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?

Face Painting

Resorting to painting myself this week as getting quiet on the camping front now. I think I may be getting obsessed with glitter?

Undine, or Water Elemental on my inner arm

Air Dragon on the other

The Lodge Visitor Centre Opening Weekend

Fabulous weather for a fabulous opening weekend as the formerly known as 'David Marshall Lodge' in Aberfoyle re-opens, re-vamped and will now be known as 'The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre'. There are some pictures of the new building on their Facebook page, part of the Forestry Commission Scotland news feed (don't forget to 'like' them and follow their future events :-). You will see how the refurbishment maximises the amazing views and incorporates more interactive learning features within the building.

Nix in Nature was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to the weekend with some woodland themed face painting and the 'Lets Go Batty' event, also tying in nicely with the European/International Bat Weekend. If you haven't already you can join our Facebook page too to keep up with future events, links and competitions!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

Face Painting

A wee cheeky pixie tattoo on my arm to welcome in my face painting victims :-)

Cheeky blue tit and butterfly, aka Rosie & Charlie

Beth's butterfly tattoo

Martha, Seth & Jack star as Little Miss Badger, Mr Fox and 'Wild' Cat 

Guided Story Telling Walks

The most excellent Rebecca and Robert from The Walking Theatre Company take us on a hilarious white rabbit and mad hatter walk around The Lodge's beautiful woodland. Like and follow them on Facebook :-)

Bat Walk

 Will tries out our new prop - the bat wings. Just the bat mobile to make now then!

 A 'big scary Dad' takes on the task of eating all the moths with his newly evolved echo-location before we all embarked on the bat hunt.

Face Painting

Faeries and butterflies seemed the most popular painted faces this week at Cobleland, (with dolphin cheeks being the most popular overall this season so far).  Then, Craig came in just before closing and mixed it all up and went for a bespoke bat face.  Craig managed to keep his bat face on all day without even a smudge - very impressive, so that we could use him as a bat diagram for the bat walk that night :-)

Craig's Bat Face

Oaken Faery
Less of a queue this week so it meant I could mess about painting an oaken wood faery on my arm. I'm looking forward to seeing all the fly agaric toadstools around on the campsite which will be out soon. Those who have joined us on our evening walks over the years will know all about this toadstool involving not just faeries but the Vikings too and even the big man himself - Father Chrsitmas! Autumn is already on its way here as the hawthorn and rowan berries are beginning to ripen and I have seen a few boletus mushrooms too if any of you are into your wild foods!

Magickal Wands & Sylphs

Lovely day Saturday before the rain came at tea time, but it thankfully wasn't too bad for the bat walk.  In fact we had loads of hungry bats during the walk, loads of toads and one lady even saw an otter after nearly being pulled into the water by her dog!  I'm a tad jealous after five years in the area without seeing one, but it will make it all the more special when I do :-)

Jamie's Elder wand, Michael's Hazel and Angus's Willow - who jetted off for a magickal battle with Nicholas and Oliver in the forest.

Leah's Elder wand, Holly's Holly (of course) and Isla's Silver Birch - excellent effort seen as our second glue gun in two weeks burnt out just before the end! We will have to give up on the rechargeable battery versions :-(

Getting a bit more face painting practise in on my arm with some magickal Theban script writing. This is a sylph or air elemental/faery, it was a shame to wash her off at the end of the day!  The kids chose a Frankenstein face and various cheeky chaps for their cheeks from killer whales and dolphins to racing cars and spiders. Isla opted for the sylph tatoo as well :-) I will try and get a bit more speedy though!