Birds & veg 

Today we took advantage of a nice day and headed down to the woody park to to up the bird café that mummy and the girls set up. Mummy and Beanster had made some new fat cake and mummy rigged up some take away boxes to hang in the trees. 

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There was much climbing and swinging too.

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After the park we headed up to the much neglected allotment. This year has once again confirmed we are good at growing squash and pumpkin. The sweet corn is the biggest we’ve ever managed but an investigation of one corn cob confirmed it’s not ripe yet. 

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We dug up the rest of the potatoes and brought home rhubarb, a spaghetti squash,  a couple of marrows, a wee pumpkin, some beetroot and a few peas and broad beans. 

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There are also a couple of big pumpkins that are starting to ripen so we might have home grown Halloween pumpkins this year. 

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Camping with friends

We started our morning with a game of monster dominoes. Moo was excellent at this game winning both games.

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Granny and Grandpa then took the girls for a couple of hours so I could do the final shopping and packing for our camping trip with Stacey, Lyall and Kateherine to Pillars Of Hercules, Fife. 

We arrived at the site and it was warm with some sunshine. This was a big improvement to the torrential rain we had earlier.

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The girls helped to pitch the tent.

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We enjoyed our first tea, veggie chilli, made by Stacey. Yum!

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We were visited by wildlife.

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And investigated the tunnels left by others. Here we are looking at mole tunnels.

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Beanster had a dip in the burn.

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We had a run about and looked at all the flowering plants around the site.

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Beanster, Moo and I went to find fallen apples. We may make these into something tomorrow. We didn’t take any from the trees.

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Our site has solar panels on it. Good for the girls to see up close.

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Later on we sat around the campfire. Tortilla chips make excellent firestarters

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The moon is now up so we are heading to bed. See you tomorrow folks.

Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve

Today we spent at Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve at Loch Leven, Fife. What a fabulous time the girls had.

First of all Beanster had her last Summer swimming week lesson and Holly, her instructor, said she did really well. Beanster has been trying hard to improve her breathing technique and breastroke legs. Today she managed to take 3 breaths whilst swimming before needing to grab onto Holly which was a great achievement. She and her pal R were also complimented on how great they were today at listening to instructions.

Back in the car we headed up the motorway to Loch Leven and the nature reserve. We needed some food so first of all we had a spot of lunch whilst admiring this fabulous view:

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As we ate we also watched the birds on the big screen live feed which was in front of us. Both girls also coloured in some pictures of birds, insects and wildflowers and Moo stuck hers onto the wildflower and bumblebee meadow wall.

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We spoke to a lovely RSPB volunteer and hired some Explorer backpacks and set out on our adventure.

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First of all we stopped to watch the birds at the feeding stations through an observation fence. Beanster used the identification book which was in her backpack to identify a Marsh Tit.

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Also in the backpacks were bug viewfinders and we began to learn how to use these. Both girls caught coloured flies in theirs, but we need further practise using them and being patient, as they gave up on using them soon after. Apparently it was taking too long to find interesting bugs!

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We found an area with den building opportunities so the girls added some sticks to improve a den that was already there.

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Next we headed to the natural play area to improve our gross motor skills and coordination. There were lots of wooden pieces to climb over and ropes to pull yourself up. Moo particularly liked going through the tunnels and down the hill then climbing the hill to go through the tunnels again. Beanster made herself an obstacle course and Moo had a snack and was the audience for Beanster as she ran. Afterwards we listened to crickets in the grass and Beanster found one really quickly.

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We next headed to the leafy loop walk where the girls found a seating area and put on a circus show.

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We found a bug hotel and then used it as a reference to build our own one in an area designated for this. The girls worked really well as a team to build a lovely bug hotel.

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We found a wind turbine and although we have seen these often as we go along the motorway both girls were fascinated by this one. Possibly because they saw it up close and were able to stand underneath. Beanster made up her own ‘turbine dance’ which she performed as she listened to the rhythmic hum of the blades as they went round.

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We had a quick look in the ponds but it was getting late so we decided to leave pond dipping til next time. Moo declared the pondweed to be yucky but it didn’t stop her investigating it with a stick!

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Dipping into water

Water featured highly today and as there was a rare sight in Scotland (blue sky) we spent a large amount of time outdoors. Mind you, when don’t we!

First of all though Beanster had a swimming lesson. Today was all about learning to do the front crawl and trying to retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool without assistance. These are very tricky to do, especially when your body keeps wanting to float back up to the top, but she did very well and is back tomorrow for more practise. As Beanster swam, Moo played games on her tablet and set herself up a mini picnic.

