Viewing: Nix's News > Bats
28 September 2014
We've had a lovely but emotional last weekend here at Cobleland, this will always be a happppeeee place for us and thank you to all those who we have met and who have joined in with our activities over the years who have helped to make it so special. Scotland has proved an enriching experience in so many ways and it now feels like our second home, so thank you to all the lovely people of Scotland for making us feel so welcome, this land here is indeed very special and magical! Who knows where our journey will take us next but I'm sure we will come back soon and often.
Will has just about finished creating Teapot Cottage using reclaimed wood or off-cuts from the forest. A couple of pesky vandalism incidents in the summer meant the finish time was delayed, but hopefully now that it is a finished sturdy structure kids will just love coming across this in Teapot Wood and look after it for both themselves and the faeries to enjoy.
We had a few tackle the Chocolate Quest in Teapot Wood on Saturday and the day finished off lovely with a great bat walk long with 25 campers (and 2 rather fluffy dogs) eager to learn about and to see the bats.
Here Dave the bat is about to try to devour all the little moths, he got one!
Our last race attracted a few, plus campsite managers, Lesley and Graham decided to try their luck too!
Rafts Pictured from left with Jasmine, Sam, Rosie and Darah:
Scarlett - The Rescue Boat (3rd)
Connie - Teen Zombie From Mars (Connie was stuck for a name for her raft, the name eventually came from the top she was wearing)
Darah - Mushrooms Beautiful (2nd)
Jasmine - The Dead Boat (1st - and overall reigning champion for most wins during the season)!
Rosie - Speedy (4th)
Sam - The Ship of Doom
Duncan - The African Queen
Graham - The Barfly
Lesley - We'll Miss You!
Well done to all who have taken part in this 'adrenaline rush' sport that is 'The Wacky Forth Races'. The anxiety of which has come more from watching the rafts meander through the obstacles of trees and adverse wind conditions rather than the speed of the river lately though. I'm sure the rain will return soon but in the meantime thanks for such lovely weather this season and for not having to cancel many activities!
That sneaky Lesley is getting a dab hand at surprise parties lately! What a lovely surprise after our last event today to get together with everyone and stuff ourselves with cake, cake, a biscuit and more cake :-). Thanks for all your lovely gifts and well wishes and thank you Lesley and Graham for always being so lovely and for helping and supporting us along the way.... and for this amazing cake to take away for our trip to Knoydart - that should keep us going!
The twins, Chaos and Mayhem, made this lovely picture for us today. Very accurate eh, I love how kids are so observant :-)
Keep in touch everyone! We'll keep you all posted if we are back in the area, or planning any events wherever we are as it will be lovely to meet up. I'll be adding interesting nature stuff and more to the main website this winter too.
20 September 2014
Could this be our last weekend for activities here? The sun is shining, but I hear that the rain is to return by mid-week! Met some lovely new families to the site this weekend and despite being a quiet tranquil weekend, we were busy for activities.
Here is Millie's lovely pendant. Her favourite animal is a deer, but she also had some rather cute dogs camping with her, Sprocket and Orla the puppy.
Here are this week's wands, from left: Finlay's Hazel, Millie, Harris, Daniel (not pictured - he needed a nap), Reece and Lily-Ann all chose Hawthorn. Actually, Millie needed a nap too, probably after all the running around for the Chocolate Quest earlier, which she needed to do in order to burn off all the calories before winning the humongous chocolate bar!
12 bat detectors joined us for the Bat Walk and despite the chilly evening there were lots of bats swooping around our heads trying to eat up as much as they could ready for their winter naps. Leo made an excellent bat for the game, although he went hungry as he only managed to catch one moth!
13 September 2014
The weather is just fabulous which means lots of happy campers enjoying the trees and the fresh air. After the chocolate Quest we decided to get crafty and here are some lovely pendants the kids came up with.
Jasmine's neclis :-)
Darah's butterfly design, a sea shell was added later.
Lauren's glitterball of a pendant resulted in Will looking like he was ready for an episode of Strictly!
Sophie's ruby encrusted butterfly.
Will can't sit still for long so he came up with this crab face :-).
Jenni was back this weekend again to add another wand to her collection, also a few lads wanting to know how to do some spells to their Dad's. I had to inform them that they couldn't use them for mischievous spells though, which includes turning a Dad into a frog!
From left: Max's Oak, Alfie's Oak, Jenni's Hazel, Sam's Oak, Harry's Oak and Samuel's Hazel. Connor made a Hazel wand but suddenly rushed off during spell teaching, obviously couldn't wait to get to work!
