Thursday, 27 August 2015

What practical clothes to pack for a festival





Over the last few days I've heard the excitement from friends, colleagues and people on the internet about the exciting festivals they are heading to this weekend. With the weather report looking a but ropey, many people have been discussing what clothes to take with them. Last year a shared my essential items to pack for a festivals. As a super prepared, practical festival goer I hope to help those in last minute panic mode decide on what practical clothing to pack.


Thin raincoat or mac

When it rains there isn't time to go back to the tent to find a coat- you will already be soaked. Pack a think raincoat that can be scrunched up into the bottom of your bag. You will be thankful to have to hand when the skies open just as your favourite act is about to come on stage. Below is a very excited me in my Bench mac.

Miss Jenni Tulip The Thrifty Mgapies Nest at Beat Herder Festival

Warm, waterproof boots

Welly boots are the iconic festival necessity but I also pack winter boots. It may seem excessive but come nightfall, the temperature drops and tootsies are prone to getting wet and cold. Wellies do a rubbish job of keeping feet warm, even with thick socks so I wear winter boots to keep my toes cozy and dry throughout the night. Tall boots like the ones below do a good a job of keeping mud at bay.


Warm hat

Temperatures can plummet at night and, if you are the type to carry on nattering back at camp long after the music has ended, a warm hat will help keep your whole body warmer. See that big white furry mass on my head in the photo below? That's my party hat and it keeps me lovely and warm.


Gloves

You may think I'm mad packing gloves as well as all these other things but they are work the 5cm squared of space they take up. Just those cheap fleecy ones will do. I keep them in my pockets for when it get's to 3am and I can't dance much longer and need to head back to the tent.


Small rucksack

Not strictly clothing but it goes on your body.  Having your hands free to hold drinks, through around in the air, erect tents, hug random people with 'free hugs' signs hanging around their necks and drag your fallen friend from the mud is essential. You also need someone to store your raincoat, money, phone, cider and glow sticks securely. Those mini rucksacks are ideal. Plus, if you are a lady, you have a better chance of getting a guy to hold it for you while you go to the loo thank you are if you pass them a handbag. 

Onesie

For me, there's nothing more satisfying than getting into my fleecy onesie then climbing into my sleeping bag. I'm one of those people who gets cold at night, no matter whether it is summer of winter. Just remember to wear a T-shirt underneath so you don't have to sit naked on the portaloo in the night!

Miss Tulip jennifer tulip at Beat Herder Festival in the mud

Leggings

Depending on the type of festival you are going to, you may spend quite a lot of time at night chilling out with other people in secluded locations, around the drum circle,  at camp or on the grassy area at the back of the crowds at the main stage. I typically do these things at festivals and can get cold quickly even though many girls are still walking around in hot pants, bare legs and crop tops. If you are a cold person like me, wear leggings under your jeans. They do wonders at keeping you warm. On really cold nights I wear them under my onesie in the sleeping bag, too. 

Afghan scarf

This versatile accessory is perfect for festivals- they keep your neck and face warm at night, keep the sun off your head during the day and even double up as something to lay down on the ground and sit on.

Miss Tulip at BeatHerder festival


As you can probably tell, I don't pack light. But at least I am super comfortable for the duration of my holiday. These are the items I pack, whatever the type of festival I'm going to and there recommend them to you :)

Keep warm, stay dry and have a fab time!





Tuesday, 25 August 2015

My festival safety tips

Jennifer tulip at Beat Herder Festival


Summer is my favourite time of the year because we have long days, warm weather (most of the time), lush green countryside and festivals.

With the August Bank Holiday coming up in just a few days, I have been reminiscing about my first real festival experience; Leeds festival 2003 when Blur and Linkin Park headlined.

I just had to remind myself of the lineup by looking for an old poster on the internet. What a good line up it was

Leeds festival 2003 line up

I remember heading to the main stage with my friend as The Darkness kicked off their set and holding my position in a determined manor until Blur walked on stage, probably some 10 hours later. My favourite band and I was at the front. I was meters away from Damon Albarn and it felt like heaven. It also felt like I was been crushed by a stampede of baby elephants but I didn’t care. I was at the front.

