Juniper is an evergreen shrub or tree that grows all over Scotland, but is most common in the Highlands.
Its branches are covered in small needle-like leaves that are prickly to touch. The needles grow tightly together, making juniper a good nesting place for birds and a home to many types of insect.
Female juniper trees produce tiny seed cones which look like berries. At first they are green, but they slowly ripen to a dark bluish-purple colour.
Juniper berries have a strong spicy taste and can be used in cooking to flavour stews, sauces and drinks.
Shetland fiddler Chris Stout composed a tune inspired by juniper. The music is fast, driving and fun, the sort of tune people would dance to at a ceilidh or party...
Listen out for:
Spiky rhythms and short notes that describe the prickly texture of the juniper needles.
Irregular beat patterns, giving the music an edgy feel that matches the sharp,
spicy taste of the juniper berries.
Funny Forest Faces
The forest floor is a wonderful place to find different textures.
From prickly juniper needles to soft feathers, crunchy leaves to bumpy cones...
...have a look and see what you can find!
There are loads of ways you can use these to get creative.
One of our favourite activities is making funny forest faces using natural things.
Go for a walk in your local green space and gather
together different-textured objects that you find on
the ground such as twigs, fallen leaves and cones.
Remember, PLEASE DON'T PICK ANYTHING!
Have a go at using these objects to create a face.
You could make a self portrait, invent your very
own character or recreate your family and friends!