Slow Living :: September 2014



September is certainly the month for preserving.  My little dehydrator has been doing overtime, drying tomatoes, beetroot, courgettes and more fruit and vegetables to be stored for use over the winter.  I’ve also been drying calendula to make a soothing oil for skin and various herbs.


Having a little stock of crochet motifs handy is useful for patching trousers when children tear them in rollerskating accidents.  We’ve also been drawing and painting inspired by the colours of autumn.


We’re still visiting the Yorkshire Wildlife Park regularly.  What has surprised me is that there are a few new babies to be seen (I didn’t think it would be the time of year for it!)

We’ve seen a wallaby joey and some very adorable meerkat kits.

Pesky planes might just be birds of prey...

I assume this is mum, who ran over when a plane flew overhead.  It must bear some resemblance to a bird of prey, because all the adults stopped to watch it very carefully – you may take the meerkats out of the wild, but you clearly can’t take all of the wild out of the meerkats…



The leaves have been starting to turn and we’ve been exploring the autumn landscape, both as a family and with friends.



September brings the celebration of the Not Back to School Picnic.  Sadly I didn’t manage to get any decent pictures (mostly too busy talking!) The picnic is an annual public celebration of home education, where a large group gathers at the Peace Gardens in Sheffield for food, some fun in the fountains and to show that not all children go to school.  It’s a public example of the busy social life that many home educators have (contrary to what many might believe) and a reminder that school is not compulsory.

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52 Weeks of Nature :: September

Learning through observing nature is a very important part of our home education experience here, and although I’ve not been feeling particularly well over the past few weeks, we still try to get out as much as possible.  The below is a small selection of what we’ve found and identified (often with the help of the lovely people on the For The Love of Nature home ed group) as not all the photos we take come out well!  If you hover a mouse over the photos, there should be a caption for most of the photos.

Although September is very much a time of harvest, there’s still plenty of colour to be found.  Purple (and a splash of pink):

A couple of different (as yet specifically not identified) cranesbills were seen:

A few whites and yellows:

The beautiful red of poppies is still in the fields and we found a very hairy blue-flowering plant (probably a speedwell of some sort, but it has us and others stumped for the time being):

I’m never very good at capturing photos of the various animals that we see, so photos of anything but plants are usually a little sparse.

Fungi are appearing more and more and we were sorry to see these (spread across council land) mowed over the next day.


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