30 Days of Wildness – Day 3 – Fire Lighting

This thirty day challenge is proving a bit of a challenge all right. Not for the activities but for just sorting the pictures. The kids are having a ball though.

Tonight I needed to finish building a Gibbet crane (more on this in a later post) and I needed a fire to test the crane out. So instead of cracking on with it myself I got the kids involved.

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Our fire

First up we headed out to the wood pile and got a load of small twigs and small logs. Once collected Finlay and Catherine sorted them into different sizes by the firepit.

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Collecting time

To light the fire we got a couple of firesteels out, had a little practice and then sparked up some char cloth.

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Strike a light

The char cloth was popped into some hay and within a minute they had it well lit.

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A huff and a puff

I got all my pictures of my crane sorted but the kids wanted the important stuff – marshmallows – could not disagree with them

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Finally the important stuff

Quite happy to do this one tonight as I needed to light the fire but it was a nice change to get the kids involved in the fire making this time.



30 Days of Wildness – Day 2 – Pond Dipping

As I got home tonight from my trip away I had a chat with the kids about what we could do for the 30 day challenge and pond dipping was brought up.

We had a quick scrabble around for all the kit and were soon on our way.

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Heading out

There are a number of ponds in the village and I was hoping that there would be enough water still standing from the heavy rain last weekend.

The first pond was very low and after a couple of dips we gave up as all we were bringing up was mud.

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First pond – unsuccessful

The next pond though covered with pondweed offered up a small ant (must have been on a stick), a small worm type animal, loads of mossie larvae and a few little shrimps.

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Second pond – some success

We visit this pond regularly as a family of coots nest here every year and this is the perch the kids use to watch them. They were not in sight tonight but we enjoyed the tree anyway.

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Chilling in the trees

Finlay went back to dipping and Catherine to a bit of examining and it was at this point that a couple of lads came cycling by and insulted my kids not knowing I was sitting by the tree. They were off the opinion that they were crazy to be anywhere near the pond as they would get horrible diseases. It is sad to see that that is the attitude of many.

My kids know not to put their hands near their faces when pond dipping by a still pond like this and to wash their hands thoroughly when they get home. I know there is always the potential for Weils disease however the kids had no cuts and scrubbed well when they got home.

Needless to say I stepped out and soon they were scuttling away

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Still at it

As we did not have much time (nearly 7pm on a school night) we headed back but had one more dip in another stream. Finlay was chuffed as he managed to get himself a pond skater in the net.

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Found a stream – good haul

We did not get any fish however we did have a great evenings stroll.Photo 04-06-2015 20 20 35

Last catch – a pond skater, some small shrimps and a small worm



30 Days of Wildness – Day 1

I was reading an article on Bushcraft UK tonight by my friend Tony Bristow on the June Nature Challenge set by The Wildlife Trusts.

It is aimed at – asking people, both young and old, to be creative and invent their own ‘random acts of wildness’. They could be as simple as following a bee to see where it leads you, smell a wildflower or make a wild work of art for others to enjoy.
The possibilities are endless.

Tonight I am away from home in the Black Country (west of Birmingham, UK) staying in a hotel and after watching the video decided to get out for a bimble. Over the rest of the month I will try and post up a bit about nature (with the occasional bit of wildness thrown in), be that on my own, with my family or with friends.

I did not have my DSLR with me on this trip so decided on my walk tonight to test my mobile phone to its limits and see what beauty I could find in this urban landscape I am currently staying in.

A few pictures of my evenings stroll.

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A splash of red
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Urban beauty – Hogweed
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Nettle nest
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Mayweed mossie
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Foxxie Finger – Foxglove
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Standing proud – Ribwort Plantain
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Comfortable Cleavers
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Sticky Willie trap
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Frog Hopper Foam
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Deadly Double

I think my phone has passed muster on this one so lets see what the rest of the month brings.