Wednesday 30 September 2009

Bye Bye Michele and Mark :-(

As the summer camping season comes to an end we had to say bye bye for now to Michele and Mark. Here we all are enjoying some rare time out altogether after the silly season of camping and ranger walks.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Fungi Forays

They're everywhere again. Here's a Shaggy Ink Cap, or Judges Wig, it was really wobbly, he, he :-D. You can eat it when its young, but as soon as possible after you pick it. Will picked it, but he didn't eat it quick enough! It was a gooey inky mess the next day, what a waste. The slugs would have been tucking into it the next day anyway though.

Faery Rings and ???

Help, we can't find what these fungi are???? One is part of a fairy ring on the edge of a coniferous forest logging road and has a butterwort in the middle. The other one is massive and it was growing in a moss and wood sorrel covered floor under dense Spruce and Larch?

Thursday 24 September 2009

Scottish Deer Centre

Just up the road from Falkland is the Scottish Deer Centre. Lots of deer there, but also birds of prey, cows, sheep and recently, otters. I've still never been lucky enough to see otters in the wild, but I have seen a Highland cow! 'Blackmail' originates from highland cows as they were typically black and used as money or trading. It wasn't until later that the MacGregors' changed the meaning to what we know now as they demanded cattle for protection and immunity to raids.

Monarch of the Glen

On the left is Sherry, a red deer hind, who was brought up in a lady's kitchen until she was six. Being so tame she can't be released in the wild, so she let us stoke and feed her. The red deer stag on the right is one of two at the centre, but have had to be separated as it is rutting season at the moment. Being that they are in a fenced area they can't risk too many conflicts so they have a harem of females each. This one has the maximum of 8 points or tines, so he's an emperial.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Falkland, Fife

Had a trip to Falkland to surprise our friend Brian, who was there on a 50th birthday holiday. You don't look it young man!Excellent work Caroline, for keeping our visit a secret and keeping a straight face as we walked in the pub to surpirse him! A really good couple of days catching up with good food, drink and live music.

Sunday 20 September 2009

Juicy Berries

The juicy berries are a welcome sight as Autumn is getting into full swing....
Elderberry on the left and Hawthorn on the right. The haws and leaves are known as Bread and cheese, mmm tasty.
I'm really getting into the 'Celtic Wisdom of Trees'. Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits, or you can easily make panpipes or flutes by pushing out the pith of elder; the music through which having the same power of the wand.
Hawthorn has loads of great stuff; you have to ask the faery's permission before you eat from it though. It was the first maypole dancing tree, it can be used for marriage spells and if you let the dew fall on you it will beautify you forever. That coming from the blossom which is used to draw out impurities in face creams. You can also make a calming tea from the leaves and blossom which is good for anxiety and high blood pressure. Love it!

Friday 18 September 2009

Back to Work

Back to work, but we are living at Strathrye Cabins now that we haven't the wee little green Forest Holiday van and the Ranger walks have finished for the season at Cobleland. I think we have the best view on the site as we are right on the shore of Loch Lubnaig! We can see the red deer on the hills opposite and they're just coming into the rutting season so we'll be able to hear them roaring soon. I'll miss the regular red squirrel visits that we had at Cobleland but we'll have to try and get a pine marten feeding station here instead.
Spot the three roe deer hinds pictured from our back window. Their white rumps are used as a warning flash to each other if they need to run away, which they did as we tried to get a nearer shot. Camera shot that is, some people think that the white is for the purpose of target shooting!

Thursday 17 September 2009

The Lakes

Aaah, i've missed the Lakes! Didn't have time to climb any those lovely fells in the background, but still nice to suck in the atmosphere and get some new walking gear.

Friday 11 September 2009

Back to Portsmouth

Really nice to catch up with Will's family, hadn't seen them since March and that was really brief. We camped in the garden with the kids and had a campfire with marsh mallows, mmm.

Sun, Sea and Sand

We've realy missed the sea since being in the Trossachs, so as we were down to see family in Portsmouth we came down to Durdle Door and got lots of sun too! Meanwhile, back in the Trossachs it was still raining and the campsite was getting flooded, waist high from the rising river forth.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Bye Bye Cobleland Home :-(

Alas, we have to leave cosy Cobleland campsite :-(. We've been here a whole year so it's been really nice to see all the seasons and learn so much about the forest. At least we will only be thirty minutes away so we can visit lots! We've got a two week holiday first though so really looking forward to seeing family and having a breather after such a busy summer season with late ranger bat walks and early starts. It's been worth it though and loads of love and thanks to Lesley & Graham for looking after us this year. XXX

Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday Graham! In the middle is a 'natural' card I made for him, which Lesley reckons looks just like him?

It was Lesley's birthday in July too, so I painted a watercolour card for her, taken from one of Reverend Kirk's paintings of the faeries which he did during one of his visits to Doon Hill. I also added some text taken from his updated manuscript 'The Secret Lives of Elves and Faeries. See blog entry 21st November 2008 if you want to visit the faery hill.