Copyright: dzejmsdin / 123RF Stock Photo
UP AND OUT!
I believe that if parents and children get up early even ONE morning over the weekend, maybe every fortnight if weekly isn't possible, dress
for the weather, no matter how chilly, and head to the nearest park, or just a small piece of green space, now covered in snow or frost, or both, whatever is available, a great many wonderful things can happen!
greet the people they pass in their neighbourhood on the way to their destination, having a good snoop in gardens and window boxes en route.
A smallish space can become a Continent, when viewed with an open mind, getting down to ground level!
Adults and children examine the terrain, noting rocks and stones, puddles iced over, and drips of ice or sprinkling of snow adorning some grasses and old seed heads, shriveled berries, shrubs and plants, trees, old, tattered,
blossoms, seed pods, worms and worm casts, ants, empty snail shells, spiders and their webs, beetles, evidence of bird and fox activity ~ everything audible and visible!
Everyone can make personal rough notes or drawings, or memorise the look of an item, even the youngest will have their offerings.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SEE?
"The London Plane tree is widely considered to be the world's most reliable city tree.
"The Norway Maple "The very shade that endears the tree
to some planters is bad news to others ... The resulting shade can seem as refreshing as a forest glen or as sombre as a Norwegian Winter - even menacing, depending on temperament or the neighbourhood situation."
The evergreen Irish Yew can be seen
growing in many graveyards up and down the countryside, and in town and city centres. There have been studies done on it and it proves to have anti-carcinogenic properties ~ unique to the Irish Yew!
The Horse Chestnut and Chestnut trees are very common on urban streets around Ireland, Western Europe, and many other places.
CONKERS versus SPIDERS
Many people do NOT like spiders in the house, and as the weather gets colder they are inclined to come indoors. A good way of keeping spiders out is
to collect chestnuts (conkers) and leave them in bowls around windows, doors, and anywhere the spiders may find ingress.
Spiders do not like the smell of conkers!
If you have dogs, please take care, as some react badly to eating conkers; ask your vet.
THE SECRET WEAPON!
Another way to use chestnuts could involve the children making presents.
An adult uses an awl-type needle, or a slim corkscrew, and bores a hole through the centre of each chestnut, and then the children string the conkers on strong brightly coloured string or ribbon with a big knot at the bottom, using
a big, blunt-topped needle, spacing the conkers a fair few inches apart, and then knotting the thread or ribbon under each conker as it is slipped on, and into place.
When finished making the length of conkers, and adding a good sized loop tied at the top, the children could then tie a ribbon bow on top of each
conker in various bright colours. These could be hung by a loop beside windows, or beside the back and front doors.
Don't worry if some of the chestnuts break, they can be the ones put in the bowls on window sills. The smell of the chestnut
would be stronger from these broken pieces.
Some children and adults are very uncomfortable with or afraid of the idea of a spider in their bedrooms, especially
at night, and having a personal anti-spider device hanging beside their beds would surely lead to more peaceful nights, and make a special, lovely,
The above information in lime green was sourced at:
All colouring of quoted texts in this Post
was added by me, ICOB.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO AMAZE AND INTEREST
The most exotic plants can thrive in a city centre because the temperature of a city is usually
a couple of degrees higher than the surrounding environment, due to pollution and light levels.
When buddleia was first brought to Europe by plant hunters, it was kept in glass-houses as it was thought to be very delicate. In fact, it is a great addition to almost any wayside piece of land, attracting
butterflies and hummingbirds, and it is a beneficial pollinator. The bushes are known as "The Butterfly Bush", and have conical flower spikes that bloom in intense hues of pink, orange, red, and purple, throughout the Summer. They will grow on any bit of rubble strewn land ~ so much
beautiful, dark, eerie, profiles in Autumn and Winter.
On arriving home, all can peel off and put away their outdoor wear, wash their hands, and have a favourite drink.
THEN, everyone gets down on the floor with cushions and a very large piece of paper spread flat, onto which they plan
out their Map, including everything they saw and noted, adding the pages of each person's drawings. With the help of the family book on local flora and fauna with colour photographs, identifications can be made, and
lore and medicines used in the past, from some of the plants, can be investigated, along with the life cycles of insects and spiders, foxes, and any other creatures observed.
Until you look at your photographs, you won't know what images you may have captured - there could be the paw prints of
foxes in the snow!
Please also see the Companion Post ~
"CHILDREN'S CITY LIFE"
the Winter Edition, for more information on Nature - on the wing, or on four paws,
including foxes living and thriving in cities.
If you have any comments, positive
or negative, I should welcome hearing your views. If you find any errors or wish to disagree with any of the above, please let me know.
I am an elected Member of The Tutors'
See my LinkedIn site for further
If I quote a person, group, organisation, or establishment, I do my very best to source the material quoted, and to attribute it properly. If I cannot satisfy myself I have found the author or speaker who
voiced a quote, I resist using it, no matter how tasty a bite! If I refer in passing to views expressed by others, I attribute the views even if they have not been given verbatim in the text.
I work on a basis of goodwill and good intentions. I shall make errors, being human, and when I do, I apologise now, and should always
welcome a correction, which I would insert in the relevant Post prominently, in clear unambiguous text and type, repeating the apology. That's is the best I can do!