I was just 16 when I went to this festival. Looking back, it seems crazy I spent 4 days alongside tens of thousand of people. I was so vulnerable when I was 16. I went with my good friend of the time, who was the same age and camped with a few other friends but we were all so young.

A few weeks ago I was at Beat-Herder festival and many of the clientele seemed so young. Now I am older and wiser and understand the potential dangers of festivals to young people and worry what the young people will be exposed to. I then remind myself that I was their age once and the dangers were just the same then.

Kendal Calling festival main stage and crowd

Going to festivals has been a big part of my life and has shaped the person  I am today. Festivals feel like a world of their own, cut off from reality. I can truly relax and relieve my mind of any anxieties I face in everyday life. They provide the perfect setting to express your personality because anything goes at a festival. You can wear what you like, dance how you like, laugh as much as you like and sing as loud a you like.

I recently read this Female First post by Pryers Solicitors which lists dangers that single people should be careful of when attending festivals. Although I think all the points are valid, I think the explanations and advice could be a bit more detailed and apply to all festival goers, whatever their relationship status, age or gender. Using the same potential dangers listed in the post,  here's my advice for each one:


1. Spiking

It can happen. There are people out there who are looking for easy targets so just be aware of your drinks at all times. Avoid putting them down while you dance and if you need to go to the toilet, ask a friend to hold it. The horrible people are looking for opportunities so don’t give them one. Although some of the symptoms of spiking drugs are similar to being drunk, the feeling is different. If you don’t feel right, tell a friend straight away and take a rest. If you still don’t feel right then tell a member of security. These horrid drugs can suddenly knock you out unexpectedly so it’s best someone keeps an eye on you.

Boombox stage at Boomtown festival

2. Alcohol

I fell like a mother writing this but – watch how much you drink. Festivals are a fantastic place to be when tipsy but being too drunk at a festival can also be really miserable. Your friends want to have fun so don’t become a liability. That’s when bad stuff can happen. Friends who have also been drinking may not realise how drunk you are and wander off innocently, leaving you on your own.
Sun and/or hot weather combined with alcohol can cause hot exhaustion. I’ve suffered sun stroke at festivals and it is a weekend-ruiner. Having it come out of both ends is bad enough when you’re in the comfort f your own home. Imagine trying to rush to the portaloo when the queue is 5 people deep….! Yer, you get the picture.
Just take it steady. You have the whole weekend

3. Drugs

Drugs are rife at festivals and people often get into all sorts of difficulties as a result. I’ve witnessed people paraletic on the floor, people been rushed to hospital in ambulances and been at festivals where people have died. You wot know what people are selling you. It could be anything. I’ve heard of cases where drugs have been positively tested for rat poison- that’s scary. Just avoid.

Jennifer tulip at Arcadia at Boomtown festival

4. Sex

If sweaty, smelly tent sex is ok with you then at least protect yourself from STIs and unwanted babies. Being a hippy baby was cool in the 70s but imagine telling your child they are the result of drunken mistake in a field with someone you had just met. Take condoms with you or go to the medical tent to get some for free. They are FREE for gods sake.

5. Assaults

Alcohol and adrenaline can turn some people into animals so just be aware that not all people get happy-drunk. Stick with friends, never go back to the tent by yourself and don’t be tempted to answer back to trouble makers.

Miss Tulip Jennifer Tulip dancing on car at Boomtown Festival

6. Crowds

Obviously there will be crowds but just be aware of how dangerous crowds can be. I’ve been at festivals where people have died from getting crushed. I’ve been crushed to the point I cant breathe and it is very, very scary. In general crowds are really supportive of each other and will pick people up when they fall but sometimes it’s impossible to escape.

