Category Archives: walking

Chicktastic! First of the year?

Walking in Regent’s Park this morning – yes March 2nd – we saw the first ducklings of the year – 6 beautiful little coloured chicks from the Egyptian Geese.

Egyptian Geese and Chicks 2nd March 2014 20140302_125914

The mother was very anxious, quacking constantly, and Daddy stayed close too, not surprising really when the twitchers were saying that 5 juvenile peregrine falcons were flying low over the lake this very morning! Though usually peregrins prefer pigeons they may have been interested in a small snacket…

The geese also shouted at the moorhens and coots and anyone who got too close to their precious little ones. But curious pigeons were shooed off by one little chick! An aggressive little male no doubt..

This is really very early indeed to see chicks out and about..!

The goose is related to the shelduck and is very small and compact for a goose. Although originally brought in as ornamental birds they are now feral breeding quite successfully around and about – with several pairs on the Thames too. The RSPB estimate some 1100 pairs breed in the UK every year.

Each pair lays between 5 and 12 eggs which hatch after 28-30 days, so this pair must have started late January which is at the extreme beginning of the breeding season for them – they often breed right into May.  The female incubates while the male guards. The chicks take 2 years to become sexually mature.

They eat  a variety of plant matter including grasses, seeds, shoots, leaves, grain and crops. They also takes food items from shallow water, including algae and aquatic plants, and sometimes animal matter such as worms. So ideally suited for living in a park. They didn’t mind humans as after all they feed them  interesting bread stuff.

The herons had started sitting on their nests too and one inhabited nest  looked as though it would soon fall out of the tree it was so large and at such an angle – but no doubt the twigs were firmly woven in.

Lovely to see all this wildlife in the middle of the city surrounded by wonderful flowers too – amazing how many species are in bloom all at the same time. Even anemone de caen which should flower in April/May were out in full bloom amongst the snowdrops, daffodils, crocii and  other spring bulbs plus primroses, dwarf iris and various bushes including verbena bodnantense and one or two flowers on a ceanothus  bush too. Not to mention all the London not so wild life called tourists!

A lovely if briskly chill morning to be out and about.

My challenges to do! I am so not up to the mark

The ZerotoHero Challenges:

What I haven’t yet done: any decisions are indicated in italics 

I am so not finished with the Zerotohero 30 day challenges – I have completed around 20 of the 30 and trying to post every day is a nightmare.  In the event , I have managed to complete each time several tasks in one post around once every 5 days. The rest of my life just intervenes – between my two ‘jobs’ one for salary and one voluntary, and my health, and just going out and about with friends and husband. I read someone saying they set aside a specific time each week to write – no chance – my week just doesn’t run like that! So I needed to make a decision about my Editorial Calendar and have decided that if I say once a week something will be posted then if I post more that will be good news..

So I have to:

  1. write a round-up post linking to 3 others saying why;
  2. chat with other participants
  3. add another custom touch – I will keep changing the background image to the blog according to the latest topic.
  4. Setting up drafts for later – except here is one that I have created as a draft and then published – so no more drafts left. All a time thing – lack of that is.
  5. revisit a post and grow it – this will be Feminism as I have collected some new articles
  6. build on my popular content – that must be feminism again – and I have added a vegetarian recipe challenge as I couldn’t find one;
  7. create an editorial calendar and recurring scheduled event – this will be the monthly new vegetarian recipe – last day of the month – list topics to be dealt with in order – not possible but I have listed the topics;
  8. extend the brand – promote – create a new goal for the next 30 days – create a facebook avatar – blog about the goal and the schedule;
  9. publish!

Editorial Calendar:

February onwards:

  • Last day of the month or before there will be a post about the food challenge on that page;
  • Other posts will occur on a roughly weekly basis;

Topics to be covered in my posts:

  1. Feminism will be a regular item
  2. Books I have read will happen – long blogs if they are especially good, otherwise they will appear on the GoodReads widget as I complete them. I will also point towards sites where there are some good reviews;
  3. I will write at least once a month about films or plays or concerts I have seen – but I may have seen them a while ago…;
  4. Walks I have taken; especially around London;
  5. Gardens and houses or other historical places or touristy places I have visited;
  6. Exhibitions I have been to see;
  7. Odd facts and interesting and unusual words or sayings or other oddments;
  8. Occasional knitting ideas;
  9. Anything else that catches my fancy! Including but not limited to health, ageing and old women!

So overall, around 10 major topics that I will blog about but not always in that order and not every month..

Can you see London?

Here are a great set of videos and tweets all about London. visiting etc and hosted by the London Eye… why not?

And don’t forget all the other great things you can do in London while you are at it.. We shall be going to the following exhibitons very shortly:

* Klee at the Tate Modern

* Georgian Britain at the British Library

* The Vikings at the British Museum

**** and also we are going on a walk with Open City (Open-City is the capital’s leading architecture organisation. Over the last 22 years it has grown from showcasing the capital’s architecture annually to research, training, advice and campaigns that impact on the whole city.) We have booked for the Slow Architecture: City of London (in) Spires they say:

This one-off walking tour is part of our collaboration with the Royal Academy’s up and coming exhibition ‘Sensing Spaces’.

Taking the ethos of ‘Sensing Spaces’ out into London we are programming walks and tours embracing the idea of ‘Slow Architecture’. These expert-led tours will offer unique opportunities to look afresh at the buildings and spaces around us.

Alex Scott-Whitby of StudioAR, who won the RIBA ‘Forgotten Spaces’ competition with a proposal for turning unused City spires into low-rent creative studios will lead this tour through the City looking at the slow and changing nature of the architecture of the City of London and discuss their project (IN)spires which will take 30+ years to complete.