A walk in the woods
Today was one of those perfect days, with a crisp and heavy air; almost foggy, but not quite. The sun didn’t really make an appearance all day as it was so overcast, and it felt like dusk from the moment we got up. I love days like these; the weather on our wedding day was virtually identical (lucky me). It was a classic end of autumn/start of winter kind of day, one of those days when you just have to be out of the house!
So, after preschool, we wrapped up warm and went into the woods to search for signs of the changing seasons. It was a very peaceful day and we got to hear a lot of birdsong whilst trudging through the woods! A and E stopped to climb trees and collect sticks and leaves. A is still quite obsessed with leaves but now that they are mostly brown and crumbly I am no longer allowing them into the house!
We studied the leaves now carpeting the floor of the woods, and we noticed how bare some of the trees above us were (yet also remarked at how many leaves were actually still to fall despite the large number on the ground).
A wanted to find some acorns, so we went to look at the oak trees. When we didn’t find any I explained that the squirrels would have collected them and stored them away ready for winter. We discussed how different animals survive the winter; how some animals (like squirrels) gather up and store plenty of food, and how some animals (like hedgehogs) have to eat up lots and lots before they go into hibernation. We discussed other animals (like birds), and how some fly south for warmer weather. We saw some bare bushes that would have previously contained berries and I explained how bird food was scarce in winter and that it was important we put plenty of food out in our garden for the garden birds. (This also gave me an idea for an activity when we returned home).
Our walk obviously ended with an obligatory trip to the park.
Homemade bird food
On the way home we picked up some lard so that we could make our own Christmas treats for the garden birds!
Before making the treats I rinsed out some old yoghurt pots and added lengths of string to each.
We then weighed out our ingredients.
For these we used: 250g lard, 50g porridge oats, 50g peanuts, 50g sunflower seeds and 50g raisins. (I just used things that we already had in the cupboards, I am sure the ingredients could be varied).
A and E helped me to weigh out our ingredients and then I melted the lard in a pan over a medium heat.
Once it was fully melted, A helped me to stir in each of the ingredients.
I then poured the mixture into the yoghurt pots and left them to set for a few hours.
Once solid, we popped them out of the pots and hung them in the garden!
I also read that robins like cheese (who knew???) so I will put some cheese (grated and mild) somewhere in the garden tomorrow (as it is predominantly robins that visit us)!