7. Theft

It doesn’t matter which festival you go to there will always be thefts. Never ever leave valuables in your tent. Leave your tent messy and take everything out of bags so thieves have nothing to grab people. It isn’t uncombed for thieves to enter tents while people are in them sleeping. Keep your purse and phone in your sleeping bag so they cant get to them and if, heaven forbid, they come in while you are asleep. Stay still and pretend you are asleep. Let them take your things. You are in a sleeping bag and they have the advantage of having their arms free and are above you. If they panic they may punch you. This is a super scary thought but it happens all the time. Report any suspicious behaviour to security. Never use a padlock on your tent. If you see a padlock what’s yur initial thought? ‘oooh must be something valuable in there’. They will slash your tent then you will be left without your belongings and a broken tent.

Field of tents at Boomtown Festival

8. Crowd surfing

Not sure why anyone would want to do it. It hurts. You can lose our shoes and glasses and, at worse, you could get chucked out of the festival.

9. Mobile phone

The best thing I have bought this year is this battery pack which was recommended to me by fellow blogger Zoe of Splodz Blogz. It cost under £20 and can charge an iPhone 6 times (I’ve tested this). I keep it plugged into my phone at the bottom of my sleeping bag on a night then it will last all the next day. If you are prone to losing things, you could take an old phone and put your Sim card in it. If you take your current phone please please please take some sort of insurance out before you go. But do be warned, not al insurance policies cover phones in public places such as festivals.

Kendal Calling festival sign

10. Risky business

If you see something odd going on, don’t involve yourself. If you are concerned for someone’s safety, make security aware. Don’t feel like a dobber – you may actually save someone’s life. It’s common for people to set portaloos alight and I witnessing them burn is horrifying; they collapse in a melted heap in seconds. It would be impossible to get out alive.


If you are a festival newbie or veteran heading to Leeds, Reading, Shambala or any of the other amazing festivals happening around the UK this Bank Holiday,  remember to stay safe but most of all, have fun!






Friday, 21 August 2015

The time I went on the BBC's The One Show


Jennifer Tulip with The One Show bust poster The Thrifty Magpies Nest





 I wasn't sure whether it was a scam when I saw the email from the Assistant Producer of The One Show in my inbox at 6pm last Tuesday evening, asking if I could be on the show the next evening.

A quick check of the person's name on LinkedIn was enough evidence to convince my overcautious self it was genuine. I was asked to share a money saving tip on the show and, even though I do simple things everyday to save money, I couldn't for the life of me think what to reply with.  I did what I normally do in such situations and called my sister to discuss. After excitedly explaining what was happening, the idea came to me. Yogurt! I make yogurt and save a fortune. I had written a blog post about making yogurt a year ago so fired the link of to the Assistant Producer. She replied saying she loved the tip and asked me to confirm I could get to London the next day.

What was I to wear? My hair colour was all washed out and patchy. What if I messed up my lines? What were my lines? What did they actually want me to do?

All these things were going through my head but I'm not really the sort of person to get nervous. I was stupidly excited.  And Dave and my step dad, Ian, were even more excited than me!

I shared the news on The Thrifty Magpies Nest Facebook page and messaged my close friends while heading down to the Big Smoke.

On arrival I was taken to a room by a lovely chap who's name I cant remember. At this point I only knew that two other bloggers were to also be featured on the show but didn't know who or even what I was doing.



The lovely Assistant Producer met with me and explained everything and I got even more excited. The three of us were to present our best money saving tip to Anne Robinson, in the theme of the Weakest Link. She was going to choose which blogger she thought was the 'The Cheapest Link'. Awesome. She told me that the Ricky of Skint Dad Blog, who I met at Savoo's Smartest Shopper awards last year, that I was shortlisted for, and Emma of Mums Savvy Savings.

Jenni Tulip The Thrifty Magpies Nest on the One Show

Ricky arrived shortly after and we shared our excitement and practiced our lines. There was a rehearsal in the studio and then we had our make up done. While sat in the chairs Anne Robinson walked into the room and asked the make up ladies for some chewing gum and said hello to Ricky before disappearing back into the studio. We glanced at each other with a mutual 'that was surreal' type look.



