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!

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!

Enchanted Woodland Wardrobe

At last, the ranger tent is finished and decorated ready for the special woodland themed day to celebrate National Camping and Caravanning Week with this free event.

The day kicked off with wand making, followed by a faerie tea party and dog show, then a walk to Doon Hill, a real faerie hill where we took gifts and wishes to the faeries and learned some woodland magic along the way.

Thank you to all that joined in and hoped you enjoyed it, along with the weather - it poured down the next day!

Seth as Robin Hood and his oak wand (empowered with strength)!
Wand Making
This included learning about the ancient Druid calendar and their wise and magic trees before letting the 'wand choose the wizard'. (I had previously asked the dryad or tree spirit for permission before cutting them in the first place :-)  The wands were trimmed to about the length from the wand owners elbow to finger tip then shaved and sanded (which helps to infuse the new owners energy) and finally decorated. Decoration included marking the wand with an ancient ogham symbol which was the druid's alphabet for the trees, then optional further ancient alphabets from either the witch's theban or Viking's runic alphabets. Wands could then be decorated with further goodies and optional gems, stones and waxing later when they go home.
Note to remember new wand owners - only direct good spells through your wand or the spell will backfire on you threefold! Also remember to keep the wands clean by giving them a moonbath (soaking them in the full moon energy and light every full moon - this is also a good time for wishes :-)


Mmmmm, faerie cakes!!!

Dog Show
The elven boss, Lesley and Fingal the witchy dog
Kera and Penny dressed as Poison Ivy
Bertie won the 'Waggiest Tail' - well he is a puppy!
Sophie the Spaniel won 'Best Trick' - she sat brilliantly :-)
Ellie won 'Best Dog in Nature'
Faerie Hill Walk
Doon Hill and 'The Minister's Pine' - we didn't see Reverend Robert Kirk who is said to have disappeared into the faerie realms in 1692 (actually Katie in the red is sat right on the faerie portal at the bottom of the tree where he was said to enter this realm) but was he watching us with the faerie Kee and his friends?
I told everyone a bit about the Kirk mysteries and showed them an updated version of his book 'The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Faeries' where he wrote about the secrets of the fae after being invited to by the Seelie Court of the Sidhe (pronounced shee) in an attempt to help improve understanding of the fearie races and to clear any unnecessary fears of this mysterious underworld.
Winners of the fancy dress competition, Hattie, Frankie and Adam, adding their wishes to a scots pine tree on Doon Hill.  It's traditional to write your wish on natural degradable fabric and to bring a gift for the faeries - something sparkly, sweet, or maybe do a bit of litter picking or make some natural art for them.  The story goes that you can try and see a real faerie by going around the tree backwards seven times or to be whisked away into the faerie realms forever you need to go around the bottom of the hill three times!
Robin Hood and Patrinia the Faerie have a battle of the wands.... Oak (inner strength, protection and stability) versus Hazel (healing, knowledge/wisdom, inspiration and invisibility)!
Dare I ask for a Caption Competition - Will the ranger explores his feminine faerie 'Sidhe' Entries on our Facebook page Nix in Nature to win a wee wooden prize :-)

Pan's Elder Pipes

Here are Heidi and Allison's most excellent pipes!  Following a walk, we talked about how pipes/flutes were made from alder to 'whistle up the wind'.  Elder can be used in a similar way, not sure about the magic behind those if you play them though!!?? Mmm, Dumbledore's wand was made from elder and there's tons of faerie folklore attached to this tree so could be very magical then, if only they could manage to play a note through them :-) To be investigated further.....

Woodland Wings

I earned my faerie wings today just in time for our first activities as Nix in Nature. These were made by a lovely faerie from Woodland Wings who sung them into being for me. Thank you ♪ <3 ♫