Friday, 16 May 2014

Week Two: 30 x 30 Nature Challenge

I have completed the second week of the David Suzuki NatureChallenge to get outside, preferably in nature, for at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days in May. Last week was a resounding success and I was highly motivated to get outside for over twelve hours, by biking, gardening, walking to school and playing at the beach.

This week was more challenging to get outside. It rained on and off for a few days this week, so I had to dash out into the garden in between rain showers. Then, at the end of Mother’s Day three of us got a stomach bug, which limited our ability to do much outside for the rest of the week.

Next week I hope to increase our time spent in more natural settings, by water and amongst trees, and to hopefully finally give geocaching a try.

Some Positives to being motivated to get outside each day: 
  • I am not just task oriented when I spend time outside gardening. Much of my time is spent just observing. I love sitting in one spot and watching the goings and comings of the insects and birds around me. It is amazing how busy nature can be.
  • My mood improves after being outside, particularly if the time is spent being active.
  • I have more daytime energy to get things done.
  • I am naturally a night owl, and I have a bad habit of staying up too late and regretting it the next day. For the last two weeks I have been more tired and ready for sleep.
  • My television viewing is generally limited to a few favourite shows that I catch up on in the evening. Because I am more tired, I have not been watching as much television. 
  • I am up-to-date with gardening tasks, which is a first for me. On more than one occasion it crossed my mind to procrastinate, but then I remembered that I needed to get outside for the challenge. This week I planted the second round of carrot seeds, thinned more beet and turnip seeds to give the stronger plants a chance to grow, transplanted my tomato seedlings, and started the sisyphean task of weeding. 

Here is my second week in photos:

This is where I spent the majority of my time outside this week:
my backyard garden.

Along with gardening chores, I am now spending time wandering around
my garden beds looking for food to harvest. This is kale and rhubarb.

My youngest daughter enjoyed watching the dragonflies and noticed this
one land on our fence for a rest. We spend over 10 minutes observing it.

I have let my kale go to seed, and in addition to the benefit of seed
collecting, I have been fascinated with all the pollinators the bright
yellow flowers have attracted to my yard. The plants are humming
with bees.

For Mother's Day I like going on outdoor adventures with my family.
This year we went to Fort Langley and learned about a
piece of our province's past. My girls' favourite part of the day was
panning for gold. 

I have been walking to swimming lessons with my class each day,
and I always enjoy the landscaping around city hall, especially these irises.

My favourite part of gardening is sitting and just observing. I even grabbed
a few minutes to put up my feet and have a coffee one morning.

By the end of this week everyone was feeling better and I managed to get
back on my bike to go shopping and meet a friend for coffee. I took my
favourite route home past Britannia Heritage Shipyards on the banks
of the Fraser River. 

Join me in the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge here.

Follow my progress with the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge here.

And follow my fellow Green Phone Boothers who are also participating:


  1. oh i LOVE your backyard garden!!! And I have to say that this weekend was spent mostly task oriented and stress over various backyard pests (ie hornets and ants) which decreased significantly my enjoyment of the outdoors.
    I hope someday we'll be able to have raised beds like yours!!

  2. Oh the backyard pests! Right now we're dealing with squirrels in our attic. We've worked hard the past 4 years on the backyard garden, adding something new each year. It's a work in progress. You'll be there before you know it.