Posted on May 13th, 2017 - Fiona
You would be forgiven for thinking I was about to launch into the details of a new children’s story book with the title “When Rudolph lost his antlers”. However it is actually a key part of the spring cycle in the deer world.
It was on the morning feed run last week that we noticed Rudolph prancing down for his breakfast, minus his beautiful antlers. Suddenly there was only a little height, and his obvious manhood, to distinguish him from the female does. It looked like he had fallen from splendour, yet this is actually a normal occurrence each spring.
Where are your antlers Rudolf?
We gave all the deer their breakfast before setting off on an exploration to find the fallen antlers. It was no easy task amidst the fallen branches and twigs from the winds of the previous week; everything looked like a possibility until we were up close. It was a challenge for little legs as our deer field is huge and farmer Nick was on a mission.
Hunting for fallen antlers
In the end it was me who found the first. The children had a new lease of life as they felt the weight and texture of Rudolph’s lost antler and pretended to wear it themselves.
Here it is
They are made of hair (keratin) and surprisingly heavy. Despite the bloody stubs that are left, I expect Rudolph is glad to be free of them for the summer. I liken it to a little like losing a wobbly tooth and a relief when it finally falls out. I think I may call myself the ‘Antler Fairy’ taking the antler in return for extra cornflakes at breakfast!
It makes a good nose pick!
Rudolph has 5 months for his antlers to reform into a new, more magnificent set ahead of the all important rut in October. Until then he will enjoy a summer of plenty in our lush field with the ladies and hopefully I’ll be sharing some baby fawn news next month from last autumn’s rut.
Just waiting for us to leave their field
The second antler still eludes us, so if you are visiting this coming week the hunt is on!
Posted on May 12th, 2017 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”
Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
May sunshine, could it be summer?
We have had such a busy week here on the farm and I’m grateful for the lovely sunshine and warmth for the best part. We have just finished our new lodge Polzeath with super duper play room including soft play and a reading snug for our guests to enjoy between outdoor adventures. On the farm Rambo literally pushed us into sheep shearing this week, more about that on my post this week, and I’m delighted to say I have seen all 9 of our little ducklings thriving on the lake. Whatever your adventures, I hope you’ll pop by and share them on the link up below.
Guidelines for Joining in:
- Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
- Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
- Unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
- If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
- Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
- Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
- I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
My top commenters from last week:
- Sonia from Mammas School who commented on 26 posts.
- Welsh Cakes and Wellies who commented on 25 posts.
- Helen from The Princess and the Pickle & Clare from Mudpie Fridays who commented on 23 posts.
We have no bloggers link dumping this week, although do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted.
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to have Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish quality wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.
Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here, will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. Keep your posts coming, it could be you winning next!
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the May Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Sonia from Mamma’s School
Many of you will know Lucy from Kids of the Wild has been having a hard few months after finding her beautiful wild child daughter has cancer. Caroline has been fighting hard and the family are staying positive through the grueling effects of chemotherapy. Lucy has been reflecting back on happier times and we share her hope and determination that these happy times will be enjoyed again in time. If you are not familiar with Lucy’s blog, do have a read of her recent posts, she is an inspiration to parents everywhere.
Meme and Harri have been off visiting their favourite National Trust property. Bodnant Gardens does look beautiful in spring bloom.
Country Kids Communities
I’d love you to join me:
Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too.
Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.
Join the growing Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun.
I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter. With over 3650 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @jennihorsley, @lucyathomeblog, @flip_flops_or_wellies & @welshcakeswellies. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
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Posted on May 12th, 2017 - Fiona
It isn’t every day our little farm helpers manage to see our sheep being sheared but last week’s holiday makers turned out to be here at just the right time. In the past we have left sheep shearing until later in the month, but I had spotted Rambo the Ram using his horns to ram the fence posts in his field which meant he needed to go across the lane to his big summer pasture before he broke free.
Since we would never have caught him again from there till autumn he would need shearing first; cue an early sheep shearing appointment for all our sheep. Thankfully we have just finished lambing so there weren’t any pregnant ewes. As I walked the field early in the morning the mothers and lambs were playing happily and had no idea what lay ahead for them.
There is always quite a commotion as we round them up and separate them from their lambs for shearing.
Friday our pet lamb had his morning bottle in the car park and was staying in my garden for the morning to avoid all the sheep shearing action.
Farmer Amber then took the children off round the farm while Nick and I helped set up the shearing station.
The timing couldn’t have been better, just as the tractor was on its way home with the children they were able to hop off at Farmer Nick’s shed and come and watch the sheep shearer in action. This was fascinating for them and they stood in Farmer Nick’s trailer to look in and watch.
If you have ever watched sheep shearing at a country show you will know it is quite an art and mesmerising to watch. A good handler will have the sheep still and cooperating in seconds.
This was a lovely safe way for the children to touch the wool and feel how thick it is without being pushed by a big sheep in the field. The shearer moved deftly from one animal to the next, while the children after watching a couple be sheared, took the tractor ride home complete with a souvenir handful of wool.
Ewes and lambs were happily reunited back in their field with Friday going to join them. Rambo was taken by tractor and trailer over the road to his lush summer pasture just as he wanted.
