Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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Pumpkin Day at Riverford Organic Farm – Sutton Scotney

Amazing! I just loved to see the amount of people interested in organic produce last month. Its awesome! Whether they are regular buyers or just curious to the farm day out at Riverford, seeing that many people that care about what they consume was truly comforting.
It was eye opening for me to see where most of our weekly budget goes and the kids just adored the animals and variety if squash all around. After admiring the first glimpses of the farm site and browsing the stalls we walked outside where they were doing carpenrary, it was inspiring to see that it was a hit with the older children and I hope one year upon returning my boys will be at the level they can fully appreciate it and have a go for themselves. Passing many adorable and magical looking squash we stopped and the boys got to see an Owl up close that opened his beautiful wings and really showed off his cheeky personality. Next to him were some sleepy ferrets looking so snug and cozy and alongside them were more ferrets awake and ready to race! We took a stroll down to check out the worm dig with intentions to later return and along the path were the most delicious silky lettuces I have ever tasted…so good to see where they grow!
After checking out the whole place and working out what was where we showed the boys the beautiful Horses that help humans by pulling a wagon cart. I had promised the children animals and taking a trip in the cart seemed a perfect way to show them how humans and animals work together as well as enjoying a bumpy ride. They really enjoyed being on the wagon and adored the little dog that was on board with the driver. The horses were so graceful and did indeed look grand standing next to the boys.
It was lovely for the boys to stand next to and observe the size of a real tractor and amazing for us all to see the sheer size of the enormous combine harvesters.
We admired the face painting and did plan to get some done but it was so busy and we could think of much more things to do than que up for over 30 minutes so we opted out and indulged in some amazing chocolate and courgette (dairy and gluten free) brownies, wow, they were good! We really wanted to try the worm dig so we headed back outside to spend some time helping discover different breeds of worms! The kids loved having a dig with the shovels and even let Mummy have a go and in total we found about 7 worms and one was large enough to identify as a dark tipped worm.
We stayed for a while, got covered in mud, cleaned up and just as we reached the top of the field thee ferrets were getting ready to rave. Awaken from there sleepiness four ferrets, Taz, Tiz, Ivy and Fern were lined up waiting to go out. A couple were showed around nd the boys got to stroke them and say hello. We placed a bet on the green caged ferret called Fern and although she didn’t win it was a cute experience for the kids and roaring fun for the lively parents.

 After the race we considered the pumpkin carving and it was rather busy and the boys were slightly restless so we purchased a large pumpkin and headed back inside. We had another wander around and it was packed full of people in the warehouse, happy vibes! My friend really enjoyed the cheese stall and purchased some goat’s cheese and I admired the ‘give a pet a holiday’ team and found out how I can get involved. There were so many beautiful veggies everywhere and some absolutely stunningly crafted items for sale.

We decided we would go over to the lady carving wooden pencils and my friend said she would love to buy some for the boys so her and my eldest joined the que there. It was my turn to buy the next refreshments, my youngest boy and I headed off to get some cake and upon reaching my friend I remembered the stall selling hot Apple juice which we had earlier tried and I had previously thought if the mulled wine is anything like the Apple then it is a must. Upon reaching the stall it dawned on me how much of a good idea it would be to actually get some so we did and it was amazing, so delicious, mouthwatering and tasting, so comforting and warm. Just what a busy woman needs after a mission with 2 young boys! For the pencils the lady scorched the names required into hand carved pencils, they were very beautiful and a great idea! We gave thanks, admired the beautiful abundance of produce and organic people and made our way back outside.

 

It was indeed a packed event with thousands of people who attended and the queues reflected this.

 

I buy weekly from Riverford and will continue to do so until I have my own patch.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful day out. We will definitely be back next year!