Thursday, 18 July 2013

Winter wander in the Park

We live in a country with a calendar full of days listed as beautiful one day, perfect the next. So when winter bites the idea of outdoor activities can be slightly less appealing on a cold and dreary day.

But a wander through the park in winter holds just as must interest as in summer. We don't mean a boring adult walk through the park either. We mean a proper child-like scavenge that tickles the senses. It's a different place during the colder winter months, perhaps not as many bright summer colours or sunshine-filled days, but jam packed with textures, sounds and typical winter visions.

You may need to chuck on a beanie or scarf but the crisp air will get your blood pumping in no time and you can be guaranteed the dog will love it no matter what the weather.

Things to keep an eye out for in the winter parklands:

FLOWERS - There are plenty of winter flowering blooms and they vary so much. From the dainty iris to the masses of camellias and the sophisticated magnolias you will see beauty everywhere. Touch them, smell them and most of all describe them like you would to a child - velvety, pastel shades, two-tone, faint aromas, lone rangers. Although manners say we shouldn't pick them, those that have fallen to the ground are definitely fair game.

SEED PODS - Where to start! There are heaps and they are each so very, very different. From the small wafer thin varieties to the round spikey ones and the soft velvety versions, you will run out of adjectives before you run out of interest here.

LEAVES - Winter is possibly the best time to wander through the leaves. All crunchy underfoot, they provide the best audio snippet for a walk in the park. There are heaps of plants that lose their leaves over these cooler months and it's so calming to spend a bit of time checking them out, feeling their dried delicacy, spinning them between your fingers and throwing/ kicking fistfuls into the air. But of course the best activity is mounding them up for the perfect resting spot. Go on, you know you want to.

STICKS - Think big, think twitchy, think walking stick, think sword. It's almost an unconscious act to pick up a stick and give it a twirl. So don't let us hold you back, get scavenging. Find yourself a good stick. Not only are they great for poking amongst the mulch with (to seek out other interesting things) but when combined with leaves and flowers they make amazing sculptural pieces.

We had a blast wandering and scavenging amongst the garden beds. So much so that we brought some of our finds home. There's nothing better than a free, self-made floral arrangement. We like to think it's on the modern art side of decorating.

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