It was then time for the real thing! The three of us took our positions at the podiums and kept glancing at each other and smirking with excitement. The audience where ushered in to the studio, which is surprisingly smaller than I had imaged. The room was full of cameras and staff with headsets.



Then the show began. "Onnnnne Oneeeeee Oneeeeee Onnnnne," I mimed to the opening credits.

Everything then just went so quickly. The camera came around to me and I spoke my lines. Anne announced Emma as the 'cheapest link' and then that was it!

Jenni Tulip The Thrifty Magpies Nest on the One Show


It was heard to hear what the presenters Alex Jones and Ore Oduba were saying from where we were but heard that Ore didn't think my yogurt tasted like yogurt.  Maybe he's just used the fake taste of Activa pots. Trust me though, it's lovely, especially with honey.

We remained in the audience for the rest of the show then as all the audience left, Anne came over to congratulate us and ask us whether we enjoyed ourselves, which was kind of her. We then asked for 'selfies' with Anne and she willingly obliged.

"Am I alright to hug you for the photo Anne?" I asked.

"You can do whatever you want," Anne replied.

Jenni Tulip The Thrifty Magpies Nest and Anne Robinson on The One Show

After saying goodbye to Alex, Ore, Anne and all the very friendly staff we were taken to our taxis to the station then I headed back up to Yorkshire on the train.

Jenni Tulip The Thrifty Magpies Nest Ricky Willis Skint Dad The One Show


I loved every second and, even though my moment of fame lasted no more than 10 seconds, it was totally worth it.

Next gig, Springwatch with Magnus the magpies (I wish!).


You can catch the full show on iPlayer here. Catch the three of us in 'The Cheapest Link' at 11 minutes and 45 seconds in.

Jenni Tulip signature






Monday, 27 July 2015

What's in my walking rucksack

Jennifer Tulip walking in the Yorkshire Wolds

The 'what's in my bag' theme is particularly popular among beauty and fashion bloggers but I'm not the sort of girl who wants to know which make up mirror and lipstick brand fits neatly in to the pocket of a Louis Vuitton hand bag. I'm not really the sort of person to who wants to make sure I have the latest product to fit in with my piers. I'm a cheapskate and I'm just not interested.

However, what I LOVE to read about is the type of practical kit other people buy and use for outdoor activities such as festivals, camping and walking. Last year I wrote a post about what to take to a festival. You can read it here. I doesn't include the latest fashion trends but it does tell you what I wee in at night to avoid going to the stinky portaloos in the dark.

So, I thought I would share the things I pack into my day sack for a walk in the Yorkshire Wolds. I'll tell you now, I'm not a big spender and not so fussed about sporting the coolest outdoor brands. I tend to choose things that are low cost but will do their job well. I'm not particularly gadgety either (I leave that to my geeky partner, Dave) but I do get super excited about practical things that will make my walk comfortable.

Without further ado, here's what's in my walking rucksack:


Day rucksack

My day rucksack was bought in the Trespass shop about 4 years ago. It was in the sale and cost about £20. It's lasted very well and it's still in good condition. I love the wide, padded waste band to take some of the pressure off my back and onto my hips and it has enough space to fit everything in the list below. The only downside is the look of it. It makes the wearer look like a tortoise.

Jennifer Tulip eating a pack up on a walk


OS Map

It goes without saying really but an OS map is important on any walk if you aren't familiar with. I love OS maps; the feel of them, the look of them, the purpose of them. So much detail about every nook and cranny around you.


Waterproof jacket

Whatever the weather looks like when I set off, I will still always pack my waterproof. I recently got this super lightweight jacket from Sportsshoes.com. It scrunches up into a spall space and easily fits over my fleece top.

Jennifer Tulip in a waterproof jacket

Fleece jacket

I normally have my fleece jacket on rather than in my bag but I it's important I can strip some layers when I get too warm and fit them into my bag. My favourite fleece is from Trespass and cost around £20. Personally, I don't see the point in spending lots of money on a fleece. As long as it is thick and warm then it will do the job.

