Mountain children

children-in-the-forest-needle-felted-toadstool(Needle-felted Fly Agaric)

The books that are read to us as young children, help to shape the people we will become. It affects our style, our understanding of our surroundings, our references in the world. It’s little wonder as these books are often read to us over and over and over again. They are the first pictures that we study in detail and commit to memory in our young heads.

My children were raised on Elsa Beskow books. Not exclusively, of course, but they were a running theme throughout their young years, as they would be rotated on our Seasons table. The illustrations are delightful. The stories simple and centred on our natural world.


Imagine our delight when we walked into a forest that could only be straight out of the pages of the Children on the Forest book. If we had looked round one of the trees and spotted the small family out, gathering mushrooms and berries for the winter, none of us would have batted an eyelid.


I think its the first time we have found bilberries, growing wild. Oh, for a small basket.


Our walk was up Merrick Mountain, in Galloway, Scotland. It is an 8 mile walk to the summit, but we knew that we were not going all the way up. Our 10 year old dog is arthritic in her back legs and the boulder part noticeably took it out of her. She is so loyal, she would have accompanied us to the top and beyond, if we had asked it of her, but we knew it would be a mistake. Above the tree line would suit us.waterfall-merrick-mountain

Once beyond the fairly steep climb over the boulders, we reached a part that felt like a valley. Much easier and also beautiful in its own right. The heather was in full bloom, adding the perfect touch of colour.  bothy-at-merrick-mountainThe children explored the bothy, which is the first they have seen. Such a beautiful day. We had to remind them that conditions are not always as good in Scotland and long distant trekkers may be glad of this building as a shelter.

tree-climbing-on-merrickWe reached the trees. It’s fenced off to stop deer eating all the newly planted young plants. The children became the children in the forest. Acting out stories from the book. Reminding me of the tales.

red-toadstoolWe found bilberries and fungi in the shade of the pine trees.


At this point, half the party continued on, while I stayed behind, with two of the children, to give our old faithful hound a chance to rest. She blended right into the scenery.

pretend-sword-fightingWhile we waited, there was a chance to practise stick sword fighting while balanced on a log. To climb trees. Hunt for little people wearing red and white toadstool hats. With the light coming through the leaves, it added even more to the magic of the place.

lens-cloudAlso we practised our cloud appreciation on the lone cloud in the sky. A classic lenticular cloud. Formed at high altitude. Stationary. A stacked lens-shaped cloud.


Once the others returned, we headed back down the mountain. Ready for a cup of tea and cake at the cafe below. Only right to end where we started.

(Needle felting notes: I used Jacobs sheep fleece for the white base and spots. It felts up firm, with a slight spring. The red is merino.)

Anyone else read the Children of the Forest book?

(Affiliated link in this post.)

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

21 thoughts on “Mountain children

  • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I have such happy memories of climbing Conwy mountain and picking bilberries as a child with my grandparents. I think these experiences are what turned me into the gardener, cook and forager I am today. Can’t beat being out in the wild with nature and wild food. Now I’m trying to recreate these experiences for my kids just as you have shown in this post. Looks like you had a great day 🙂

    • Tuesday 20 September, 2016 at 11:32 am

      What lovely memories you must have. I’m sure they have shaped you. And how wonderful to hand them on to your children.

  • Monday 19 September, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I haven’t come across that book before but it did remind me of a stained glass piece I had as a child and the geocaching adventures we partake in. #mmbc

    • Tuesday 20 September, 2016 at 11:35 am

      I hope you still have your stained glass. It sounds as if the image was a strong one.

  • Saturday 24 September, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Now there’s a challenge for me with next year’s Jacobs fleeces! What a delightful book series this sounds and I’m a huge fan of discovering the magic of books in nature. The Scottish scenery is stunning and I love the purple from the heather, this must be a great time of year to be exploring up there and how lucky witht he weather.

    Thank you for sharing a lovely post with me on #CountryKids

    • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      I don’t think the children believe us about scottish weather. We were very lucky with all the blue sky.

  • Saturday 24 September, 2016 at 7:46 am

    What a great walk to take your kids on, looks like an amazing location. I’ve never seen a bothy in real life, I must head into the Scottish hills one day soon.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      It was a lovely walk. Finding a bothy added to it.

  • Saturday 24 September, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    You are so right! The woods do look like as if you’ve just stepped into a fairy-tale picture book. So beautiful and I love all your photos. And looks like you had lovely weather too 🙂 #countrykids

    • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks Dean. I am loving looking back at the photos.

    • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      The book is lovely. The pictures are beautiful and the story sweet. Be warned. You’ll want the rest of her books too.

  • Saturday 24 September, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I haven’t heard of that book before but I’ll have to see if I can get a copy. I adore the felted fly agaric!

    The scenery and your photos are amazing. Like picture postcards.


  • Monday 26 September, 2016 at 8:08 am

    That really look like a scenes from books! So so stunning there! Sadly I havent read these books but I can already imagine whats its about through your travel photos =) #countrykids

  • Monday 26 September, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I love how a day out brought the book to life. I have never thought about how the books they read in early days shapes them as individuals – best stop my son reading Horrid Henry! #countrykids

  • Monday 26 September, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    What a fab way to spend the day. The photos looks fantastic and you obviously had such a great time. Will be checking out that book now #countrykids xx

  • Monday 26 September, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I’ve never read the book but oh my lord your photos are beautiful and I can totally see how story like and idealic Galloway is. I love Scotland it is really beautiful isn’t it. #countrykids

  • Tuesday 27 September, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    We’ve never read the book, but it sounds lovely. What a beautiful place, stunning scenery and wonderful place to explore. Shame your dog couldn’t go further, but I bet it was nice to have a rest. #CountryKids

  • Wednesday 28 September, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    What a beautiful place for a walk – the scenery is stunning and looks like you had glorious weather too. I’ve not read the Children of the Forest book but how lovely that your children were acting out stories from it 🙂 #countrykids

  • Thursday 29 September, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Scotland is where I long to visit one day.The scenery looks absolutely breathtaking and inspiring. 🙂

Comments are closed.

Follow by Email