Thursday 30 December 2010

Happy Hogmanay!

Arthur the piper, piped in an early new year for us so we all giggled the night away with mulled wine and a ceilidh - great fun as ever! Best wishes to you all for the New Year!

Saturday 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

A white Christmas then, although it didn't actually snow today. Daisy enjoys her present opening, sorry Lesley and Graham, she opened the whoopee cushion and destroyed it thinking it was hers when our backs were turned. She must have smelt the plastic and thought it was a squeeky toy! Never mind, I still have Will for sound effects!

Friday 24 December 2010

Santa has Arrived at Strathyre!

Merry Christmas to all! Santa popped in for some mulled wine at the cabin site and joined us for a while where we told Christmas stories and various traditions around the fire. The tree outside had some solar lights which had been out for two weeks, but decided not to work until tonight - magic!

Local faery, Kee, from Doon Hill also popped in to put wishes on the tree for the kids. Everyone must have been good boys and girls as Santa had come back during the night and left a stocking for all the cabins.
Me and the boss are dressed as Celtic Druids for the old stories, myth and folklore tales where I revealed just what makes a bearded fat man dress in red and white and deliver presents around the world and how his reindeer fly using a toadstool! The Celtic Tree month is birch, so we made birch pendants with the Celtic ogham signs. Birch signifies cleansing of bad thoughts, so new beginnings, love, good fortune and changes in luck can be invited, together with the promise of light as the days get longer again.
Apologies to everyone that had a candy stick from the tree, they turned out to be plastic, eek!!

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Perfect and Clean

Perfect and clean, except why do people think that you can chuck and leave rubbish and dog mess under the snow??? Idiots!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Ice Crystals

The snow has stayed all dry and fluffy, but we've had so many cold, clear nights that there is surface hoar everywhere - lovely! The hips are frozen in time for a while too.

Frosty Loch

The loch has started to freeze over, so it will soon be making those wierd sounds during the night!

Saturday 4 December 2010

Perfect Chilly Days

We have managed to miss most of the bad snow, instead our snow has stayed fluffy and the skies a perfect blue :-)

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Quinze/Shovel Ups

Will thought he would try building a shovel up to stay in. Needless to say he didn't sleep in it, although it was nice to hear that two young lads built one of their own and slept in it until 3am!

Snowy Sunrise

Look at it!!!

Sunday 28 November 2010

Snowed in Again

Oh well, snowed in again and a bit earlier than last year!

Saturday 27 November 2010

108 Sun Salutes

The first of the snow arrived today but we still managed to get to the David Marshall Lodge to complete the 108 sun salutes for a local wildlife sanctuary. I can't take Will anywhere though, he blew off during the session in a room full of ladies and put us all off! Will's excuse was that there should be more men at yoga...

Sunday 21 November 2010


Will has an everlasting 40th birthday! This was a present from Daisy, as she hates motorbikes! An interesting character from 'Fun in the Mud' taught the lads and fun and muddy it was. What's with the spare tyres though boys??

Sunday 31 October 2010

All Hallows Eve

Happy Celtic New Year everyone! Another chance to let go of unwanted habits and start a fresh with your dreams :-). We did a Halloween 'Trick or Treat' party at the cabins where I told everyone where all the little traditions of Halloween originate from and we played both new and old games, including; wrap the mummy, apple bobbing and fortune telling - great fun.

Here is Will and I dressed as Druids, well, Will is more of a Celtic warrior (although they fought naked, oh er), but traditionally they wore animal masks to confuse mischievous faeries or non ancestral spirits on their festival of Samhain. They then feasted with and remembered their ancestors and practised divination, being easier to achieve on this night. I tried to do some, not sure if it works yet, I'll have to wait and see.....

Monday 18 October 2010

I've never seen a frog here before until today, only toads. Here he or she is, fat and full up for the long winter hibernation ahead, barely flopping itself across the slate path.

The weather is definitely changing, lots of mist in the mornings on the loch now - lovely :-)

Sunday 17 October 2010

Crannog Centre

At last, we have managed to get to the Crannog Centre on Loch Tay. It was really interesting and gave us lots of inspiration for our own ranger activities. They even helped me to pronounce Samhain properly (the Celtic end of year festival), ready for our Halloween 'old and new' party at the cabin site.

Thursday 14 October 2010

What is this?

What on earth is this fungi??? It looks like small Bertie Bassett sweets. I can't find it in any books, even a specialist at the Crannog Centre, Loch Tay didn't know. It was only there a little while on Norway Spruce stumps, gone without trace after a few days, sizewise - note the pine needles on the forest floor with moss. Stupidly, I didn't look to see if there were gills! Anyone help???

Friday 8 October 2010

Back to the Trossachs

Back home to the Trossachs, and back up to Doon Hill as we haven't been there in ages. I left the faeries a different gift this time - an earth mandala, inspired from some reading on holiday and a visit to the Findhorn community village. Will, on the other hand, ever the sceptic decided to call 'Frank-opeadia' for some fishing lessons instead. It was nice to see him finally doing something that he's always wanted to do. Shame the fishing season ends this month. Frank said Will did very well trying to master all the techniques, and he did catch a wee little fish (that he let go).

Monday 4 October 2010

Here's a wise old Scots pine Dryad showing his belly button off! They even look amazing when the tree starts to decompose, the insects and fungi love it too :-)

This picture looks a bit dull, but the grass here was a really vibrant orange - not quite as bright as this Fly Agaric toadstool that has lost its spots, but bright!

We had a lovely walk amongst the Pine and around Loch an Eilein. On the way around we came across a snapped tree, but looking closer I found an amorous harvestman and harvestwoman!

Sunday 3 October 2010

Back to the Cairngorms and the Lairig Ghru - nearly got to the Pools of Dee, yeah! This Scots Pine looked really unwordly, vivid and precise in real life, it really is a unique place here :-)

Thursday 30 September 2010

The Falls of Shin were amazing, I bet the Sprites were having a great time in the water!

Wednesday 29 September 2010

The weather has taken a turn so we gave up on an attempt to reach John O'Groats against the gales, and turned south passed the long Loch Shin and stopping at Lairg to sit out the bad weather. I managed to get some excellent pic's of common ink cap and the next day, some cobwebs holding the morning dew on the way to the Falls of Shin.