Head torch

Have you been on a walk that's taken just a bit longer than expected causing you to pretty much run in order to find your car before it gets so dark you can't see the footpath signs? Well, I did it just the once. Now I take my head torch on every long walk.

Toilet roll

When nature calls, you gotta go! I love peeing outside (yeah, I'm weird) because you get a great view and a few moments alone to appreciate nature from the eye level of a badger. I love natural stuff but using a doc leaf to wipe my lala isn't my idea of 'being at one with nature'. I stuff toilet roll sheets into one of my bag's pockets and keep a small sandwich bag to house the used tissue. The sandwich bag also comes in handy for any curiosities I find for my nature shelves, such as skulls.

Snoode

Snoodes are THE BEST THING when caught out in the icy wind on top of a hill. I have two- a purple one with two layers- thin material and fleece- that matches all my purple gear. The other one is a super-cool (my only cool walking item) Buff from Kitshack.com. It has a really soft hood built in and is so cosy. Dave has a Buff too. He has a neck like a giraffe so it's important he covers it up to retain warmth. Here's a photo of us on Snowden earlier this year.

Jennifer Tulip and Dave Mackarill in their Buffs


Penknife

A knife, tweezers, toothpick and saw all in one. Perfect for getting out splinters on the go and for carving oneself a walking stick to feel like Ray Mears.  A penknife is super practical in emergencies and, well, you're not a real outdoorsman/outdoorswoman if you don't have a penknife!(spell check says 'outdoorswoman' isn't a word- get into the equal world Mac!)

Gloves

A godsend when that icy wind hits while you are studying a map. I searched for ages to find a pair I was happy with. I wanted gloves that are waterproof and windproof but don't have the bulk of ski gloves. Finally, I discovered these SealSkinz gloves while browsing an outdoors shop in Northumberland. I've written a review of them here.



Waterproof hat

Like gloves,  I searched for a while to find the perfect hat. One that is windproof, waterproof, covers my ears and is warm. This style is perfect. Well, not perfect if you want to look remotely attractive while walking, but otherwise it's ideal. Several brands offer hats in this style but they all cost around £30 unless you get a bargain in the sale. I got mine half price so was very happy. Here's a pic of me in the hat with Dave up on Cadair Idris in Snowdonia looking like models in a walking catalogue (not).


Gaiters

Want to look like a real hiker? Get ya gaiters on! These bad boys will keep your ankles and shins dry while you wade through mud and bog. We all took a direct route (got lost) on Kinder Scout while on the Outdoor Bloggers weekend earlier this year and ended up tackling the huge bog on top of the plateau. My gaiters worked wonders. Mine are just cheap ones so unfortunately my legs get clammy really quickly. Spending a bit more on breathable ones would be a wise investment.

Water proof trousers

Can you tell I have a fear of getting wet? Lot's of waterproof items in my bag. I used to have a pair of those cheap £10 over trousers that come in a little bag but they are horrid on long wet walks. They just make your legs sweat and overheat. I got these fab ones from Mountain Warehouse. They cost around £50, are breathable, and have poppers all the way up to the waistband making them easily to get on mid-walk as soon as the rains starts to fall. However, I still choose to take the rubbish pair on really short walks that are just a couple of hours long as they are lighter to carry and take up less space.

Flask and cup

Squatting behind a rock to shelter from the wind on top of a hill is made enjoyable by a hot cup of tea. We always take a flask of tea or hot chocolate for half way.

Pack up

If we are out for the day, or just over lunch, we take a pack up. Our typical pack up consists of sandwiches, salt and vinegar crisps, a chocolate bar and a pack of tangy sweets.

First aid kit

Boring but necessary. I normally get Dave to carry it. I keep blister plasters in the kit, too.

Lipgloss

No, it's not make up, honestly! Lipgloss or vaseline gives great relief to lips made sore by the cold and wind. Annoying when my hair then stick to my face though.