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When we arrived home we were in time to see the binmen emptying and washing out our bin. We had a wee chat with them and learned about how the bin lorry worked.

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A quick play in the garden and then we headed to Jupiter Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth with friend H and his mum Yvette.

The ranger let us investigate their nature table where we had a look for hidden natural treasures in the undergrowth. Beanster identified a rabbit skull and we had a look at some pellets that an owl had coughed up.

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We collected some pond dipping equipment then spent the afternoon investigating the large pond there and using a key to identify what we had found.

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We found Stickleback fish, Minnows, Water snails, Damselfly larvae, Caddis fly larvae, Non biting midge larvae, Pondskaters and Water beetles.

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Moo caught the most fish, 3, all by herself. H the most water snails, Beanster the largest variety of things and Yvette the biggest fish. Moo got upset when they all needed to be put back so we headed to the woody area and made a den to cheer her up.

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She found herself a wee nook.

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We love all the bug hotels and recycled objects at Jupiter.

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Back at home Beanster used her magnifying glass to look more closely at our wild flower tubs and talked about what she could see.

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Evening play included sleepovers, shopping, soup making at the mud kitchen using dead marigolds and water and pretend school. 

Another day in the life of Beanster and Moo.

Identifying wildflowers from a book and music

This morning we went for a walk around Beecraigs and used a book Granny had brought to help us identify some wildflowers.

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We identified Yellow Birds Foot Trefoil, Vetch, Rosebay Willowherb, Spear Thistle, Ragwort, Stinging Nettle, Common Hogweed, Foxglove and Buttercup amongst others.

We had a stop at the park for a play.

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We followed a woodland path which took us to some trees and a wall, ideal for practising drumming outdoors.

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The weather wasn’t so nice today as yesterday, but the weather never stops us.

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We had lunch at Granny and Grandpa’s before Grandpa headed out to watch a bowling match. 

Back at home more music was practised by Beanster. She chose to accompany Frank Turner on the harmonica as he sang ‘ I still believe’.

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We started to create a transfer picture of a Roman Gladiator battle scene.

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And the girls began a dig to find replica Roman artefacts.

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Another busy, fun, educational day.

Rockpooling and sand investigation

As the weather was lovely yesterday we decided to take a trip out to North Berwick beach. We had lots of fun looking in rockpools, building castles and cakes from sand, digging up little bits of ‘natural treasure’ which we looked at closely, identifying sea creatures and paddling in the water. Some of the creatures we found today were crabs(live and dead), blue jellyfish, sea anemone, whelks, limpets, razor class, barnacles, a sand worm of some description and teeny tiny fish.

First of all, before we left, fuzzy felt pictures were made and talked about.

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Gorgeous weather at North Berwick
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Sandcastle building.

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Looking like a film star.

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Feeling the sand.

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Eating seaweed (not from the beach).

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Investigating the rockpools.

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We found a bed of whelks.

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Paddling in the outdoor pool.

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Getting buried in the sand.

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A trip to North Berwick is not complete until Mama has been to the lobster shack.

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Beanster, Moo and I had food from the chippy.

Another lovely day in the lives of Beanster and Moo.

Birthday party and snakes in the grass

Yesterday was Grandpa’s birthday but as Mama was working we had his party today. The girls had worked hard to make him some presents. Moo made him a hand painted clock and Beanster drew a picture consisting of her hand, turned into a face, surrounded by swirls. It was very unusual but so very Beanster.

After watching Grandpa open his gifts, the girls then ran about in bubbles until lunch.

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Lunch was a yummy buffet

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And a party is not complete without cake!

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There was much excitement throughout the afternoon and play opportunities a plenty

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When we got home I found some mini chalkboards so turned them into wee signs for the bird cafe. Beanster turned hers into rugs and pillows for a holiday house. Moo had a nap.

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Later on Beanster went outside to play in the front garden. She made a pretend picnic for her dolls using whatever she found round about her for food and then decided to create some natural art. This picture she has called ‘Snakes in the Grass’.

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There was some mud kitchen chef play. The chef’s special for the day was Aiaro! 

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After tea we headed to the woody park to add more food to the bird cafe. The girls took their bike and scooter and we practised road safety on the way.
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We added our things to the bird cafe, Beanster made friends with a wee boy L and Moo played train drivers and made pretend food.

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On the way home Moo and I talked about shadows and identified things we could see around us.

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Yip, another great day in the lives of Beanster and Moo.