This was a feed run that will stay with these little ones and their parents for some time to come. In case you are wondering what happens to the fleeces, a local crafter collects from us to spin and make rugs and kindly donates one of the rugs back to us. We held back a little ourselves for crafts in activity hour, more on that one to follow.
Have you ever watched sheep shearing before?
Posted on May 8th, 2017 - Fiona
If you have a baby stuck between crawling and walking this summer I have just the answer to keep them happy and you knowing they are safe and occupied. The new pop n Jump from Summerinfant.co.uk is an Activity Centre with so much to offer any curious little learner.
What to expect from your Pop N Jump
The folding frame is lightweight and unfolds easily from the compact travel bag with handy shoulder strap. This makes it perfect for travelling, whether you are on a picnic day trip, visiting friends and family or off on holiday it is no bigger than a small travel cot to pack and store. Unfolded, the Pop N Jump features 3-levels of height adjustment, a jumping support seat that can be easily removed and machine washed and a wealth of interactive toys attached. The toys include a spinner ball, rattle, teether and mirror book. With a removable UV canopy to protect baby from the sun’s harmful rays, Pop N Jump gives welcome shade when playing outdoors.
Need to know
|Price||Currently on sale reduced from £69.99 to just £49.99|
|Stockist||Summer Infant UK|
|Suitable for||Babies 6 – 12 months (maximum weight 11.3kg / 25lbs and maximum height 76cm|
|Product features||Lightweight folding metal frame |
Compact travel bag with shoulder strap
Support seat can be easily removed for cleaning.
What we thought
This product is made to a really high standard with a quality easy to put up and down frame and thick canvas. The toys are substantial and will easily last to be passed down through siblings while the sun canopy easily clips on and off with poppers for use outdoors. All in a very impressive build quality which is all so important for our holiday business where it is in daily use in our games room keeping babies entertained while older siblings enjoy a game if ping pong or pool. With the current sale price too, we feel the pop n jump is exceptional value for money and a perfect way to keep your baby entertained in that frustrating period between crawling and walking. I wish they had been around when my own children were babies!
Win your Pop and Jump with Summer Infant UK and Coombe Mill
If you have, or know someone with a baby who would benefit from a Pop N Jump, why not enter to win one with us. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Pop N Jump
We were sent our Pop N Jump to review as part of a partnership between Holiday Tots and Summer Infant UK. All thoughts and opinions on the product remain my own.
Posted on May 7th, 2017 - Fiona
This is the 6th and last post in my Greece series from summer 2016. The trip was a “well done” to our older boys following the end of their GCSEs and A levels. We began in Athens, Explored the Acropolis, headed down the the Peloponnese staying at Kantia where we visited Nafplion and Epidavros before heading right back to the earliest days of Greek civilisation in the Myceanaean era with a trip to Mycenae itself.
Background to Mycenae
The Mycenaean world dominated Greece between the 16th and 12th Century BC. I can’t even get my head around how long ago that is and how life must have been. However the ancient remains of the old city at Mycenae can still be seen today.
What to expect at Mycenae
Visiting on a hot July day I was rather glad of the elevated position to pick up a little breeze and make our sightseeing bearable. Parking like a true Greek under the shade of a tree in the car park, we headed up though the famous city gates with its impressive Lions overhead set into the stone. How back then they constructed and carved such things is quite beyond me; however it is wonderful to saunter through and marvel at the possibilities from this ancient civilisation today.
To be fair, the city gates to Mycenae are the most impressive structure still standing. There after there is much left to the imagination with a selection of crumbling walls, passageways and tombs remaining. There are some helpful reading signs along the way to give you a sense of direction and history. The excavations continue today but life is believed to date back on the hill to the 3rd millennium BC.
The Mycenaean acropolis dominates the surrounding area of the Argive plain and controlled communication routes in and out of the Peloponnese into mainland Greece. The views from the top are quite spectacular reaching right down to the sea near Nafplion.
The flood plain below must have been a source of food for the ancient city and olive and almond trees are still prevalent right up the hillside.
The Lion tomb is still intact with a vast entrance you can walk down to. This was separate from the bulk of the tombs though I failed to establish why.
We finished our trip with a visit to the museum sharing more of the artifacts that had been recovered and replicas of what would have been used. This was beautifully clean and modern thanks to EU funding and well worth a look around.
I was struck by how few tourists were visiting given the size of the car park. The new town below was packed with inviting yet empty looking tavernas and I worried for their business. It rather feels although touring as we did is becoming a thing of the past and that local business is beholden to the larger coach trips choosing to make a stop at their destination.
Tips for visiting Mycenae
Prices were very reasonable to enter at 12 Euros for adults and 6 Euros for children.
I would say this is a trip for a half day only which suited us perfectly.
The entrance fee covers a separate treasury and tombs as a nearby site which we missed out on. As the boys had had enough and were in search of lunch by then.
Fresh water taps to refill bottles are provided so no need to carry too much
There are clean and well kept toilets
Sensible footwear is recommended as they steps are uneven and worn making them slippery in parts.
Be careful following a map or Sat Nav as the Greek translation into English is spelt in several different ways; we found ourselves heading to the wrong place a few times and having to turn around.