Binoculars 

I love birdwatching so binoculars are an essential but they also come in handy for scouting out footpath signs from a distance. Have you ever entered a field and cant see where the footpath goes? Straight on, parallel with the fence or diagonal? Binoculars allow you to see that bit further and can prevent marching in the wrong direction.

Money

The temptation of a country pub is usually high for the typical hiker. Carry some pennies so you can treat yourself to a pint. We have a rule in our relationship- Dave will take me for a walk along as there is a pub at the end. Deal.


Those are my essentials for every walk. I hope you find the list helpful if you are a novice or look to take up walking and if you are a walker, I hope my list is comparable to yours.

Is there something in your bag that isn't on my list? I would love to know what. Leave me a comment as I would love to talk geeky walking stuff with you.














Monday, 13 July 2015

Meet Magnus the magpie


Jennifer Tulip and magpie

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you will have already been subjected to my inundation of Magnus the magpie-related posts.




Magnus was a helpless, boney chick with feather quills emerging from his pink skin when we took him in at about a week old. He was an eating and pooping machine living in a pretend nest made from the hood of Dave’s old hoodie inside a plant pot.



His feathers grew at an astonishing rate. I’ve raised many chicks over the years but each time I’m mesmerised by how fast they grow. The change, even between morning and evening was dramatic.




As a chick we fed him a varied picnic including boiled egg, ferret food, peas, mealworms, and earthworms. When he was in the nest his food was prepared into individual tupaweares lined up along the counter top next where his nest lived. Now he eats pretty much anything he can get his beak on.
tame magpie chick



After a couple of weeks Magnus left the nest and spent most of his time hopping around the front room or in a parrot cage where he slept. On a morning he would hop over the duvet, getting the hang of using his legs, as we sat drinking our cups of teas in bed. He had bursts of activity for about 10 minutes and then would settle down for a nap.






Once he could fly and land confidently, he moved into the large aviary measuring 8 x 6 meters which is filled with a few young trees, lots of branches for perches and natural ground flora. It gives him plenty of room to stretch his wings and explore. The aviary has a birdhouse attached to it so he has a warm and dry place to go if he chooses.




When we are outside he flies around free, but always under our watchful eyes. Farmers in the area catch and kill magpies so I’m extra carful he doesn’t wander too far. Boris, the rook I had a couple of years ago, suddenly disappeared one day. I like to think he met some other rooks and started a new life but it’s always in the back of my mind that he could have been shot. I try not to think about that possibility too much.




All members of the corvid family- magpies, jackdaws, jays, crows, rooks, ravens etc.- are highly intelligent. One study suggests they are more intelligent than the great Apes



The way Magnus explores and engages with everything shows how bright he is. He explores everything with his beak by carefully touching an object to test how it responds then starts pecking the object roughly to see what happens then. He can use his beak so delicately and accurately to open something up or move things around.



From a distance, the colours of the magpie can appear to be just back and white. Yet up close, the black feathers are iridescent, like oil floating on water. Just look at the beautiful colours of Magnus' feathers in the photo below of him sunbathing. When birds sunbathe they go into a trance-like state. It's rather hilarious.




Many people believe crows and their cousins are evil yet they get their bad name due to being inquisitive, clever and so deeply misunderstood. Old folk laws still live on, hundreds of years after the stories were first told. Some are true though- magpies do love shiny thing! All corvids do. We had a jackdaw that would collect shiny objects (and anything else he could get his beak on) and hide them in a bucket that was used as a shower in the caravan we lived in. Before each shower the bucket had to be emptied before it was filled with water. I've raised several corvids over the years, some of which you can read about in this post.

The name of this blog, The Thrifty Magpies Nest, was derived from my love for magpies and their reputation for collecting treasures, and now the blog has its very own mascot.

To conclude, I have written a little rhyme:

If you aren’t a fan of magpies,
then maybe I can convince you otherwise,
by showing you lots of photos,
and videos.
So follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,
for lots of Magnus spam.




