Thursday, 21 January 2010

Signs of Life

There's a certain mystique around the ability to read tracks and signs; a sense of wonder surely helped by a childhood spent watching old westerns where Indian scouts read seemingly invisible signs in the dust or notice a bruised blade of grass on the prairie. It was usually portrayed as a skill outside the experience of your average white man. It doesn't need to be, of course, but it is a much neglected craft and one of the most rewarding in developing our understanding of the habits of our local wildlife.
Painstaking and occasionally obsessive, tracking/sign reading is an exercise in learning to look, learning
to move with animal stealth, learning to listen, and even learning to smell in a new way. All your senses including your
intuitive sixth are finely tuned. It is part observation and part
interpretation and a perfect antidote to the channel zapping, google
scrolling that our eyes are used to. It is a way of telling stories about the
countryside, building up a picture of the creatures who live there and the
significant landmarks and boundaries of their world.

Living in such a populated country, tracking and reading signs is made more difficult by one sign being overlaid by
another. Hiking boots may be kind on your feet but they leave a heavy mark
where they tread. However when it
snows its as though a whole new landscape has been laid down in front of you.
It sometimes seems like vandalism to disturb it, but it is a perfect time to start learning to read the signs and see how much wild life is teeming
around you.

Above: Shire horse and wallaby tracks. Below: Fox and blackbird

For a good introduction see "Animal Tracks and Signs" by Preben Bang and Preben Dahlstrom

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Cornish yurt Holidays - new for 2010

All this snowy weather has provided a much needed if not entirely welcome opportunity to catch up on the office work. We’ve been making a few changes to the website so that it gives more information about the place and what we do here. The new Cornish Yurt Holidays website, which will run along side the Yurtworks site will be up and running by the middle of February but in the meantime…

The new booking calender has already made it much easier for people to see what is available and the price of each week.

The gallery page has more photos of the farm, the yurts and what to see around and about.

We are staying with just three yurts so that we retain the peace and seclusion of the place. However we are making a few improvements to ensure that it’s a yurt experience visitors remember for all the right reasons.

We are making new double beds for all the yurts from local wood; a king size in the 20ft Ash Field Yurt and standard doubles in the two others. Futons are great and we will keep one in each of the 20ft Ash Field and 18ft Oak Wood Yurt, but a proper bed and mattress gives that touch more comfort and loads more storage underneath.

Along with the Farm Walk Map we shall be providing more information of local walks in the area. One of the beauties of the place is that you can just start walking from your yurt to explore some lovely places without getting into your car. The two tallest tors in Cornwall, Roughtor and Brown Willy can both be walked in a day from the village with grand views that take in the north and south coasts.

The solar shower will be up and running by the start of the season. We are building a wooden shower building similar to our Ig-loos , a bit like an upturned boat with a vaulted roof and cedar cladding.. The bathroom yurt remains the same apart from a new set of covers.

Because we are replacing them with beds we have two futons for sale if you are interested please let us know.