Where do I start - well we have just returned from what I would describe as another world; Florida! Big, hot & busy!
Articles tagged with: Woodland
During the school Christmas holidays, the minxes set up their usual refrain: “Nooo! We don’t want to go for a long, boring walk! We want to stay in the warmth and watch TV and gorge ourselves on chocolate till we can’t move!” I may be paraphrasing just a tiny bit, but I’m sure you’ve all experienced the same attitude at times. As luck would have it (!) our heating broke down for a week, so it soon became warmer outside than in. Perfect for winkling my trio out for some fresh air and exercise!
If you ever plan to visit Aberdeenshire, come in the autumn! It’s the one dry (ish) season and the whole countryside bursts into brilliant colour in one final blaze before winter sets in. But do remember your wellies – this is Scotland, after all, so ‘dry’ is just a relative term. And so this is the perfect time of year for Mini to test a pair of Bogs wellies!
I realised after my last post that you might have been wondering why Maxi had taken a plastic washing up basin with her on our walk around the burn and the woods. Well, it’s because we discovered on a recent walk that a light-coloured basin was much better for observing water-creatures than a fishing net, both in terms of not disturbing the creatures, as well as speed, ease and visibility:
The early spring half-term week off school can be a bit of an anticlimax - you start off full of good intentions to get out and about whether it’s foggy, rainy, icy or snowy, but it soon gets tricky to persuade the smalls to get out and about when it’s just the same old scenery you’ve visited lots of times before and at least one of them is just a little bit too poorly to go exploring much further afield.
Batsford Arboretum is a firm favourite with our Little Trekkers. More compact than Westonbirt and Stourhead, it has an intimate and welcoming atmosphere, and you really do feel at liberty to wander amongst the trees. Set on a hillside with superb views over the surrounding countryside, it’s a fantastic setting.
After our recent trip to the Isle of Mull we tagged on another few days to spend some time near Linlithgow to see a Jousting event organised by Historic Environment Scotland. It was another one of those 'really want to do one-day' events that had not happened for many years. So when we were south of Inverness anyway - well it made sense to keep going! (That's Highlander logic for you)
We have shared our previous foraging adventures over the last few years - ranging from chanterelles to blaeberries/bilberries - rowanberries - birch sap ...
In NE Scotland, schools still get 2 weeks off in October that in times past were to allow schoolchildren to help harvest potatoes from the fields, hence the name Tattie Holidays. They’re probably my favourite school holiday because Aberdeenshire bursts into colour at this time of year. So as usual we spent most of it exploring some of the woods around and about. As fellow Ambassador Jennie said in her latest post, often the best walks are the unplanned ones – most of those October days we just pulled on our wellies, grabbed a windproof raincoat, jumped in the car, and headed to one of our favourite spots.
At the beginning of autumn we’d gone on a thoroughly enjoyable Ranger-led walk at dusk through some woodland. We’d spotted bats swooping and tracked them with some handheld detectors the Ranger had given us; we’d heard owls and (a little alarmingly when you can barely see) some bees somewhere nearby in a tree.
I don’t know about your Little Trekkers, but mine have all reached an age when they care deeply about the aesthetics of the clothes they wear rather than how they function. The right logo or fashionable shape of hood is suddenly more important than whether a jacket is waterproof (!) Naively I’d believed that, bar a couple of years when Mini refused to wear anything non-purple, that they’d be immune to the whims of fashion. Silly me!
Jon and I have been spending weekends outdoors with the minxes for 11 years now. You’d think that by now the girls would be quite accustomed to spending all day outside, going on long walks, exploring and having adventures. You would, wouldn’t you? Alas no. We generally spend our weekends trying hard to persuade 3 girls to set foot outside for ‘just a few minutes’ when they’d much rather loaf around reading. Then arguing with them. Then ordering them outdoors. I hang my head in shame, but I’m sure I’m not alone.