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?

Bats, Owls and Spooky Tales

Bat walks are still going well, despite the wind this weekend.  It's the third time out with our new bat prop below, great fun!  Here is Gaby and Sam's Dad Chris demonstrating how to use echo location

Here is Gaby and Sam's Dad being a sport and wearing the new bat wings and batfink mask :-)

Chris, just about to demonstrate how to use echo location by gobbling up his daughter Gaby the moth. The blind fold is to give you an idea of how bats hunt in the dark as bats can actually see as well as we can! Blind as a bat, no?

"If you go down to the woods at night you might find a warty toad!"

Hearing the bats on the bat detectors, trickier to see them in action.

Mmmm, marshmallows and magical tales before listening out for the local tawny owls. Don't forget, turn your pockets inside out on Hallowe'en to protect your souls from the owls! Love the wise owls really :-)

Bats, Owls & Spooky Tales

Thanks to all the 34 that joined us on our bat walk at Cobleland, lots of bats but not many midges - good for us but not for the bats but they must have found lots of other goodies to eat instead!

See, I told you there are Salamanders in the fire :-)

Can you get sick of marshmallows???

Forest Hills Gets Batty Too!

This lovely warm weather has finally invited the bats to come out to play.  We had 'loads' of soprano pipistrelle bats around the grounds of Forest Hills with a couple of common pipistrelle's and possibly a Daubenton's/water bat too.

We even had a couple of tawny owls hooting from the local farm.  At least it wasn't 'too wet to woo!'