From the start of June each year we are on the lookout for baby deer fawn in our deer field. Last year we didn’t spot any in the early days, instead waiting until they were grown sufficiently to run with the heard. It was 2016 when I last spotted a deer calf hiding. This year we have been lucky again and our group searches revealed our first fawn hiding in the bracken.
The only means of defence for a baby deer fawn is camouflage. They are vulnerable to many predators, notably birds of prey, foxes and badgers. The mother’s visit them for feeds and then just leave them hidden. The fawns know to just keep still, like a game of statues, until mother returns. If you are close to a baby fawn the mother will not approach, instead she will stand back and watch you from afar; hoping to fool you into thinking her hidden baby is not there. For this reason if we are lucky enough to spot a hidden baby we never go too close. Watching from a short distance will prevent a human scent trail being left for predators to follow. By standing back the baby will hope they have not been spotted and remain as still as a statue, with just their eyes following you. If you go very close the baby will have no option but to try and run for safety, but with no idea where mother is or where to run this can be a disaster. In our field it is easy for them to re-hide in the bracken but it can still alert a predator to their presence so we try to avoid this at all cost.
Our first discovery was in a typical location, hidden in bracken beneath an oak tree. Fortunately this was just below a granite outcrop that gave everyone an opportunity for a reasonable look from above without the need to walk too close.
The mother wasn’t taking chances, by the following morning she had moved the baby deer fawn to a new hiding place. However we have since spotted more, of course we are never sure if we keep seeing the same ones or different ones! As this is the first year our new stag has worked the field we are thrilled to see his success.
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Well it isn’t often I’m handing out sun safety advice and suggestions for staying cool with kids in Cornwall. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I love this weather, but for our holiday makers with little ones it has been quite tough keeping them cool and equally the animals are feeling the heat and seeking shady spots to lounge around in after the morning visit from us. Having our own stretch of river to paddle in and the beautiful beaches nearby has been ideal. Whatever your plans for the week ahead I hope it includes some outdoor fun and as always please come and join me with your adventures on the link up below.
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I had been creating a giveaway post for a lovely set of Lonely Planet Kids books all about recording holiday memories. One of the double pages reminded me of our popular colour by nature activity last year. With a little twist on last year and inspiration from the book I had a new afternoon of creative fun mapped out turning a rainbow of summer flower colours in to nature flags with a little challenge at the end.
After a beautiful sunny week we had a rumble of thunder and a few humid spots of rain just as we were due to start. I quickly ran through the idea of hunting for every colour under the rainbow in summer flowers and using these to complete nature boards and decorate homemade flags.
Then we took our boards of rainbow colours and collecting trays and scoured the lawns, gardens and hedgerows for a little of every colour. I have to say early summer is perfect for finding rich purples, pinks and yellows, though we did struggle with black. A few old leaves from last autumn were deep shades of brown and red and almost black as was the odd feather.
We stopped to see if there was nectar in the honeysuckle yet, smell the last of the wild garlic and play with sticky weed; these are all nature activities I remember from my own childhood.
Finally we took our brimming haul back to the craft tables. Thankfully the threatened rain never amounted to much. With a little sticky back tape we secured a sample of each colour to our rainbow pallet boards.
Then with the creativity flowing we cut flags from old sheets and stapled them round collected sticks to make a flag. Once the fag was formed the fun started. The children took their time designing their nature flags, taking account of heavier items near the stick to allow the flag greater movement. We secured their chosen designs with sticky tape and staples and added a few felt tip finishing touches.
I had a plan for our finished flags. We would use them on the crazy golf course in place of the regular flags and have a golf competition. I managed a quick snap of everyone with their flags before they chose a hole to make their own.
Then the fun began. We counted number of shots per hole taken by everyone, and thankfully with no rigging from me everyone won at least one hole!
We untied the nature flags for the children to take home with them as a little reminder of a fun afternoon on the farm.
Bring outdoor art and outdoor eating together in this wonderful new concept; a colour-in picnic blanket. Give your kids hours of entertainment, fresh air and creativity. This novel idea is set to transform a visit to the park or the beach. We couldn’t wait to give it a go. Read on to see what we thought and be in with a chance of winning your own.
A good picnic blanket is a great way to keep bottoms dry on the grass or sand free on the beach, but sitting still to eat is never popular with active kids. With this novel picnic rug they can sit and colour the tempting picnic foods then enjoy their own picnic on the rug. With 6 washable pens included the ink stays on the rug and not on their clothes. When you are finished you can wash your rug and the artwork will stay for up to 6 months. There is even a handy carry bag to store the rug for your next picnic adventure.
Designer Kate Edmunds says:
“Colour-in Picnic Blanket was created to combine a fun colour-in activity with a practical waterproof backed picnic blanket. It can also be used as a tablecloth and playmat so it’s three products in one.”
We had the perfect occasion to test out the blanket, a beautiful sunny day and an afternoon of collecting and baking with wild gorse flowers. While the cakes baked, the children set to work colouring.
The children were quite wrapped up in their cake colours and designs and soon forgot about their baking. As I brought out the tray of their home cooked wild flower cakes the pens went down and the picnic rung came into its own as everyone enjoyed their baking.
There is still plenty of colouring left to do, but that’s just fine, I’m hoping for many more creative afternoons outdoors with children on holiday here this summer and everyone can help colour in a little section. When it’s all done there is even the bag to colour!
|Available from||Prezzybox UK|
|Contents||Washable picnic rug, carry bag, 6 washable fabric pens.|
|Rug material||Thick cotton canvas front with polyester backing.|
|Rug size||145.00cm (L) x 145.00cm (W) x 0.20cm (D)|
If you fancy making your next picnic a little more creative with this novel quality blanket simply follow the instructions below for a chance to win. Good luck to all taking part.
We were sent our Colour-In picnic blanket for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
We have been enjoying some unusually hot weather in the south west this summer and plenty of lovely sunshine too. Our poor sheep have been feeling weighed down with their heavy winter coats and we were willing the days by till our trusted Cornish sheep shearing expert was due to come and relieve them of their extra layer. In the end it was just as the hot and dry spell was turning to hot and wet that Farmer Nick and I were up at the crack of dawn to round the sheep up and bring them indoors, ahead of the drizzle which was sitting heavy in the sky.
We managed to bring them in just in time. As we set the shearer up, and began the feed run for the other animals with the guests, the drizzle began. We hit a stumbling block right at the start, the shearing head broke and while our shearer drove home for a new one the sheep had to endure an extra hour cooped up inside not knowing what was going on while the lambs were bleating outside for their Mums.
It did however give us the chance to finish the feed run with the guests, for them to return to their properties for a little rest and refreshment before we collected them again on the tractor to come and see the sheep shearing.
This time it was full steam ahead. Our shearer can do up to 100 sheep in a day, it is such heavy hard work I can’t even begin to imagine the calories he must burn or how strong he is but he had our little flock done in an hour.
All reunited back in the field the sheep are now fully appreciating summer and like me quite happy for the hot weather to continue. It is a real bonus time of year for our guests to be able to watch the sheep shearing so close like this. Next up will be our alpaca, if we can track down the elusive shearer!
Our sheared fleeces have already gone to a local crafter who makes beautiful rugs, bags and woollen toys to sell at the local Cornish craft fairs. It’s lovely to see these little cottage industries thrive and we are delighted to donate the fleece.