Thursday, June 14, 2012

Garden Tales

Well it may be cold and damp - OK - wet - but  in the garden there are wonderful signs of  spring/summer and since we had the improvements done on the house  we now have the wonderful garden room where we can sit  in an evening and watch  what is going on out there.
Last night was a something  of a relief as I have been worrying about  The Hecks - the family of herdgehogs who live  at the bottom of the garden. Apart from  one brief sighting a few weeks ago, we hadn't seen any hedgehogs and it has been so cold that I was afraid they might have  suffered as a result. But last night something   triggered off one of the security mlights and going to see what it was I spotted a hedgehog making  itrs way down the garden path.  This looked like a youngish  one - not one of the  fully grown ones that have been  visiting for the past few years so I'm hoping we have a new family to feed.

Oh yes, feeding - the other signs of spring have been the new families of birds that have come to the bird table - we have at least two, maybe three families of starlings, a dozen or so young ones who have been practicising their flying from the garage roof next door, over to ours. And they have demolished the suet cakes that we put out - at a rate of almost one a day., Add in the pair of crows, the four (at least) magpies, the goldcrests,  blackbirds, robins, sparrows, blue tits . . . . It's a full time  job  - not to mention the expense of providing suet blocks, fat balls - and now of course the meat/hedgehog cruncies for The Hecks.

Not that we mind - they give us such pleasure to watch them  Hopefully with some lighter - and dryer - eveings - we'll be able to see more of the hedgehogs  and maybe Flora will be able to play with them as she has done in the past.  I haven't seen Charlie encounter a hedgehog yet - hopefully it won't be too long before he does.


Liz Fielding said...

Wonderful picture, Kate.

Hedgehogs are suffering from eating slugs poisoned with slug pellets - there is no antidote.

If you have precious plants you need to protect from slugs, use coffee grounds!

Sharon Kendrick said...

Lovely photo, Kate.

How lovely to be a bird or a hedgehog if they happen to live in the vicinity of YOUR garden!

Rachael Thomas said...

It's great you have so much activity in your garden. A real reward for all the feeding.
I have house martins in abundance and a daily visit to the feeder from a woodpecker as well as all the usual garden birds. I love watching them and I will try Liz's tip of coffee grounds.

Kate Walker said...

Thank you Liz! The hint about the coffee grounds is a great one - I've also heard of using minced up oatmeal - apparently the slugs/snails don't like to slide (creep? Oooze?) over it. I hate to think of poor hedgehogs being poisoned by the pellets. We have never put down pellets for that reason - but then we have had avery efficient family of slug/snail eating hedgehogs living in the garden for the past 20 years!

Kate Walker said...

Hi Sharon - I'm glad you like that photo - Flora (the cat!) always photographs well. And we're always happy to see the wildlife. It may be a suburban garden but it's a little wildlife haven. We even had a fox come into the garden last year - we didn't feed him!

Kate Walker said...

Hi Rachael - I expect you'll have plenty of wildlife where you live and the birds that come to your garden will be less of the 'garden birds' variety. I envy you the sight of the woodpecker, that;s something we never see. There is one in the wood nearby, and I've heard it but never seen it. And house martins are lovely when they swoop and dash about the skies.

I think Liz's tip is great - why use chemicals/slug pellets when you don't have to?


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