Our outdoor adventures have been few and far between so far this year. As Jessica has gradually recovered from her heart surgery, we’ve been starting to get out and about a little more. At first, she needed the buggy even for short trips out. It’s been lovely to see her energy levels return and to see her managing longer walks without it. With the sunshine calling me outdoors one afternoon in early February, I thought she and Sophie might like a nature walk.
There’s a small green space a short walk from home, known as “the meadow”. The route there isn’t buggy-friendly but I thought Jessica would be able to manage the walk. It would also be good to have some outdoor learning activities – especially as Jessica was missing out on her class doing forest school. Last time I visited with Sophie, we spotted some new plaques around the meadow – each with a different type of leaf or creature. These were perfect for doing some crayon rubbings.
The little plaques also provided the perfect encouragement for getting Jessica to walk a little further. They were spaced out around the meadow, leading us down new paths that we hadn’t previously explored. The girls loved taking turns to rub the pictures on to their pieces of paper. We talked about the different types of creatures and which trees the leaves came from. Later in the year, hopefully we’ll be able to spot them for real too.
By February, I’ve had enough of winter. It always cheers me up to see the little signs that spring is just around the corner. There was a big patch of snowdrops in one corner of the meadow. Jessica also noticed that buds were starting to appear on the bare branches of the trees.
The meadow is home to a couple of insect hotels. One of them was in a very boggy area which we avoided but the girls were fascinated by the other. We didn’t spot any insects but the girls were fascinated by all the different areas and we talked about what kinds of bugs might live in them. It will be interesting to take another look at it later in the year.
No trip to the meadow is complete without a visit to the “Billy Goats Gruff Bridge” in the woods. The girls love running back and forth over it. It’s a great spot for some imaginative play. There are always plenty of sticks which become a variety of props. This time, they were walking sticks to help the girls across the bridge.
The little mounds around the meadow are fun to play on too. I loved the way Sophie helped Jessica up these at first, until her big sister became more confident.
It was lovely just to have an afternoon out and about in the sunshine, watching the girls playing together and having fun. A walk to the meadow and back was about Jessica’s limit before her surgery. At six weeks post-surgery, she was back up to managing it again. Hopefully as she continues to recover, and the warmer weather returns, we will be able to enjoy some longer walks again.