Berries and Brambles – Country Kids

We have had a glorious week of weather and although I now have a “big” nursery school girl, we’ve been out enjoying the September sunshine every day.  One of our favourite things to do at this time of year is to go Blackberrying.

Blackberries

 We took a basket and headed for the hedgerows around our fields and lanes. This year they are just bursting with berries.  Some of them are still very green and will be another couple of weeks until they can be picked.  However, we found scores of fat purple berries just waiting for little fingers and mouths!

 berry picking

We filled our basket and ate some, filled it up again and a certain little person ate some more!

 berries

We walked the whole way to the bottom of the longest lane.  Stopped to say hello to the baby cows and then spotted the bigger ones in the next field.  They caused great excitement because Mr Bull was in there too (not the enormous monster bull with the ring through his nose, but a big boy all the same.)

calves

 

cows at gatebull

Once I decided he’d had enough of us gawping over the gate at him, we made our way back up the lane towards home.  The promise of Apple and Blackberry crumble had the girls happily skipping along.

They took turns at carrying their precious cargo.  However, baby sister began to lag behind a little and each time I turned around to see what she was doing, she quickly turned her head away.  I discovered of course, the fatal flaw in my plan of basket sharing.  She was scoffing the contents when she thought we weren’t looking.  Her purple mouth and fingers a dead giveaway!.

berry stealer

berry Face

It was a fun afternoon and they loved seeking out the ripe berries.  Did I make an apple and blackberry crumble?  Did I heck, by the time we reached home there was only a handful left.  We will go again for more at the weekend and this time I’ll carry the basket home!

berry fingers
It’s that time of the week again, time to link up with the fabulous Fiona from Coombe Mill for the brilliant Country Kids linky.  A chance to share our outdoor fun with our children.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Squatter & Gatecrashers – #OneWeek

Living in the countryside means our garden is a hive of wildlife activity.  We have a multitude of bird life.  Of course our chick, chick, chick, chick, chickens live there too.  We also have at least one hedgehog, who we manage to glimpse occasionally.  Foxes use it as their route into the adjoining fields. We have found badger tracks on several occasions.  Rabbits, hares and even pheasants all grace us with their presence at some point throughout the year.  We have just as much activity during the winter months as we do in spring/summer.  We have several bird feeding stations and lots of berry rich trees and bushes, so there is a constant food supply.

We even had some very unexpected visitors, who managed to escape their cosy barn and come for a wander through our yard instead!  I think they liked the look of our barn more.

moo

Our latest visitor though appears to have taken up residence and if he isn’t stealing the chickens food, he’s raiding the bird feeders.

So here he is, the very cheeky Sammy squirrel!  Unfortunately not a red one, although there is a small colony of them a few miles from our house, so I live in hope that one day we might get a little red fellow.

 

018

 This is a link up with the amazing Sarah at Older Mum (in a muddle) and her One Week – winter linky

 

one week

The Mucky Mitten

This is a tale of theft, greed, heartbreak, elation then heartbreak again!  Sigh

My girls are outdoors girls, they could spend all day every day, come rain or shine outside.  So I try to get them out even for just a short time every day.

Today it was cold, but dry and bright.  So I got them wrapped up in warm clothes and we headed outside.  After exploring the garden and charging through the leaves, we ventured out onto the lane for a nature walk.

Our closest neighbour is a dairy farmer and he sometimes grazes his cattle in our field.  At the moment he has some of this summer calves in there, so they are perhaps 5 months old. They of course come running when they see us and peer curiously at us through the fence.

Our oldest girl has to climb up the 5 bar gate to get a better look and babble at them as though they are human and totally understand her. After 20 minutes or so of cow chatter, I managed to get her dragged away, so we could go a bit further.  About halfway down the lane, she suddenly started howling “oh noooo mummy, I’ve lost my mitten”  I tried to reassure her that we would find the mitten, but no, nothing I said made any difference.  She just got louder and louder, sobbing “I need my mitten” “They’re my favourite mittens”, “They’re my special mittens”.  This is the girl with about 5 pairs of mittens, but these ones apparently have become the favourites!

So we turned around and retraced our steps, watching closely for our very favourite in the whole wide world pink mitten.  We got right back to where we started and no mitten.  That’s when it struck me, she’d been hanging over the gate talking to the cows, had she dropped it into the field.  I had visions of finding a trampled mitten lying forlornly at the field gate.  Alas, no, there standing by the gate was a little cow munching away on something pink!

Oh yes the cow was eating the mitten.  It of course decided it didn’t like it and spat it back out.  One mucky, saliva and grass coated, once pink mitten.  Follow that with “oh no mummy, the wee baby cow is eating my mitten”, “no, cow, no cow, my mitten is ruined!”  I told her we’d wash the mitten and it would be fine (wishful thinking).  She insisted we had to take the mitten straight home and wash it.  So I had to pick up the disgusting, soaking, cow slabber mitten and carry it inside, still trying to pacify a heartbroken toddler!

Both mittens went into the wash and came out clean, but I did notice cow mitten wasn’t quite as thick as it had been.  It’s a knitted mitten, but the inside is fleece lined, so it is quite thick and chunky.  I chucked them into the drier and hoped that this would fluff the whole thing up and back to its original state.  Unfortunately, it was not to be, the mitten is still oddly thin.  We have now one thick and one thin mitten.  I don’t know why this is, perhaps something in the cows saliva has damaged the fleece.  So that’s it, I now have a toddler who went from heartbreak, to joy at the thought it would be ok, back to heartbreak because “mummy, it’s just not the same” All over a mitten eating cow!  Sod’s law would also dictate that the same mittens are now sold out, so I can’t even sneakily replace them.

Oh the trauma of being a toddler with a dodgy mitten ;)