A five-day-old seal became separated from its mother and stranded in a field of cows at an RSPB sanctuary on the banks of The Wash in Lincolnshire. She was saved by a birdwatcher who spotted her plight and took her to a local nature reserve where she will be released back into the wild once she has recovered from her ordeal.
August 30th - I don’t go to Shire Oak Park nearly enough. This Local Nature Reserve, which was once a sand and gravel quarry exploiting the bunter sandstone ridge on the crest of Shire Oak Hill, is a wonderful and rare place. It’s teaming with wildlife, from rabbits to amphibians, mustelids to owls. In this sandy, sheltered enclave, deciduous trees like oaks and birch (and even the odd maple) are thriving, and the outside world seems a long way away.
The reserve is maintained by Walsall Council and on this dull Saturday afternoon, it struck me how clean and litter free the place was. Like all such spots, there’s occasional nuisance from ASB and the odd idiot, but this is a lovely, little known place.
The heather in bloom is gorgeous here, but as with everywhere else, the oaks have had a bad year, with leaf miners and a lack of acorns startlingly evident. Also, I was puzzled by the white appearance of the unrecognised shrub I spotted by the main steps. Can anyone help? Is this disease, pest or normal?
December 10th - I hopped onto the cycleway at Pelsall Lane, and passing by Mill Lane Local Nature Reserve, the familiar Walsall skyline was pleasingly in a shaft of light.
I’m not really keen on this cycleway. It should be fast and direct - but it’s potholed and slow, and surprisingly hilly here; but this view is always worthwhile.
Allegedly, bad weather was rolling in. The weather sensationalists who seem to get so much attention these days were calling it a ‘weather bomb’ but all I felt was a cold, relentless wind from the south west - the direction in which I was headed.
Like moons, we don’t seem to get normal weather anymore. It has to be 'most… since records began’ the whole time, just as we once got a full moon, it now has to be a 'supermoon’.
Spare me the hyperbole. It was nippy. And windy. But it did blow me home.
Building bonds between sorority chapters is a terrific idea for every Panhellenic council. Having fun together is a great way to promote unity and strengthen greek life on campus! One of the best ways to socialize is to match sorority chapters together. That way two chapters can get to know each other better and the group size stays manageable. Rotate the pairs each month, or each semester.
🎀 20 “Two Sorority” Panhel Social Ideas: 🎀
Sorority Spa Day: In an event room, set up nail and makeup stations for the sisters. Play music and serve fun food like popcorn, cupcakes, or other favorite treats.
Ice Cream Social: Build your own sundaes and socialize. Add something fun like waffles and cookies to make ice cream sandwiches. Theme the event “retro” or “Southern” for extra sparkle.
Hike and Picnic: Host a panhel hike in your local nature reserve or scenic area. Hike around the lake or the woodland trail. End your excursion with a tasty box lunch picnic.
Museum, History, or Art Tour: Gather for a tour of your downtown art galleries. museums, or historical area. Play tourists in your college town. Like a pub crawl without the pubs. Historic shopping districts make for fun tours too.
Bowling Tournament: Make it neon or 50′s themed for extra fun.
Ice Skating/Roller Skating Party: A joint sisterhood skate is always a fun idea! An 80′s theme is great for a roller skating social. And a Swiss Alps or Canadian theme is great for an ice skating event.
Karaoke Night: Sing your way to stronger panhellenic unity.
Fashion Swap: Host a joint handbag, accessory, or clothing swap between chapters. Everyone brings a fashion item to switch. Like a cookie swap, but with clothes and accessories instead. Perfume also makes a great swap item.
Craft Night & Swap: Supply the crafting materials for the group, such as inexpensive wood picture frames (or small boxes), paints and accents. Each sister crafts for the other chapter! The frames are then swapped with a fun game or “auction.” Ornaments, pillow cases and tee shirts are also great items to decorate.
Cook Off: Enjoy an evening of cooking together. Build pizzas, grill hamburgers, or make tacos in mixed chapter teams. Take turns serving the food to the other teams.
Ceramic or Canvas Painting: Host a sister-to-sister creative party at your local ceramic or art studio. Everyone creates an art piece in your panhellenic theme. Display your canvases or pottery later on campus to promote panhel pride.
Sisterhood Quilt: Gather together and ask each sister to decorate a quilt square with fabric paint and other accents. After both sororities are finished, have a seamstress sew the squares into a quilt. After all the sororities have completed their partner quilts, display them gallery style for everyone to enjoy. Or create one large all-panhellenic quilt that represents all the chapters on campus.
Chic Flick Slumber Party: Invite your partner chapter over for a girly slumber party and movie marathon. Play games and have fun staying up all night watching romantic movies. An alternative theme is Bad Movie night, where you screen the worst movies ever made.
Into the Woods: Go camping together, or rent some mountain cabins. Roast marshmallows, tell ghost stories, hike, ride bikes and enjoy the out of doors together.
Seasonal Events: Go apple picking, visit the pumpkin patch, enjoy a corn maze, go sledding, host a pool party, etc. Almost any seasonal event you would enjoy as a sisterhood, you can also do with a panhellenic partner.
Death by Chocolate: Every sister must bring something chocolate to share. A chocolate pot luck! Combine the chocolate theme with a Candyland board game tournament for a total sweet themed event. An alternate idea is to have one chapter bring chocolate and the other bring strawberry or vanilla for variety.
Mocktail Party: Each chapter brings the ingredients for virgin drinks. Have fun blending and mixing different mocktails. Ask a professional bartender to teach the group some delicious no-booze drink recipes. Provide snacks and entertainment to round out your social.
Flashback Social: Step back in time and host a joint sorority social at a place like Chuck-E-Cheese or Build-A-Bear. Be a kid again and have a blast doing the fun things you once did as girls.
White Elephant Swap: You don’t have to wait until Christmas to host a white elephant gift exchange. Ask each sister to bring a worst/tackiest thrift store item they can find. Every gift must be under $5. Dressing as tacky tourists would also fit the theme.
A for Action Events. Do something you might not normally do as a sorority! Many companies will ‘come to you,’ or you can go to them, for an extra active experience. Active events include ~
The next group of Tree Change Dolls (including some in these photos) will be available in my Etsy shop on Monday 26 October at 10pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).
It is orchid season in Tasmania, so the dolls have gone for a walk in a local nature reserve to discover some of our unique and endangered orchid species - and even do some sketching! I remember as a child I used to love finding little green-hood orchids in the undergrowth. They can be hard to spot which always made them seem so special.