Just a quick photo update since little dude was up and about having a smackerel. He was also weighed on my kitchen scales so I could send his stats across to folks who can tell me how to care from him for the time being. If you click through, you can see the BHPS page that indicates his possible age.
Monthly Archives: August 2012
Britain’s hedgehog population has been in a state of steady decline – down by a quarter over just the last ten years! For a creature than is beneficial to our gardens and a delight to watch and be around, this is well and truly a shame. Intensive agriculture, encroaching development and being too slow while crossing roads (!) have all led to a sorry situation all around. But there are people willing to help. There is the British Hedgehog Society as well as smaller recue and care centres, like Willows Hedgehog Rescue, dotted around the country.
Some of you may know just how mad I am about hedgehogs. I’ve signed up at Hedgehog Street and recently joined Wild About Britain to learn more about how to get involved in their care, rehabilitation and conservation (both incredibly informative and highly recommended).
And yesterday, a little hoglet decided to take me up on that!
Lily and I were out for a quick run around the dog field in the middle of the afternoon (on our previous visit we’d been roughed up a bit by two massive boxers the owner couldn’t quite control, and since this is often the case we had been avoiding the field in peak times). As we entered we noticed a gentleman walking his pitbull around the field on a leash. Since it’s unusual to see leashed dogs within the field, I thought that he might be a bit hard to handle and for safety’s sake kept Lily on a leash as well. Turned out that there was a wee hoglet in the dog field and the bigger dog had tried to get at it, hence the owner had slipped the lead on him – I came upon the little bundle of prickles and touched him lightly to see if he was alive and he was! The other dog walker came up to me and explained about his dog and what had happened earlier. We couldn’t see how he’d got into the field, and clearly it wasn’t the place for a wee hedgehoggy to be, seeing the dog traffic, so I decided to take him home and call the wildlife folks and see what was to be done. Lily was very well behaved and after the other two left I let her off leash and she ran about while I collected the little dude in my fleece.
As we were walking home I started wondering whether I’d done the right thing – but all the reading I’d done suggested a) dogs would maul hedgehogs and often did – and b) a hedgehog would not be out during the day unless something was wrong. I got on the Wild About Britain forum where I got immediate responses providing advice, contact numbers, encouragement and agreement that it was in the little guy’s best interests for me to have brought him home.
I called the county rescue but just got a message saying they weren’t taking in any more casualties (its the time of year when they are quite overwhelmed and, very likely, under-funded) – so will try again today, just to get him checked over and make sure he’s fit and fine.
He didn’t look too tiny (I’ll weigh him later today) so I imagined he’s about a month old and weaned. I mashed up some of Lily’s food and put it in the cover of a jam jar, same for water and put them in a box set up with newspaper, a hot water bottle and a towel. And sure enough, the second he smelt the food, his nose began to twitch and he scuttled right to it and pigged out noisily! Since then, he’s eaten a few times, drank some water, taken many naps, spent the night pinging around all over the little run I put together for his nocturnal meanderings and been a regular marauder! His poo has become firm and he generally looks like he’s in good health.
I’m hoping that he can be checked over by the rescue people or otherwise the vet, and that he’s in the pink. Perhaps they’ll let me keep him around, our garden’s been overrun by slugs and could do with a resident Hedgehog-in-Chief when he’s older. We’ll have to sort him out with regards to having an outside run and a place to hibernate (if he’s old enough to survive it) or learn how to over-winter him inside if he’s not – but the man of the house says that’s all doable and if we can convince him to adopt our garden it’ll be a win all around.
Do click through the picture to read a great article in the Guardian about how beneficial they are and how to lend a helping hand by making your garden hedgehog-friendly. I’ll keep you updated on what happens to our little friend. I haven’t named him as yet – thought we’d wait till be got an okay from wildlife folks, but the shortlist so far is:
Do let me know if you have some suggestions, we’ll add them to the pile and take a family vote if he becomes a permanent resident.
