Halloween!!!

Hello fiends

Have you got your costumes and pumpkins ready for the big night of spookiness?

haunted-house

My fiend Buster wanted to know; ‘what’s Halloween all about’ so, I did a spot of investigating.

Halloween started way back in the eighth century –  it was a festival called ‘Samhain’, meaning summer’s end, and was celebrated on All Hallows Day.  Then over time it was called Halloween – short for ‘Hallowed Evening’ – and celebrated a day earlier and as it’s Evening it’s when it gets dark!!

Halloween was celebrated in places like Scotland – the Scottish folk loved the eerie and spooky tales and stories that were part of the tradition. In 1785 Robert Burns, the famous Scots poet, wrote a scary poem called ‘Halloween’……it’s a very long read!!

Trick or Treat started way back then too – folk started dressing up in costumes to act out the scary tales and poems and went around dressed up and carrying lanterns, asking for food in exchange for a poem or song – which was the ‘treat’…. hmm I think if mum and her fiends did a song; it would be the ‘trick’!!

pumpkin-soup

In those days, folk used hollowed out turnips with a lump of coal in as their lanterns. Turnips are hard to cut and when the tradition went to America they started using pumpkins as, they grew there and are much softer and as you can see much bigger.

That was so long ago it was – I didn’t even know time went that far back!! Buster asked if our mums were that old – hmm doubt it…………although!?!

easy-cosi

Nowadays, people think it’s cool for us dogs to wear spooky and funny costumes – there’s even competitions for the spookiest dressed dog and even the most famous dog Snoopy and his fiends celebrate too. There are some easy costumes you can make from an old sheet or tee-shirt and just put it around your dog’s shoulders. Though, if your dog isn’t keen putting on costumes or hats on don’t worry, they can still join in and maybe go Trick or Treating with you or just stay at home and nap.

snoopy

Always make sure mum or dad know where you’re going and who with, we just knock on the doors of people we know – sometimes the costumes and ‘Wooo Hooo’ noises can be too scary for some anxious or older folk so, we don’t go to those houses.

Lots of people we know locally do join in. They have dog friendly treats for me and my fiends and sweets and fruit for the humans. We wear a scary or funny costumes and we carry a jack-o- lantern made from a pumpkin that mum has carved out – we never use real candles in the pumpkin lantern or for decorations at home. Always get mum or dad to buy little battery light candles, they are much, much safer and pretty cheap.

If you don’t want to go out, or are too young, you can have a get together at home –  you could make your own Halloween decorations and there’s easy games you can play, like Apple Bobbing where you get an apple out of a bowl of water just using your teeth – that sounds easy, but, you must do it with your hands behind your back and must be the quickest!!

I had a fantastic time doing my Halloween photoshoot with mum and Stu (he did all the wizardry) from Maniac Films. The best one is the spooky meal – it’s meant to look like worms and other yuk stuff –  it was spaghetti and sausages of course!

count-dracula

And Stu, I spotted you sneaking some sausage – you’d better look out for Tricks on Halloween!!

Until next week Rx

More About Autumn

Hello fiends,

This week has been fun and busy again but, I’ve been thinking – loads of things happen in Autumn so, thought we’d have a look at some more of them. They’ll be lots of scary Halloween things coming into the shops soon and adverts for local Fireworks Night Displays but, we’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks.

witch

There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for those events: if you and your fiends are building a bonfire; keep an eye out that no hedgehogs make their winter nest in the bottom (check it each week and on the night) and if you have a dog or cat or little pet who’s not keen on big bangs and flashes – think about getting advice from your vet now, this week, about products and ways you can help it all be a little less stressful. Don’t mind saying; me and my cat sisters are pretty scared of fireworks and we stay very close to mum!! My fiend Rufus hides under loads and loads of cushions!

garden-fireworks-hero-m

Back to other Autumn things: the bird world gets really busy. Me and my fiends love watching the Starlings doing that crazy flying thing. It’s brilliant; hundreds of Starlings collect together in trees, or on piers, or TV aerials or on roofs and all sing together, like a massive out of tune school choir. This is called roosting and then suddenly – they all take off together, flying in patterns all over the sky, whizzing about, looking like they can’t decide which way to go but, all staying together and going in the same direction!

starlings

Loads of Starlings flying together like this is called; ‘murmurations’, my fiend Moja says it looks like Bird Ballet! Bird experts think they do it as protection, that’s ‘safety in numbers’, or it’s a way of signposting the place to roost to other Starlings that are new to the area. I think the ‘safety in numbers’ idea is true –  when they’re all flying together it can look like a giant shadow monster!! Which is pretty scary if you think about it?!?

geese

 The other thing Starlings and birds of all types do in Autumn is get ready to migrate – that means they fly off to live somewhere else for the colder months, like a winter holiday. So, some of those new Starlings flying around near your house could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe who have come to the UK as, our winter is warmer than theirs! You can often spot birds flying in a V shape formation in the winter skies when they are heading off to warmer places.

Some Swans, fly all the way to the Arctic as, it has a really good short summer there when it’s cold here. And in the Artic Summer there’s twenty-four-hour daylight and loads of food to fatten them up before the flight home. What a long way to go for a slap up meal – Joe Allens would be easier and nearer!

Birds are fast and can go anywhere if they have enough energy so, they can fly to the best places for food and to live safely through the winter. The RSPB website and books are a great place to get more info.

There’s lots of reasons birds migrate but, the experts think that sometimes it’s just because they can! But some don’t go at all including, the beautiful Red Kite which is the bird on the left below.

bird

Until next week, keep your eyes open for Starlings and their Bird Ballet and see if you can spot flocks of birds migrating.

swans

 

Have a good week fiends

Rx