge this week is “Broken” in which we are encouraged to capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken.
I like wondering round taking photos (no surprises there then!), often I find abandoned buildings, like the one below which intrigue me, windows and doors broken or aged by weather, so full of character and each telling there own tales.
The red door above, I found at the bottom of a garden we visted and it just made me think of the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. No secret garden here unfortunately but it did open up to a fantastic field with a gorgeous view 🙂
This rusty of handle on this latch I found on an old shed, needed lots of oil to get it to turn, but inside there was a treasure trove of old tools that looked as though they had not seen the light of day for many many years. The light below no longer shone as the electrics had long been bitten through by the small mice that now lived in the corner and the spiders, well lets just say I was not brave enough to go in fully until some light was restored as the webs were just everywhere and I have an irrational fear of all spiders!
I had a wonderful technology free weekend with my family, so much so that I have decided that I will only be posting from now onwards on Monday through to Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be family time only, spending as much of it as we can outside, especially now the summer months are upon us.