A few days back we had a sunny spell, so I thought I’d quickly grab some sunshine time in the garden. I put out the blanket and went in to make some ice-tea (sunshine doesn’t work properly without ice-tea), and when I returned, her royal doggieness had taken over my spot! Please note the very firm ‘I belong here, don’t try and mess with me – now go fetch me a snack’ look I got from her. She rules with an iron paw she does.
Lily and I always seem to discover new things on our walks, even though we take, what are by now, long familiar routes. Lily’s interests are fairly olfactory though she does enjoy listening for other dogs barking and watching out for the odd cat that may happen to saunter past. I quite enjoy seeing things I haven’t come across before, as well as appreciating cool winds on hot days, rays of sunshine on cool ones, the smells of the countryside, new flora and fauna, etc. – we are happy wanderers on most days. I also love meeting people and having conversations in passing, lives criss-crossing as you go – it seems the nicest of human interaction, no expectation, no formality, just a few words, happily exchanged.
I thought I’d share some of what we’ve experiences on our walks this week.
Day before yesterday, in the field that the cows are usually hanging out in, we saw a drove of pigs – something I’d never seen before. They ambled across towards us and flopped down into a muddy pond – and it is with great pleasure and an inordinate sense of satisfaction that I can report that the saying ‘as happy as a pig in the mud’ is well based in fact.
Not so much a discovery as a little ‘wow’ moment for me, but I saw, for the first time ever, a combine harvester harvesting (well, obviously) the wheat field! I’ve been walking past this field every day from when the field was fallow, to when it was tilled in preparation for the seeds, to when it began to grow into a tall green sea of waving stalks. And all through summer as it’s slowly turned to gold, heads heavy with the weight of the grain and started to bend gently, back towards the ground. So yeah, big moment for me and I’m glad I got to see it. As Lily and I walked past I found myself whistling a tune. Click the picture to hear what the song was, teehee.
This last discovery is a bit of an old one, but Ms.Lily here feels that since it’s really because of her that we go for walks at all, that she should get to have her absolute favourite discovery in the list.
Fox poo is the Chanel No.5 of the dog world.
And if you can’t roll in fox poo, ’tis better not to roll at all.
Living in the country has it’s many charms and no shortage of wildlife that regards your home a shared space. From garden visitors to home invaders, there are quite a few new creatures I have had to grow accustomed to if not grow to love outright.
Spiders fall into this category.
We have an amicable enough relationship, in that we can peacefully coexist so long as neither party decides to invade the other’s physical space. We watch out for each other, I try not to hoover them up and leave active cobwebs alone (old abandoned ones are fair game) and they in turn do away with any pesky flies or flying bugs that may wander into the house. The man of the house is particularly fond of the spiders we host, and holds them in high regard. Initially I was suspicious that this was a clever way of excusing the lack of sweeping that was evident in the house when I arrived, but I have grown accustomed now to his many peculiarities (and I believe vice versa!), and I accept that the spiders are part and parcel of the house we live in (Lily, however will snap them up if they unwisely skitter within reach – she’s a ‘take no prisoners’ kinda gal).
And, because my guilty conscience will not let me be, I must admit that yesterday while scrubbing the bathroom floor I accidentally caused one of our wee arachnid friends to lose his leg – I was mortified as he hobbled frantically back to his spot, and I truly am sorry.
So here’s to you little friend, I hope you live long and prosper out there, behind the bin:
Einstein said that “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Learn more about these amazing creatures and help ensure that we are never short of flowers in this world of ours.
I have a series of designs like this that remind me of tribal tattoos, but a little more organic. I love the simplicity of the style and the way a couple of wiggly lines can come together and make a picture.
I think it’s a nice idea for logos, where you want to be simple, quickly understood and easily replicated. I have a sample logo in the portfolio that works well in a similar fashion, and quite a few in my notebooks. Fun!
Remember these guys? At one point almost every little kid got a thrill out of having one of these gorgeous fellas in their fishtank.
Here’s their Wikipedia entry if you want to know more about these colourful (in more ways than one) characters.