Lovely to see so many people interested in bats and coming along to the bat walk. We had lots of sorprano pipistrelle's showing off their acro'bat'ic abilities above our heads in the trees. We also had some owls screeching on our way back to camp.
We later heard the Miller family were having fun when they got back to camp with an Egyptian story that I mention when I talk about owls. It is said that if a Pharaoh took a dislike to someone they would send them a picture of an owl in the post. If you were unlucky enough to receive the owl picture it was expected of you to take your own life and the owl would then be your guide to the otherworld! I think everyone was getting the owl card then :-).
12 September 2014
It's back to the adult bushcraft sessions at Tigh Mor every Thursday until the end of September and it was perfect weather with lovely company.
Loch Achray opposite Tigh Mor, what a lovely view this wee willow tree and Devil's bit scabious has.
The bat walk is still proving popular, especially as the daylight hours are shorter which means we can enjoy the bats and get to bed at a normal hour. The mist rolled in over the loch which made watching the water bats all the more special as they magically appeared out of the mist to circle close to the water's edge. We even had a couple of tawny owls screeching at us on the way back :-).
08 September 2014
We had a fabulous day, all starting off following Arthur from Trossachs Treks on his morning stroll so that we were ready to cover his walks there for the next two weeks while he is on holiday. We some lovely people including a family from Deli who were kind enough to share some local plant uses, basil tea is a must apparantly!
Can you spot the third fish?
Then we met a lovely family on our Bushcraft walk, who were really refreshingly passionate, about everything really :-). They were especially interested in our Douglas fir tea and a recipe for Douglas fir chocolate pots for their new cafe 'The Black Douglas' - it's got to be done! Here is the recipe from The Forager's Kitchen by Fiona Bird.
What to forage and find:
Sprig Douglas fir, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches (6-8 cm) in length, washed and dried
1 1/2 cups (300ml) light (single) cream
7 oz (200g) bittersweet (dark) chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 medium (small UK) egg
2 teaspoons Douglas Fir syrup (or pine sugar)
What to do:
1. Put the Douglas fir sprig and cream into a pan and scald it over a low heat. Do not allow the cream to boil. Set aside for an hour to allow the flavor to infuse and then remove the sprig.
2. Put the chocolate into a food processor and pulse to break it into small pieces. Take care: the machine may need to be held in place.
3. Reheat the cream (do not allow it to boil). Slowly pour the hot cream into the food processor and pulse, ensuring that the chocolate doesn't overflow down the sides of the machine. If you don't chop the chocolate first, it may do this. So slowly does it.
4. Add the egg to the hot chocolate cream, blend and then add the Douglas fir syrup or pine sugar. Pour into pots and refrigerate until set.
Then the day finished off nicely on our Bat Walk, out under the magic light of another supermoon. Here is Jonathan the bat about to reveal himself again - the moon reveals us for what we really are!
06 September 2014
A fun Chocolate Quest with Sophie, Adam, Isaac and Eliza. One of the forfeits that Isaac had to answer was 'Name five creatures that live in the woods'? He went on to give names to each of the creatures he could think of, adorable :-).
Here is Sophie's lovely Hazel wand complete with a water faerie/elemental to help her with her future spells.
Lots of people interested in bats tonight for the bat walk, a few extra little ones now that the walk can start a bit earlier with the shorter days. Here is Gavin the bat in action in the moonlight, who proved very eager and hungry for hunting down the moths - who promptly screamed a lot!
Nearly full moon above the River Forth.
Here is Brian, an excellent sport, as Batfink at this week's bat walk at Tigh Mor.
The Daubenton's bats are being just amazing this year here, circling around above the water just inches from our feet. We could even see their fingers on their 'hand wings'. They were too quick to see them actually eating the insects, so here is a picture from Google.
Here is Will (another Will) sporting the bat suit and then managing to applaud himself for being a good sport! There were not that many bats this week, maybe because this is now the bat's mating season so perhaps they were all off on their hot dates? We did pick up some interesting sounds on the bat detectors :-)!
Here is Nick the Bat, just before attempting to eat all those little moths.
25 August 2014
Here are this week's lovely wands.
From left: Masie chose an interesting shaped Hawthorn wand, Harry chose Hazel and Louie's Mum chose a Hazel for him to grow into, he was giggling away in the pushchair :-).
Lots of people eager to learn about bushcraft, I think most enjoyed the Douglas Fur tea. Then despite the wind we managed to find a few bats under the Oak and Douglas Fur trees later on. Here is Richard the bat, he didn't mind the wind, he nearly took off!