Thursday, 2 July 2015

30 Days Wild: The last couple of weeks

Jennifer Tulip in a sleeping bag in wildflower meadow

Wow. The 30 days in June zoomed by. Collating these photos has allowed me to reflect on the last two weeks of June by provoking my mind to remember what I did each day. We have completed half of the calendar year already yet it feels just a a couple of months since I dragged the christmas tree (it's only a miniature specimen) and its pot out of the patio doors and considered where it should remain for the next twelve months in the wood. I can see the christmas tree from where I'm sitting on the deck writing this, with its slightly drained-looking leaves, presumably a result of the lack of water during this glorious weather. 

The days go so quickly -eat, sleep, work, repeat- and even with the long evenings (why they call them  long evenings, I'm not sure. We don't actually get any extra time), I have found it difficult to do something wild each day. On reflection I do actually do something wild each day. They just aren't things that will picture well or, at least, sound remotely interesting to you, the reader. 

So I confess to you, my readers, and The Wildlife Trusts. I have failed to do a Random Act Of Wildness each day for the thirty days of June. I consider myself a wild child (yes, I live in Never Never Land) and I live in the middle of a wood that's so far from any internet exchange we can only get 0.20mBs speed (another story for another day). 

Without further ado, here's my photo journal of my last Random Acts Of Wildness:



13. After a 5k run along country paths with my sister in the Yorkshire Wolds, I caught my breath in this beautiful field.  The barley rippled gently in the wind, creating wave-like movements. 



14. Insects are not my strong point. I'm not sure what species of bee this is. I should have got the guide book out while the bee was around as it's difficult to identify just from this photo. If you know what it is, it would be great if you could leave a comment at the end of this post.



15. I counted and photographed cuckoo spit



16. For about 10 minutes I gazed at this Ichneumon wasp as it investigated this recently sawn larch board. This specimen was about 6cm long. Their impressive ovipositors (that long tail) is used for injecting an egg into a grub living in wood.  The larvae will hatch and eat the grub from the inside-mmm. It's completely harmless despite its sting-like looking ovipositor. 


17.  My new Snugpak Softie Chrysalis sleeping bag from e-outdoors.co.uk arrived in the post and I couldn't wait to try it out, so I did. I walked into a clearing in the wood where wildflowers grow and got in it. It was very snug. I could have easily slept right the if it wasn't for the insects getting in my ears and on my face. 



17. We spotted this beautiful display of lilies while on an evening dog walk



18. This spider was under a stacked larch board. She closely guarded her two egg sacks while I took a photo of her (from a distance). Spiders are pretty much the only animal I'm scared of. Thow me a scorpion, snake or mouse any day. Just not a spider because my heart will jump out of my throat. 



19. This one is a bit hard to make out. It was getting dark at the time. We dragged Dave's brother and best friend into 'the wild' by tempting them with the zipline. The zipline in the wood has slackened over the years and a fallen tree landed on the wire, stretching it, earlier in the year. The guys attempted to tighten the line but darkness set in. It kept them entertained for an hour or so though.




20. We took an evening dog walk along the Pocklington canal which was beautifully peaceful, apart from several chattering reed warblers which have a scratchy-sounding call.  This is a brick road bridge and in the background is a lock. I love canals and the concept of locks but I'm not keen on the locks. There's something erie about them; large, deep, unnatural rectangular boxes. I would hate to fall in one. Apparently someone died in this one some years ago. They can be dangerous places.


Jennifer Tulip and paddy lurcher dog walking

21. On Tuesday evening we visited Allerthorpe Common close to my home in East Yorkshire to look for adders. The lowland heath habitat is ideal for snakes and I hoped they would be basking in the glorious sun. However, we got there a bit too late and the sun was too low and the landscape was all in shadow. It was still an enjoyable walk and we spotted a good variety of flora along the way.



Twenty one out of thirty is a poor result but it goes to prove we all need to be proactive and plant to get out into the wild regularly.

For me, the wild makes me feel safe, sane, peaceful, relaxed and content.

How does the wild make you feel?

If you took part in #30daysWild I would love to hear from you. Follow me on Twitter here or comment below so we can chat :)

I better go water that Christmas tree.