Hello Sunshine!

After the fun of Easter and our esteemed visitor leaving, we probably should have knuckled back down to the normality and reality of life, but the sun shone all week so we made the most of it with outdoor adventures and picnics for lunch and dinner as often as possible.  One of the ways having limited space matters less is that we spend most of our time outside from late March to late October.  Here are some of last week's adventures.

First we went to Bosham, a local village in the Chichester Basin with lovely old church and houses, great places to picnic, lots of eager ducks and swans, and a lovely stream to play in.  The water was a bit cold though, so Sophia held back from taking the plunge, whilst Miss Derring Do, Lara, just jumped straight in!  Tatiana was more interested in climbing the church wall though!

The road which goes around the inlet of houses is tidal, so lots of wonderful puddles and exciting bits of flotsam and jetsam, not to mention some rather stinky seaweed, is left behind.  The girls love to explore this and climb up and down the harbour walls

As with everything her sisters do, Tatiana is desperate to join in, but we're not sure how well she'd manage on the slippery surface or running alongside low walls.  So for now, she is safely encased in my carrier or Steve's, and looks on hopefully, whilst being entertained by her heroes.

No-one's quite sure when Sophia lost her skirt, but apparently a top and tights was quite the fashion that day!  I really like this moody photo she took of Lara, facing into the sun:

As it seems to be nigh on impossible to get a decent photo of my beautiful girls together, with at least one closing their eyes or looking in the opposite direction at the wrong moment, here are three individual ones from our lovely afternoon instead:

The next day we went to WWT at Arundel, our regular haunt.  It's so lovely to go regularly and see how all the plant and bird life changes month by month, there is always so much to see.  Being the school Easter holidays, they had also put on a 'find the ducks' hunt for the children, with chocolate prize at the end.  Can you spot one?!

To be honest, our girls were far more interested in spotting the real ducks, especially as there were several families of babies to see.  I know there is an expectation that these things are laid on for kids, but in this age of 'plugging in' to handheld consoles, iPods and car DVD players, is expecting them to just be interested in the real world that's all around them too much?  Can't a brood of ducklings or a new place to explore and nature to see be interesting in itself, without gimmicks or apps or playgrounds or whatever else?

I do find it slightly depressing that so few children seem to even notice an interesting plant, or hear the plop of a vole into the water and quietly dash to investigate, or want to stop and listen to the wind in the trees.  Ours aren't the only ones who enjoy this stuff, but they do sadly seem to be few and far between.  Anyway, rant over, here's a duck:

Sophia is so contemplative in nature, she always wants to take a moment to herself to just be, it's very sweet.  A couple of weeks ago she stood calmly and silently beside a sheep giving birth, and only came to tell anyone else when it was all over.  Her calming presence probably makes her a great birthing companion, I shall have to engage her services for the next one!  Although a couple of minutes later, she was chatting away to Steve and Tatia, so not always the quiet one.

Lara is fascinated by all the dried herbs and flowers in the apothecary hut and wants to know what they all are and what they can be used for.  She spends ages in there examining them all.

There was some rather over-zealous courting going on amongst some of the ducks, but a lot of the other birds like the geese and swans aren't there yet.  They were all rather laidback and happy to pose, even a chancing-his-luck adolescent seagull hoping to share the wildfowls' food, so we got some good shots:

There were lots of duck, coot and moorhen mamas on nests, including this one:

And some babies being introduced to the water for the first time.  It took him ages to take the plunge, but he eventually went in succesfully.  Very cute.  Sophia wanted to give him a round of applause when he finally plopped in.

And then we got next year's Easter card shots of this busy mama and her brood, so obliging of her to sit next to the narcissi!

After a muddy puddle play session, and getting covered in it, we had a quick cup of tea stop and then headed home, spotting a rather handsome pheasant strutting his stuff on the way.

Thursday and Friday saw trips to the beach, the garden centre and to meet the girls' lovely friend Ava in one of our local parks, so a really outdoorsy week.  Long may it continue.  Hello sunshine!

What have you been up to this past couple of weeks?  Lots of outdoor adventures?