17. Sep, 2019

Our home for waifs & strays update

Despite being a few days away from Autumn, the village has an air of lethargy about it. People seem to have hibernated earlier than normal and even the animals are rather quiet. However, activity at our home for waifs and strays remains the same, busy!

Just a few weeks ago I discovered five hoglets (baby hedgehogs) wondering aimlessly in our garden. Their mum was nowhere in sight. A neighbour had a huge fire just a few days before, so we can only imagine the worse. We took the wee babies to the small animal hospital in the woods, where they flourished and were recently released down by the pond. It was amazing to see how much weight they had gained. For many nights we stayed up to see if they returned to the garden and sure enough, they did. Making snorting sounds as they scurried around the pond and in the allotment. We feel blessed and privileged to share our home with these incredible creatures. 

Not all is well at our home for waifs and strays. The foxing hour is no longer just that. They prowl for hours around our hedges and fences, usually doing a spot of blackberry picking. We can always tell if they’ve been eating berries by the colour of their faeces. My kind and unassuming husband and I lay awake for what seems hours, listening with bated breath to their twenty-eight different communicating calls to each other. Despite doing the best we can to protect our hens, the fox is as wily as they say but they are just wild animals trying to survive like anyone else. A sad fact is these animals, related to dogs, could live for nine or ten years but usually die before the age of two and most cubs die before they reach adulthood. Did you know, that around 10,000 fox cubs are killed each year because of cub hunting? However, this doesn’t stop us worrying about our girls!

Over at the far end of the graden, the allotment has flourished. We’ve been harvesting fruit and vegetables for many weeks now and giving surplus veggie boxes to family and friends. But we still have a lot to learn as so much of what we grew was lost, due to white/black fly and cabbage whites. I have never ever seen so many caterpillars! As I could never kill a living thing, I relent and let the crawly creatures munch away. However, I must add, I took many of them up onto the moor and set them free. It was a bit tricky making a trap for the flies, but it worked and, in the end, just the cucumbers in the greenhouse were slaughtered!

Down by the pond, things are flourishing without our help and it’s beginning to look just as we hoped, wild and interesting. Lily pads have proved a haven for much of the wildlife above and below their shiny green leaves. A friend asked if he could go pond dipping yesterday as he needed a snail for his fish tank.  After a few minutes, he not only found what he was looking for, but lots of young newts too. So, we sat on the bench with a cup of sweet tea and celebrated our pond success!

Back at the chicken coop, another two hens have gone broody. If they think we’re going to have more chicks, they can think again!

All in all, life at our home for waifs and strays is ticking along. There’s a lot more going on of course, but I will talk to you about it another day.

Thank you for stopping by. Until next time, take care and remember it’s later than you think!