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Saturday, 31 August 2013

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 :-)

Wooden Pendants

Nobody up for Woodland Survival today, but hey, we can be flexible! Instead Gaby and Sam made these lovely pendants instead.

Gaby designed both sides and maximised decoration possibilities to the full!

Sam liked the idea of being original and going against the grain of symmetrical bead work :-)

Face Painting

Resorting to painting myself this week as getting quiet on the camping front now. I think I may be getting obsessed with glitter?

Undine, or Water Elemental on my inner arm

Air Dragon on the other

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Woodland Survival

Will was back out today with his favourite session being all bushcrafty again!

So much to eat just on the campsite; stinging nettles, rosebay willow herb, rasberries, blaeberries, bilberries, hawthorn, common sorrel....

Hazel nuts are nearly ready - 50% more protein than eggs! No wonder the RED squirrels love them :-)

Bracken or fern? Thomas loved the soft rush Chinese chewing gum - very odd lad! 

How to avoid the bugs when drinking that all important water in the woods! 

Toadstools everywhere in the Douglas Fir wood (a notable set of trees recorded by me as featured on The Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Trail). Fungi - if in doubt, leave it out. This one is Panther Cap and poisonous!

 Survival kit list check at Lemahamish Pool

My girly pink survival kit is developing nicely, see it's not just for boys :-) Yes that is a nail file!

The trusty fire steel when you haven't time to rub wood together! 

Safety first - Will shows how to safely get a fire using cotton wool with something that's more familiar at the dentist, plus some other magic liquid.....


And what on earth is this - it's tiny and cauliflower-like growing on moss on a hazel tree?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Hey, who is this? Remember Batfink?  Of course you do! I think he wants to join in with our bat walks, but might need some practise with his 'wings of steel' and 'super-sonic sonar radar' before he can be let out to play!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Fungi can look like a Fun-guy

Oop, even more fungus is popping up everywhere. This one is shaggy ink cap, or judges wig.  It is edible, we had it as a starter, but if in doubt leave it out!!! Common ink cap reacts with alchohol! Both inks were used as a writing ink, but does smell a bit :-Z

As the foxlgloves are gone and autumn is on it's way, here is the new top tip at the Ranger Tent.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Arts & Rafts at Forest Hills

The sun had his hat on for the Bank Holiday (probably as it wasn't one in Scotland!) but lucky for those on holiday none the less :-) It must have meant that everyone was off out enjoying the rays somewhere else as we only had one little lad today and for the first time ever at Forest Hills, no-one for the bat walk? 

Will made Harry a bonus extra boat - he just loves whittling! Harry named it Super Hero.

Harry went for a Hazel wand - the most popular choice this week. Interestingly it is the Celtic Ogham month for Hazel, see these kids are using their intuition well :-)

Harry's 'Super Hero' mark one!

Wooden Pendants & Medallions

George (now wearing a kangaroo t-shirt rather than GOA today ;) brought his younger sister Rosie along to make pendants.  Here's what they came up with...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Rafts & Crafts at Tigh Mor

Lots of great creativity this weekend at Tigh Mor....

From left: Henry's HMS Titanic and Eleanor's 'Eleanor'

Nick's 'Wooden Craft' and James' HMS Victory

Magick Wands from left: Ben & Luke's Hazel wands and Rose & Sam went for Hazel too - must have been the invisibility and creativity powers within them :-)  Interestingly it is the Celtic Ogham month for Hazel, see these kids are using their intuition well :-)

Aaah, Loch Achray :-)

Wacky Forth Races

While I was away face painting at The Lodge, Will was left all on his own to run the mini rafts and race this week - I hear it was wild and wacky :-) Apologies that the names are in the wrong order to the pictures but I hear Will did manage to get the winning order right and ensured no rafts floated off to Edinburgh :-)
From Bottom to Top: I think? - Apple Juice, the Gold one is Super Swimmy 300, the green fruit shoot one is Rocket Booster, Purple Fanta must be the Fanta bottle, the other four inbetween then are either White Chocolate, Fire Plane, GOAT Blower and Gumball Ship 

Winning Order:
1st - Super Swimmy 300 by Jamie & George
2nd - Gumball Ship by James
3rd - Apple Juice by Gregor
4th - Purple Fanta by Rosie
5th - GOAT Blower by Jack
6th - Fire Plane by Robbie
7th - White Chocolate by Rachael, Abbie & Calum
8th - Rocket Booster by George (GOA ;)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Magick Wands

This weeks magick wands at Cobleland Campsite.....

From left: George's Rowan wand (complete with leaves, berries and googly eyes :-), Samuel's Silver Birch, Joshua's Willow and Nathan's Willow.

Rory's Hazel wand

From left: Leo's Oak, Eva's Rowan wand (Freyja in human form I'm sure :), and Max's Hazel.

The Lodge Visitor Centre Opening Weekend

Fabulous weather for a fabulous opening weekend as the formerly known as 'David Marshall Lodge' in Aberfoyle re-opens, re-vamped and will now be known as 'The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre'. There are some pictures of the new building on their Facebook page, part of the Forestry Commission Scotland news feed (don't forget to 'like' them and follow their future events :-). You will see how the refurbishment maximises the amazing views and incorporates more interactive learning features within the building.

Nix in Nature was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to the weekend with some woodland themed face painting and the 'Lets Go Batty' event, also tying in nicely with the European/International Bat Weekend. If you haven't already you can join our Facebook page too to keep up with future events, links and competitions!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

Face Painting

A wee cheeky pixie tattoo on my arm to welcome in my face painting victims :-)

Cheeky blue tit and butterfly, aka Rosie & Charlie

Beth's butterfly tattoo

Martha, Seth & Jack star as Little Miss Badger, Mr Fox and 'Wild' Cat 

Guided Story Telling Walks

The most excellent Rebecca and Robert from The Walking Theatre Company take us on a hilarious white rabbit and mad hatter walk around The Lodge's beautiful woodland. Like and follow them on Facebook :-)

Bat Walk

 Will tries out our new prop - the bat wings. Just the bat mobile to make now then!

 A 'big scary Dad' takes on the task of eating all the moths with his newly evolved echo-location before we all embarked on the bat hunt.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Arts & Crafts at Forest Hills

A very crafty afternoon at Forest Hills this week, loads going on!

James & Nate's raft Skully

Theo's The Shin Digger (sponsored by Pepsi Max)

Jasmine's The Red & White Raft

Sarah's Monkey Banana 

Russ's Tinted Turbo 

Louisa's Fiddlestix 
Lydia's BOAT

Sarah and Lydia's pendants, Beatrice made a lovely pendant too but I missed photographing that one! 

Last but not least, a wand making session, phew! 

Louisa's Ash wand and her brother Russ's Oak wand is pictured above. Their Mum Nikki made one too with her ogham birth tree Alder which is a wand in progress (same name and tree as me:). Quite funny when the tree bobbed Will on the tree after snipping a branch, I asked permission from the Dryad, clearly Will didn't!!
Sarah made a Hazel wand too and Lydia a Willow. Happy magick making, remember the full blue moon tonight for magick and cleansing :-)