On our walk to school every day, my daughter loves to stop and look at leaves and flowers, to take a short cut through the woods or to save worms stranded on the path. Often there isn’t enough time to stop and share her observations and wonders. It is important therefore, that I make time to walk with her when we aren’t constrained by time.
Last week, when I was out running, we spotted ducklings on the local pond. I decided to take a walk and see what other babies we could find.
Our first observation was a deep, vibrating sound, a little like a honking goose. The sound followed us but we couldn’t see anything. We thought perhaps it was a type of frog or maybe a bug.
We sat on the bank and watched the ducks come in and out of the water.
As we carried on around the pond, we came across a family of geese.
We watched them until they swam away. Passing a smaller pond,we decided to rest there a while, watching the birds and dragonflies. We noticed ladybirds on the lupins. Looking closer, we could see the leaves and stems were covered in aphids. On the centre of one leaf was a pair of ladybirds, who proceeded to fight, just like in the ‘Bad Tempered Ladybird’ by Eric Carle.
As we sat watching the ladybirds, the geese came swooping across the sky and landed in the pond with a splash.
The spring baby theme has continued. We found a salamander with its eggs in a friends back garden, a newt in the drain and a tiny frog in our worm composter.
The birds are building a nest in our bird box and we expect to hear the babies soon.
We noticed that the frog spawn has gone from the storm water pond and if you look closely you can see tiny tadpoles swimming.
To top it all off, the horse at preschool finally gave birth to a foal.
However simple, the wildlife we see around us every day, is a constant source of wonder. I hope my children will always see the world this way.
This photograph depicts what all childhood should be; full of the magic and excitement of the unexplored. It reminds me of the magical tales of Enid Blyton that inspired me to pretend to run away to the woods, when I was a child. My friends and I would sometimes pack a picnic or a bag of sweets and sit deep in the trees, listening to the streams and waiting for magic to happen.
From Nature and her overflowing soul
I had received so much that all my thoughts
Were steeped in feeling.