We’ve had two really good wild days this weekend.
Yesterday we went to Mayfield Lavender, an organic lavender farm really close to us. I wasn’t sure how much lavender would be flowering at the moment as it is still quite early in the season, so was pleasantly surprised when we arrived to see how much purple there was already. We parked in a local park and walked through the meadow and woodland to get there – it is a really nice walk – and then spent over an hour walking among the lavender. In order to keep the organic status of the lavender the owners of the farm use a great method to control the pest species, the Rosemary beetle.. they ask the local children to collect the beetles in jam jars and then reward them with a sweet! My three love collecting the beetles, spotting all the other insects and I always find we are much calmer after being there for any time. That wonderful smell! Yesterday we collected hundreds of beetles (so if you are local then please go and help out too!), we saw lots of cuckoo spit and froghoppers, a couple of grasshoppers and crickets, flies, bees, ladybirds, and bugs and beetles.
And today, as well as playing in the garden all the time we’ve been at home, we took a walk to our local ecology centre this afternoon and had, in Jasmine’s words, a brilliant time! On the way there Ben spotted a June Bug (Summer Chafer beetle) and whilst at the ecology centre we saw butterflies, moths, newts and slow worms galore, two toads, a couple of grasshoppers and plenty of small insects. The spot of the day was the largest Slow worm we think we’ve ever seen! It was easily over a foot long! Jasmine confidently picked it up and held it safely so we could all get a good look at it.. she is amazing that girl! She now, of course, wants to go back as soon as possible to look for it again and has told Gordon that, in future she is to be in charge of picking up the slow worms because she is better than him!