Saturday, 7 May 2022

Hedgehog week

 











In case I haven't said it before, I absolutely love this time of year. The green is all so new and astonishing, I find it requires a lot of looking out of the window every single day to adjust to it all. 

Mostly photos from the garden, but not the squirrel. There are loads of squirrels down on the streamside walks where there are happily lots of trees, but none at all in the garden. I have my hedgehog house in place now and there is a neat hedgehog-sized hole in the back fence (five inches square in case you were wondering), although there has been a slight snag with that. Much to mine and Bertie's horror, a small cat has come into the garden through the hedgehog highway hole. This is not the wildlife we were wanting at all. Although to be fair, I'm not sure the dog is entirely on board with Operation Hedgehog-Friendly Garden, he is more of a Mine, All Mine sort of a dog. 

I am not particularly in favour of cats. The RSPB estimates that they kill at least 100 million things each year, of which 27 million are birds. Plus the creatures that escape but subsequently die and the ones that are killed but not brought home. Up until I made the hedgehog hole, the garden was pretty much cat-free during the day at least. On the rare occasion that one did appear, it had to come over the fence, meaning it was more visible. The small cat can just sneak in on silent paws and creep up on things now. There are loads of birds in the garden and they are often on the ground picking up stray seeds.

The day I first spotted the cat, there were lots of feathers on the ground. No body though, so I am hoping that the cat just got a mouthful of feathers. The next time I saw the cat, Bertie and I trotted out to have a word. I kept Bertie on a lead, not wanting an actual confrontation. The littlest boy has suggested that we put up a sign over the hoghole saying 'Hedgehogs Only'. 

Bertie had a bit of a shout and the cat left in quite a hurry. Bertie's chum a couple of doors up joined in as well. Sometimes Bert just goes out into the garden and calls out, 'Oatie, let's bark a lot just in case there's something in the back lane.' And Oatie goes, 'I'm on it Bert,' and gets into huge trouble for being too loud. Don't worry, we're not as anti-social as I make us sound, Bertie only barks sometimes, and mainly to make people go away in case they were thinking of invading. 

I am currently reading Skulduggery Pleasant, which is recommended reading for 8-12 year olds. The littlest boy has read them all and was very keen for me to read it. In fact, I may have inadvertently said  that I'll read all thirteen when I was trying to get him to go to bed one night. ('Yes, fine, I'll read them all IF YOU WILL JUST GET INTO BED AND GO TO SLEEP.") I'm hoping he forgets that. It's actually quite a ripping yarn and a pretty fast read though, so hopefully I'll be back to more grown up murders before too long. Although maybe when I get to the end of volume one I'll want to read volume 2 and on it will go. It's certainly an escape from the real world. An actual walking talking skeleton!

How is all of the reality at your end? CJ xx

16 comments:

  1. You have some promising stuff growing there. I have radish to pick too this week. Jo xx

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  2. Beautiful photos. Next door's cats are the bane of my life - not only terrorising the local birds but leaving little presents all over the lawn! I should just let Bertie loose and let nature take its course. Or maybe you could encourage him and Oatie to do some 'twilight barking', just so that the local cats are fully aware who the gardens belong to! (to whom the gardens belong? Sorry, my brain is too tired to grapple with grammar!). Your white Wisteria is fabulous. xx

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  3. I feel you cat pain. We’ve always kept ours in at night but in the day cats will be cats. I have to say of the two I’ve owned one couldn’t catch anything to save his life. He would never have coped in the wild. As for the other, the less said about his catching prowess the better. Have you tried spraying a cat deterrent round the hedgehog hole? I know there are different varieties although you don’t want to put off mr hedgehog who will hopefully arrive soon. Enjoy your Sunday. Hopefully good gardening weather. All is looking good in your corner. B x

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  4. Free roaming cats are the bane of the ecosystem. I am fond of cats -- but I don't believe they should be let out to pillage the environs. Our George pines for an outdoor life but he has to settle for window views. It's far less common to see roaming cats here....most people keep them indoors....suburban coyotes being an excellent deterrent ;). Hopefully Bertie and his accomplice can be a less deadly deterrent, but a deterrent nonetheless. Lovely photos....spring is dragging her feet here...sunny but still very cold. xo

