Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Thursday, 8 April 2021

Hooptedoodle #392 - An Old Friend, Welcome Back

 We had some new turf laid a couple of weeks ago, and it's been very dry weather since then. Though I've put the sprinklers on a couple of times, the new turf is definitely looking a bit rough.

Since the gardener is due to visit today, and since I am nervous about receiving a telling-off for not looking after the turf, I had the sprinklers going full blast on Tuesday until late. At around 11pm I put on the outside lights and went out to shut off the water. I was walking down the path when I realised that a hedgehog was walking alongside me - not bothered at all. I watched him saunter off into the hedge - I was really glad to see him. He may, of course, have been a her.

 
Not my photo - someone else's hedgehog, in daylight

I knew they were around - I've seen their droppings on the lawn recently. We used to get lots of them - I'm talking of nearly twenty years ago - you could hear them snuffling about in the garden at night, and in the woods at the back of our house. The hedgehogs used to suffer a few casualties - they sometimes used to get caught in the traps the farm ghillie set for rats, and one or two managed to get trapped in the lobster pots which were stacked opposite our house - one of the more complicated forms of suicide. Then they were gone. I suppose there were some around - we never saw any sign  of them. And now, after an extended absence, they are back.

Well, at least one is back. The photo is not mine, of course, it was dark last night and I had nothing with me to take a photo, but I'll try to keep an eye open from now on.

I'm pleased with that - over the years we've lost our Greenfinches and a few other friends, but the hedgehogs are back. Well, well.

14 comments:

  1. I have been feeding the local hedgehoggery since last summer, and there are at least two that partake of the nightly offering of cat-food I leave out. One thing that will definately drive them away is the presence of a badger in the locality...

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    1. There are almost certain to be some badgers somewhere here - we never see them, either. If I put out cat food at night it would get pinched by cats...

      The hedgehogs here used to go crazy for peanut butter, which, sadly, is what the rat traps were baited with.

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  2. They could be off motoring, though, with Mr. Toad is his car.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  3. While we have no hedgehogs, Spokane has plenty of marmots. So many, in fact, that the chubby critters have become the unofficial city mascots.

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    1. Marmots they are about 3 times the size of the UK hedgehog - they look like a potential nuisance? Cheerful, anyway.

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  4. Excellent. Hedgehog numbers have taken a real decline in recent years, and they are really useful to have about. They eat all sorts of garden pests. Best look after him (or her).

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    1. Apart from counting droppings in the garden (an unusual hobby), I'm also aware that I haven't seen a road-kill hedgehog for some years, which must be a sign of something. Perhaps they get road safety lessons now?

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  5. Hope you nurture your visitor(s) we can do with a lot more hedgehogs

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    1. The one I met seemed robust enough - we used to put out milk and occasionally cat food here, but since the ghillie retired we are scared of attracting rats, so not sure what we should do now.

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  6. Excellent news! I am actually a member of the British Hedgehog preservation Society (genuine!) but sadly I have not seen one in the wild for years. Beautiful creatures.

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    1. Matt - I am proud to know a member of the BHPS - keep up the excellent work! When I see the hodge again, I'll mention you.

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  7. I had to look up the fact that hedgehogs, which do not exist in the Americas, are distinct and not really related to Porcupines, which we do have. Hopefully it will become a resident of your environs!

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    1. I hadn't realised you don't have hedgehogs - I would have guessed you would have bigger and more exotic varieties. I see that owning and breeding them is illegal in some US states, and I was also surprised to learn that they have become a pest in parts of New Zealand. They make very poor domesticated pets, apparently, since they are absolutely covered in parasites. Hygiene problem - you can see how that would work.

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