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Bank Holiday Weekend at Cobleland

The weather wasn't too bad for a bank holiday thank goodness! Not as busy as Easter, but lots of fun and a couple of new sessions launched.

First up, Anna chose a bright pink cat for me to paint on her face, matching her top of course.

Three lovely wands, Cameron chose Silver Birch, Grace and Cara Hazel. Then the next day young Rhona was bored so she popped over to the tent to see if we could help.  She ended up making this lovely Hazel wand complete with gems and a gorgeous pendant.

Rhona's hazel wand - her birthday tree is Hazel and her sister is called Hazel too!


We launched the Chocolate Quest this week, attracting eleven hungry chocolate hunters. Sixteen tickets were hidden around the site, when one was found you had to come back to the Ranger's Tent to pick a task from the pot.  My favourites were; 'Do ten press ups' (impressed with Harris's one legged version!) and 'Hug a Tree'.  No-one found all the tickets by the end of the hour, but bonus prizes were given for a task completed successfully. Of course they had earnt their big choccy bars after all that exercise!
This game will change periodically with updated tasks all the time.  We should have made it a Star Wars themed game - May the 4th be with you and all, snort!!


Our first Dusk Walk of the year was fun having not done that version there for a few years.  Just a bit of rain, but lots of folklore to talk about with all the lovely plants coming up and we saw bats towards the end! Bat walks will be making a return soon now that they are starting to wake from their long winter sleep.

 
Primrose; said to be used to see into the faery realms, traditionally used on the graves of children in Victorian times :-(, and thirteen flowers were brought into the house at Easter to ensure a good clutch of eggs on the farm. 
 
OK, the Wacky Forth Races made a nail biting return this year- literally as Darah (the winner in pink) watches the close finish of the rafts nails in mouth!  We very nearly lost the rafts over the rope at the end as the river is still a bit high, but after getting a wet bum myself, we saved them all.  I need some waders this year! Apparently Orla's Mum has a picture of this ;-z.
 
 From bottom: Stringy thing by Lewis, Rhona snd Steele, Darah's winning raft Ninkinpoop (with the willow pentagram star), Jasmine's Rossetta, Emma's Flower, James and Evan's Diet Coke, Daniel's Dday Yday Raft, Kiana's Daisy Chain, Orla's Tansylee and Anny and Niamh's Vintage.

 Rafts pictured bottom to top
 

It's a close one - well done Darah!




All Hallows Eve at Tigh Mor

Unbelievably the rain held off for the two hours so that we could all enjoy our Batty Halloween Walk at Tigh Mor, our last bat walk for the season. We had earlier been making magic wands and Charlotte kindly did a rain spell for us so thanks Charlotte :-)

Thank you to all those that joined us today to help raise money for the Bat Conservation Trust. We will update everyone on the final count next week.  There were 16 magic wand makers, 9 getting their faces painted and a whopping 39 on the walk.


 Charlotte and Olivia show off their painted faces, a self designed pink cat and Olivia went for a tiger (again).  Other faces were a vampire and his wife, Frankenstein, butterflies and cats.
 

 
Charlotte's wand was made from Rowan, the best for protection so great for Halloween. All were amazingly creative and individual :-)

To celebrate the Celtic New Year we had a few tricks and treats up our sleeve for this bat walk, the bats by the way were staying in if not already in their bat caves for a snooze though. Some excellent costumes and stories by those attending. Some had to earn their treats as they used to do traditionally, so there were a few jokes kicking around too, mostly from Sam, one of which was, "how do you get a tissue to dance? Put a bit of boogie in it!"

 Death.......... just there to accompany you to the other realm!
 
 Having to resort to wellies instead of my fluffy boots! I'm trying to represent where this custom originated, with the Celts on Samhain or Summer's end. They were said to wear masks, especially animal masks to confuse mischievous spirits and faery folk who could easily slip into our realm when the veil between worlds is at their thinnest on this day.
 
 
'Death' helps Stephen the bat find lots of moths the size of children to eat for his dinner!

There were hand made pendants with protective rowan berries and elder beads for the best dressed and best spooky tales, a few apple and divining games and everyone celebrated the Celtic New Year by placing a piece of ash while releasing something unwanted in their lives in order to start afresh. We had to remind the little ones that it didn't mean getting rid of your annoying brother or sister!

 Batty Pumpkin
 
 Thanks Lesley from Cobleland Campsite for the brilliant cat and owl pumpkin.

 
Pumpkins were an extension of the mask, to scare off unwanted spirits. They would have been carved from neeps or spuds though before the Irish travelled to America taking their customs with them. Pumpkins are easier to carve though :-)

Windy Wet Rafts at Tigh Mor

We were saved by the gilly hut today being able to get creative under cover.  It was yet another wet day but that didn't put off the young raft makers at Tigh Mor!

Jacob's Jolly Roger and Joshua's Viking battling out the weather.

 oops, Jakob's Victini takes a tumble! Below shows his excellent sailor (which survived).

 
Sophie's The Jolly Roger after a speedy session down the river.

Tigh Mor Rafts & Crafts

Four rafts and a magick wand this week at Tigh Mor....

The adorable Anna made this (probably most ever decorated) Hazel wand. Amongst the gems and ribbons you can see that Anna used magickal Theban script writing and a Celtic Ogham alphabet symbol for Hazel which will help enhance her already creative skills even more! Her wand is also infused with the magic from the water faeries or Kelpies, love it :-)


Here's Kate's fabulous T1 

Kate's brother Fraser designed this brilliant raft, calling it 'Stringy' - of course! 

Anna's older brother's Jamie and Rob designed J.M Rocket and The Grassinator, I'm sure you can tell which is which! Both looked great on Loch Achray. 