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  5. An enjoyable read as always, and good pictures. I like cats, but wish that owners would put a bell on their collars. You're reading choice made me smile.
    For me reality is when I'm on the plot. Take care. xx

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  6. I uncovered a sleeping hedgehog under a patch of ivy just outside my front door yesterday whilst weeding…..quite happy sleeping away x

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  7. Ooh I am coveting your garden, not much growing here either as it is still a little cold. I have mixed feelings about cats, I know that they are terrible for going after birds but when my neighbour had one it kept down the mouse population, now the cat has gone the mice eat everything I try and grow. They have a habit of eating the stalks of tender young plants about half way up and leave the leaves lying on the ground as evidence. It is like someone has been through with a miniature scythe. I have lost everything overnight on many occasions that way, rather demoralising. Who'd be a gardener eh?

    I don't thing cats like water very much so you could try hosing them down each time it attempts to come through the hole, it would also water the garden at the same time. I love the idea of a sign, that made me smile ;)

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  8. Oh cats - we had so many come into our garden, scaring birds and leaving presents all over the lawn (insert exasperated eye roll emoji...). I read somewhere they hate citrus, so hung some lemon halves I'd used for juice over the fence posts where I noticed they jumped in - it worked! Maybe you could surround the hedgehog hole with a welcoming bower of citrus fruit?! Vicky

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  9. We have a cat superhighway through our garden and one sits under the bird feeders. Ruby doesn't seem to cotton on that they need seeing on their way. I've been known to hold her up to the window and bark for her. She's an inquisitive dog and watches wildlife rather than chase it. One of her favourite occupations is watching the birds on the feeders. I wouldn't hurt a cat but I wish they would stay away from our garden. They hunt the birds and use patches as a toilet which isn't pleasant.
    Good luck attracting a hedgehog.

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  10. We always kept ours in at night. They would remind us about 11 by going to the garage door and miowing. One was a hunter and brought presents home - live mice that escaped up the curtains, moorhen chicks, rabbits. She strayed to far one day and lost a argument with traffic. The other ...! She caught a blackbird by throwing herself on top of it and looked at us as if to say 'what now?' They had their own loo in the garden and wouldn't go anywhere else. The result of being bullied by neighbourhood thug cats!

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  11. I'm with you re the garden, I spend a lot of time marvelling at all the new growth and tidieness before it all gets out of hand!! A couple of years ago Rufus inadvertently "met" our neighbours cat in our garden. Practically every day since he rushes out of the back door barking, down to the side of the shed, then round to the back of the shed thinking he's going to find the cat. He never does. I like cats but I don't like what they do. Your photos are beautiful.

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  12. I'd be more frightened of rats than cats. I'm trying to be bird friendly but not rat friendly. Good luck with the hedgehogs.

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  13. I bet those first radishes were delicious. I hope you find a little hedgehog in your garden soon. We could never have a hedgehog hole in the fence, Jack the dog would be forever roaming the streets. He gets through tiny holes. Cx

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  14. We are accidental cat owners here, having taken in our daughter's cat when she could no longer look after her. To be fair, Millie the cat is terrified of most things and although she dashes into the garden at the sight of a bird, she's totally useless at catching anything, much to my relief.

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  15. Coo, your radishes look good, how come they've not been nibbled by anything?!
    This is a fab time off year, isn't it. Everything changes after a small shower and there's signs of life everywhere. Lovely!

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  16. Our dog likes to commune with the neighbourhood dogs too - it reminds me of the "twilight barking" in the second "101 Dalmations" book where dogs communicate across the country and I wonder what they are talking about. Probably nothing more exciting than what they've had for their dinner, but you never know :) Good luck with the hedgehog. We've got wild rabbits visiting our garden at the moment and they're a bit more interested in my plants than I'd like! :) xx

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