Monday, 29 October 2012

In a land of butterflies and horses

Yesterday we took a trip to Butterfly World. It was nice to be inside the warm butterfly enclosures on such a cold day. They also had otters, goats, guinea pigs and lots more.

Watching a butterfly having a banana for breakfast.
It is Caligo sp. from South America I think.

Looking at leaf cutter ants through a magnifier

Leaf cutter ants 

Papilio sp. from South Asia

Greta oto from South America

Idea leuconoe from South Asia

Looking at the guinea pigs

Heliconius charitonius from Central and S. America

Cousin It

One of Alvin, Simon or Theodore

The amazingly curious otters. They are Oriental
small-clawed otters and were very noisily chirping
and meowing to each other.

Isla found a puddle! Her new shoes
are fairly waterproof.

Pig! She is called Winnie.

And back to the otters again. They wanted to come home with us.

Pinkdinosaurus barnei

Today Isla and I went to HorseWorld. We met up with Isla's friends Jack and Chloe there. Chloe had been before and showed us round. Isla said 'biiiiiig neigh neigh' quite a lot while we were there. The shire horses in particular were HUGE. There were lots of donkeys, ponies of various kinds and lots of other animals. The horses were all rescued, it is a charity. Isla stroked the nose of a brown pony while there was a talk about the horses in the main ring. She was very excited by this!

Also TRACTORS. For children to ride on. Isla, Jack and Chloe were in their element. There was a stable full of wood shavings with wheelbarrows, rakes and buckets and spades for the children to play with. The three toddlers could happily have stayed in there all day if we'd let them.

The shire horse who looked a bit like Charlie

Looking at the donkeys

Bubbles the pony. Not at all like her
Little Britain namesake thank goodness

Yay Tractors!

Isla very bravely inside a combine harvester


Just chillin' by another horse....

A donkey called Mimi.

Doing a spot of mucking out

A lovely shire horse with only one eye.
He was HUGE! Friendly though, and very into his carrots.

Back home with crayons and stickers!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Icy puddles

The sky is blue today! It is very sunny here, also windy but VERY cold. Yesterday evening was very windy. Monty goes a little crazy in the wind and kept rushing around the garden leaping in and out of the windows of Jura Lodge.

This morning, Andrew and Isla finished making the Christmas puddings with well-steeped fruits. After the puddings were put on to steam, we went for a walk to find some animals and splash in puddles. Some puddles were difficult to splash in because they were covered with ice. Isla loved the puddles, finding leaves, looking at the horses and also stroking a kitten which almost followed us home.

Trying to feed a leaf to a pony who neighed at us

Spooky spiders

On our way to the swimming pool yesterday, we saw a fox. It was very bold and ran across the road carrying a rat or similar in its mouth. We stopped briefly in the car to watch it: the fox stared back at us from a field track. It was great to see a rural fox as I think I have only seen urban ones before and heard their weird shrieks at night in the city. We felt very privileged to have seen this handsome fox.

We finished off making our spooky spider yesterday, and also finished our bat that Isla had painted earlier in the week. She enjoyed putting glue everywhere, sticking some eyes and sequins on and also choosing coloured pipe cleaners for the spider legs. The bat and spider are now decorating our window to scare off nosey passers by.

Charlie thought it was a real spider, and so tried to eat it.

Isla hiding in a den reading a book. Charlie watching on
after trying to walk across the 'roof' of the den

The braised oxtail for dinner turned out well. I used a recipe from BBC Good Food which was very easy and tasty.