Nature So Beautiful But At Times So Cruel

The Lake

7am at the lake

My two favourite times of the year are autumn & spring. I love autumn because the temperature is cooling down, the leaves on the trees are turning into beautiful shades of reds and yellows and it’s the start of the frost when we go on the early morning walks. Spring is a time for new beginnings, seen in the flowers bursting through the soil, the birds building nests and the new life that is all around. These are the times I really enjoy walking and being able to see the best of nature.

We are lucky to live very near to a country park, just a short walk through the woods and in less than 10 minutes we are there. This year unfortunately we didn’t manage to get out much in Spring as we had new life in our own home, one of our dogs had 9 beautiful puppies in April. This curtailed the walks for several weeks but it was worth it.

When we started walking again (normally me and Jess as it’s early morning and Abbie ‘doesn’t do’ mornings) I was happy to see that we still had quite a few ‘babies’ on the lake. There were 6 or 7 goslings, 2 cygnets, 4 tufted duck ducklings and just 1 ‘normal’ duckling.  The next day we went back for our early walk armed with oats, rice and other grains and seeds.

This is where nature can show us so much beauty but at the same time be unbelievably cruel.

We went straight to the small lake that we saw the swan and cygnets,  to find just one adult and a single cygnet, the tufted duck was there with her babies so we fed them all and carried on around. No sign of the duckling but we did throw some food in for the goslings.


Mum & Cygnet

Three or four days went past and still only one cygnet, I had been hoping that it might just appear again but after so long it wasn’t likely. Still no duckling either. This was the day they were only 3 tufted ducklings. Again we hung around hoping the other would appear out of the reeds but no. The next morning everything was the same for the swans and ducklings but this time we saw the geese out of the water with the goslings and found that one of the babies has a broken foot. It was alright on the water but can’t walk very well, nothing we could apart from making sure it was fed.

This takes me up to yesterday. We went to the small lake and the swans appeared as normal, then mum and the baby tufted ducks came across for food. Mum got a few bits and Jess said that the babies weren’t getting anything. While I was focusing on getting food to the cygnet she said that there was a duckling missing. Mum seemed agitated and all the other birds (around 8-9 ducks plus the swans) moved to the other side of the lake. That’s when we noticed something moving and realised there was a pike which had obviously taken the duckling.


To cut a long story short, the duckling came up another 3 times while we were there with mum racing across every time to attack the pike, it was horrible seeing it so defenceless. By this time Jess was so upset so we went as it was too far away for us to do anything at all.

Like I said, nature gives us things so beautiful but sometimes it’s so unfair 😦


Yesterday our lives were turned upside-down but in a very nice way. Our dog Freda gave birth to 9 gorgeous puppies, mum, puppies and a very confused dad, who is wondering what all the noise is and why he is being growled at for looking, are all doing well.

9 gorgeous little bundles

Both children watched the puppies being born and Abbie actually delivered the last 2. Lovely experience for them.


Storm Doris – Video

Storm Doris was due to hit most of the UK today but luckily we got off very lightly in Nottinghamshire. I went out early afternoon and it was a bit windy and a couple of gusts stopped me dead but not as bad as it could have been.

Abbie and Jess spent a lot of the day just watching the trees in the woods behind our house and it sparked discussions about storms and the power of mother nature. The rest of the day was spent doing word searches and drawing.

#Walk1000Miles Challenge – End Of The First Month

Well, we did it. We got to the end of January and we walked everyday. If the weather was really bad we just walked to the local shops, the long way round, which can be as much as a 2 1/2 mile round trip.  We’ve been out in the rain, high winds and temperatures of -2  but I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every walk.

The walks also act as a replacement for the school PE sessions the children miss from being home educated. A 3 miles walk and 30 minutes on the play equipment in the park more than make up for a couple of 30 minutes sessions they would have at school. Abbie has mild asthma and used to get out of breath regularly when we walked and also got ‘stitches’ in her side quite often.  All that seems to be changing after such a short time, no more stitches and she can walk a lot further without stopping.

The walks are also very useful as topic starters. We have spoken about so many things over the last 4 weeks ranging from evergreen trees through to the hole in the ozone layer and so many things in between. In seems that almost everyday we see something that sparks a conversation and quite often a project to do at home.

Now the important information, the mileage:

I managed 113.62 miles

Abbie did 104.46 miles

Jessie did 105.36 miles

I should point out that these are ‘boots on’ miles, we only count the mileage where we have purposely gone out for a walk. Miles around the house aren’t taken into account. it is amazing how many you do. Just in case anyone is interested my total mileage for the month was 228.14 miles WOW!!! This is just me, I just keep track of all my fitbit miles.  I make sure I do a minimum of 5 (fitbit) miles a day, even if that means that I end up jogging around the kitchen at 10pm to make sure I get to my target (and yes I’ve done this several times).

I’ve taken so many photographs and it was so hard to choose but here are a few of my favourite photo’s from January:

#Walk1000Miles Challenge Week 1 Totals

We went out walking everyday this week, only local walks though. Jess managed to go for a walk  everyday which made her happy as she didn’t think she could o it.  We saw a couple of interesting birds but the weather was wet and miserable most days so not many scenic shots.

Blackbird with partial albinism

Blackbird with partial albinism



The 1000 miles sounds very daunting but it works out at just 2.74 miles a day. The weekly total we are aiming for is 19.18 miles a week. Of course if we do more we will be finished earlier.  Our total miles for the first week were; me 29.11 miles; Abbie 27.11 miles & Jess 28.29 miles.

I think we did brilliantly for the first week!

I’ll be updating on a monthly basis from now on. Back with an update at the end of January.

Spring Walk

On friday we went to our local country park to feed the ducks.Ducks

I identified some trees and we had two go’s in the park.

And we were lucky and quiet enough to even see a squirrel up close!


We also saw some ducklings and goslingsrsz_imga0811 rsz_1imag0438, sooooo cute!!

They came so close that i could touch them! But i don’t think mummy duck would be very impressed!




We spent half the day in the woods and in the country park today. It’s only a short (10 minute walk) from the house to the park. Lots of cute little creatures around. But, I’m not allowed to tell you about them as Abbie is writing a blog post tomorrow with photos!!!!

I’m looking forward to going to my first HE meeting on Monday (evening meet for adults only). And on Wednesday morning we will be attending a group meet. Hopefully lots of children there and things to do.