Wacky Forth Races

 

 
Just two rafts on this gloriously sun-shiny day, but sister's Ellen and Alexandra fought it out on the river with their amazing rafts.

Ellen's winning raft 'I Dunno' complete with sailors.

'I Dunno' takes the winning position at the finish line!

Alexandra's 'Perfect' boat had a great start but alas, it was caught in the trees! 

How amazing is this leafy sail (put together by Mum) :-)


 

 

 

 


Cobleland Magick Wands & Pendants

Gorgeous weather this weekend for the school holidays and we were joined in the ranger tent for magic making, crafts and rafts.


From left: Matthew and his Sister Becca chose Hazel wands for creativity and invisibility spells.

Alexandra chose a Willow wand for imagination, intuition and vision.

 
Alexandra's big sister Ellen made this lovely pendant using old Theban script writing.

Wacky Forth Races

A brilliant weekend topped off with a very wacky race at Cobleland campsite in that all the rafts huddled together making it an extremely close finish!

Thanks to everyone who joined in with our activities :-)

From left: Aiden and Ben's Speedo came in 6th, Johnny and Kieran's Bertie was the sneaky winner!

Alix's Bruce came in 7th

Logan's River Raptor came 2nd and Brandon's Speedy Gonzalez came 3rd. 

 Mhiri's Mhiri 2013 was 5th and Georgette's 'Georgette' was 4th.

 The line up ready for racing!

 After getting myself soaked again - this time the water going over my willies, the race, or rather the huddle was on....

 
.....Only to later open out right before the finishing line with Johnny and Kieran's Speedo sneaking from around the back to take first place! Well done everyone, everyone gets a prize and a lolly from the treasure chest :-)

Wooden Pendants at Cobleland

Amazing pendants this week, lots of colour, lots of symbols, lots of creativity :-)

Brandon wanted me to burn in "I love bike riding" with magic writing :-)

From Bottom: Hannah and Madeline's lovely pendants.

 Alix designed both sides of her pendant, peace & love <3 :-) 


 Georgette's extremely colourful and lovely flowery pendant. 

 Logan's wolfy, witchy pentagram pendant. I love your own wish symbol pendant :-)


Adam, who had washed off his foxy face by now after his swim was back to make this lovely one, complete with bells. 

 
Reegan had washed off her butterfly face too but injected lots of colour back into her day with this pendant.

Wacky Forth Races

Two more Toops joined us for the race again today at Cobleland - although Sam decided to just watch and cheer on his sisters. Definitely the most gold we have seen in a race so far!!

Rosie and Gaby's raft name changed several times and they settled for Bingo (I think)? Bingo crossed the line in 3rd place, unfortunately that means last today.

Charlie's 'Charlie' was the winner today after charging down the river.


Is it a Christmas present, a woolly jumper, no it's Super Number 1 (although it came 2nd) by Anna and Elizabeth.

Cobleland Activities

This week we squished all we could into Saturday in case the awful weather forecast hit us at Cobleland.  As quite often happens you only really hear about it on the telly if England are involved and I think we escaped quite lightly.  Lots of rain mind but not too bad for wind and I think we should be lucky with the river not coming up and over the site! Actually the sun is out now :-)

Had 8 cheeky monkeys for face painting, then the Elliot family were back again after their previous summer visit in July to make some magic wands. Cristina made a rowan wand ready for Halloween as that is the best wand for protection. Cameron and Gordon went for Holly - the best in battle and direction, of course!  It would be great if you could get a picture to us of your lovely wands if possible, the lads ran off before I  had a chance :-)

Thanks for sending in the picture Graham :-) From bottom; Gordon's Holly, Cristina's Rowan and Cameron's Holly - Happy spell making*

Wacky Forth Races

We had a lovely turn out for the Wacky Forth Races this week too, here's the line up and winners. Most went for team rafts this week..

From left: Finlay, Olly and Rhys named their raft ROF and came in 7th place. Lauren & Sophie's Pirate Narj came in 6th place.

Olivia's & Zara's Party Craft was this weeks winner! Adam & Marcus's Speedy Boat came 3rd.

 Finlay's Morven (named after his little sister :-) came 4th. Cameron's Splatter came 2nd.

 Gordon's The Flying Dutchman came 8th and Cristina's Golden Flag came 5th.
 

 
And they're off! Getting my trainers and trousers wet to ensure a fair starting line was worth the cold :-)
 

Bats, Owls & Spooky Tales

The bat walk was fun too, lots of good questions from the kids, including one from Jenny; "how long does it take for a wing to heal if it was ripped"?  We like such questions to keep us on our toes!  Depending on the extent of damage the wing membrane can heal itself.  Here's more information from Wikipedia.....
 
"The finger bones of bats are much more flexible than those of other mammals, owing to their flattened cross-section and to low levels of minerals such as calcium near their tips. The skin on their wing membranes has more elasticity, so can stretch much more than other mammals.

The wings of bats are much thinner than those of birds, allowing bats to manoeuvre more quickly and more accurately than birds. It is also delicate, ripping easily; however, the tissue of the bat's membrane is able to regrow, such that small tears can heal quickly. The surface of their wings is equipped with touch-sensitive receptors on small bumps called Merkel cells, also found on human fingertips. These sensitive areas are different in bats, as each bump has a tiny hair in the centre, making it even more sensitive and allowing the bat to detect and collect information about the air flowing over its wings, and to fly more efficiently by changing the shape of its wings in response. An additional kind of receptor cell is found in the wing membrane of species that use their wings to catch prey. This receptor cell is sensitive to the stretching of the membrane. The cells are concentrated in areas of the membrane where insects hit the wings when the bats capture them".

Tawny Owls

Jenny, following on from our owl conversation - a brown owl is another name for a tawny owl, strange then that in the Brownies you get a brown owl and a tawny owl?