More About Autumn

Hello fiends,

This week has been fun and busy again but, I’ve been thinking – loads of things happen in Autumn so, thought we’d have a look at some more of them. They’ll be lots of scary Halloween things coming into the shops soon and adverts for local Fireworks Night Displays but, we’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks.

witch

There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for those events: if you and your fiends are building a bonfire; keep an eye out that no hedgehogs make their winter nest in the bottom (check it each week and on the night) and if you have a dog or cat or little pet who’s not keen on big bangs and flashes – think about getting advice from your vet now, this week, about products and ways you can help it all be a little less stressful. Don’t mind saying; me and my cat sisters are pretty scared of fireworks and we stay very close to mum!! My fiend Rufus hides under loads and loads of cushions!

garden-fireworks-hero-m

Back to other Autumn things: the bird world gets really busy. Me and my fiends love watching the Starlings doing that crazy flying thing. It’s brilliant; hundreds of Starlings collect together in trees, or on piers, or TV aerials or on roofs and all sing together, like a massive out of tune school choir. This is called roosting and then suddenly – they all take off together, flying in patterns all over the sky, whizzing about, looking like they can’t decide which way to go but, all staying together and going in the same direction!

starlings

Loads of Starlings flying together like this is called; ‘murmurations’, my fiend Moja says it looks like Bird Ballet! Bird experts think they do it as protection, that’s ‘safety in numbers’, or it’s a way of signposting the place to roost to other Starlings that are new to the area. I think the ‘safety in numbers’ idea is true –  when they’re all flying together it can look like a giant shadow monster!! Which is pretty scary if you think about it?!?

geese

 The other thing Starlings and birds of all types do in Autumn is get ready to migrate – that means they fly off to live somewhere else for the colder months, like a winter holiday. So, some of those new Starlings flying around near your house could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe who have come to the UK as, our winter is warmer than theirs! You can often spot birds flying in a V shape formation in the winter skies when they are heading off to warmer places.

Some Swans, fly all the way to the Arctic as, it has a really good short summer there when it’s cold here. And in the Artic Summer there’s twenty-four-hour daylight and loads of food to fatten them up before the flight home. What a long way to go for a slap up meal – Joe Allens would be easier and nearer!

Birds are fast and can go anywhere if they have enough energy so, they can fly to the best places for food and to live safely through the winter. The RSPB website and books are a great place to get more info.

There’s lots of reasons birds migrate but, the experts think that sometimes it’s just because they can! But some don’t go at all including, the beautiful Red Kite which is the bird on the left below.

bird

Until next week, keep your eyes open for Starlings and their Bird Ballet and see if you can spot flocks of birds migrating.

swans

 

Have a good week fiends

Rx

 

All About Autumn

 

Hello fiends!

Another busy week and all sorts of exciting changes going on, from the Great British Bake Off news to the start of Autumn; the season when all of nature starts changing and getting ready for Winter.leaves-1 It’s a great time for me and my fiends to go for brisk, crisp walks in the colourful woods and countryside.

We can see farmers harvesting their crops, leaves starting to change colour on the trees, the sun’s lower in the sky, it’s getting dark a little earlier and our mums might need to wear a cardigan as, it’s chillier.When the weather’s like this; the chemical that makes leaves trees green (Chlorophyll) begins to break down while other chemicals (including Carotene) remain to give the leaves their fantastic yellow, red and brown colours.

jules-tree

 

Fir trees and other Evergreens don’t change colour or drop their leaves. Squirrels often build their nests, called a dray, in the Evergreens as, it’s warm and sheltered.

Today I saw a squirrel busily collecting acorns and nuts ready for the winter. Isn’t it clever they remember where they’ve hidden them. Mind you, I never forget where I’ve hidden my bones…then I can spot if my fiends; Buster or Max are trying to snaffle them.

Here I am guarding my stash.leaves-1-1

 

I wondered how did Autumn get its name? It seems the name ‘Fall’ was used here in England in the olden days –  now it’s mostly used in America. It’s short for; ‘fall of the leaf’.  ‘Autumn’ comes from the French word ‘automne’.

Other words we’ve got from our French fiends include; ballet, café, mousse and omelette!

Us dogs love running and playing in a pile of scrunchy leaves and Hedgehogs are glad for the leaves too, using them to help make their den when they hibernate – the time they sleep through the coldest months of winter.presentation1

A great thing for you with colourful leaves is; make a bird picture by sticking leaves together onto paper or card or with drier leaves create some leaf prints by painting the leaf and putting it’s imprint onto paper like the ones below– Aunty Jules used do the leaf prints on spare, plain wallpaper and then use it to cover her schoolbooks. You can see how to do those and lots of other leafy craft ideas on websites including: Activity Village and Nurture Store.dd

In the woods today I spotted loads of different nuts and berries. Mum collected elderberries and juicy blackberries to make homemade jam and bake a yummy crumble! thh98331j8And don’t forget Conkers from the Horse Chestnut tree – they’re great for the famous conkers game and also look very good on the nature table or in an Autumn themed display.

Have fun spotting the wildlife and with your blackberry bakes!

autumn-1

 

 

 

Until next time fiends.

Rx

30 Days Wild

Hi fiends! Have you had a good week out in the sunshine? I hope you haven’t been working too hard.

I have been busy with an extra special challenge from the Wildlife Trusts who have a #30DaysWild challenge going on for the whole of June.

buttercup bliss

I am 12 days in as of today and have been having a fantastic time. I normally go on a walk once or twice a day anyway, but I have been paying lots more attention to all the wildlife and habitats around me. The Wildlife Trusts have also provided me with lots of fun facts and things to encourage me.

Did you know…?

There are more than 600 species of spider in Britain

Every adult hedgehog has around 7000spines covering its back and sides

Underneath their stripes, Zebras have black skin! So I guess that means they are black with white stripes.

Pandas spend as much as 16 hours a day eating

Tigers have striped skin as well as striped fur to keep themselves fully camouflaged

Starfish don’t have blood, seawater runs through them

Orangutans are ticklish!

Octopuses have nine brains! One in their centre and one in each leg.

 

But you probably won’t get the chance to see an octopus or a panda or any very very wild animals. You might get to see some insects or birds of prey! I see lots of exciting animals and their homes on my walks. I’ve even swum with fishes off the shore at Ilfracombe and taken a dip in the reservoir.

 

As you can see I haven’t spent much time inside recently, only to write this blog!

 

If you fancy giving the challenge a go, take a look here. You might have missed a few days but it doesn’t matter, as long as you give it a try!

Send me your photos and let me know what you discover on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Until next time fiends

R x

P.S My new video will be out today, you can find it here.

 

Here is last weeks if you missed it!