Saturday, 5 December 2015

West Country Tour – Layby stopover 2 … Hedgehogs, Harvest Mice …



It’s so warm at the moment, relatively to the December norm we expect, yet over the centuries and millennia the temperatures have always changed … it’s what we should realise and not be surprised by ….
 
Harvest Mouse

As humans, who are impacting the planet, we have a duty to conserve and protect we need our diversitywe must manage our natural resources for our future - without them there will be no us.


Hedgehog foraging


… we can do this conserving by protecting one, two or a few species as we go about our normal lives, all will help protect the earth in the coming future.  Every species has a job to do …




Happy Field Mouse

Each tiny patch of garden, or window box give us benefits … a relaxing hobby, some exercise in the fresh air … yet these simple processes of nature support wildlife and replenish the atmosphere.





Snout out ... nosing around
Out on our country stops … I couldn’t help but think of the wildlife lurking … I remember hedgehogs from my childhood days, and while with my uncle he pointed out the dormice nests in his hedges …




Beneficial overgrown hedge around
a Silver Birch tree

Each animal and plant has something specific for another … and we need a mix around our homes … that word ‘diversity’ again … well-kept lawns, some left alone (to a point) … corridors for movement – our predilection for habitat fragmentation: our desire ‘to fence things in’ … we don’t like it – why should they?




Let's have a few of these
So give a thought to your home and garden … give us some greening, some corridors of movement, don’t pull all the weeds up – they’re plants, just as far as we are concerned, in the wrong place!




As winter comes upon us – there’s no reason not to get out and about … take the children and grandchildren, or grandparents even! … appreciating what makes the earth tick and what keeps us alive.




North Devon Lane
Have a break and take a walk on the wildside … pick up some leaflets and get to understand their lives – they too need to tick over, if we don’t have that biodiversity our planet and our way of life will be curtailed even more.



Be aware – we have a responsibility, as well as all those who think they don’t, or can’t be bothered … let’s get educating and, in our small way, help this world survive …




An array ... 
Here’s to the array of hedgehogs with their hoglets, who during the cold will hibernate … as too the field mouse, or dormouse nestling down for the winter … do not disturb signs hang outside their leafy shelters, or twiggy-grassy homes …





Christmas is coming and we'll be asleep
Our layby stop giving us time to reflect on life while the powers that be discuss climate change … we, each in our own small way, can probably, and should do more … 



PS I thought I'd add in the weather temperature here in Eastbourne on the south coast - it is 11 deg C, will rise to 12 deg C and stay like that overnight tonight.  It is colder up north.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

27 comments:

Bob Scotney said...

Not much colder up north but I wish Desmond would go away with his wind gusts of 60-70 mph. Squirrels are still running around but I haven't seen a hedgehog for a long time.

Karen Walker said...

Very inspiring post Hilary, and spot on. I know I can do much more to help our Earth.

Suzanne Furness said...

It is milder than normal this December but today we have some strong winds that have a biting chill which is bringing the temp down!

I love to see the wildlife around. We have a hedgehog in the garden ... Rupert we named him. I expect he is hibernating now. Woodpeckers in the trees behind us too. We try and keep the top part of our garden as a quiet spot for wildlife.

Susan Scott said...

Lovely Hilary thank you! Those darling hedgehogs! At my husband's golf club there are a few signs on the long and windy road to the club house, 'Beware the hedgehogs - drive carefully'. Hoglets ... how sweet! I did not know that was the diminutive! And yes, we can all do our small bit and pick up trash on our meanderings, in gratitude for all that Mother Nature provides..

Elephant's Child said...

Hedgepigs. Ooooh.
Something I have always wanted to see.
I find my solace in the garden. Yes, I destroy weeds (some of them) but by hand. The poisons take out too many other things as well.
I hope your moderate weather continues. And would like some of it. We seem to be stuck in the 30s (C) at the moment and I am not a fan.

Vallypee said...

A lovely post, Hilary. The photos are too lovely! I agree we shouldn't tidy up too much! I also like to leave food for the birds and small things. It's cold here in NL this evening and the wind has been bitter today, but then it is December...

A Cuban In London said...

I, too, am surprised how warm it is. That might mean a very cold december ahead, just to make up. Wonderful post and photos.

Greetings from London.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob - gosh Desmond has gotten hold of the rain clouds hasn't he .. may not be that cold, but wind and rain .. and flooding is just not what you all need up north. The wind has been bad too ... and our squirrels are running around like nine-pins! Suzanne has a Cornish hedgehog - thank goodness.

@ Karen - yes we can all do more can't we ... gentle nudges may help us on our way.

@ Suzanne - I know it's incredibly mild .. but as you say the winds are stronger and thus colder.

I too love to see the wildlife around .. oh how lucky that you've a hedgehog in the garden - wonderful news. He's call Rupert - great name! He must almost be hibernating .. unless he can get worms still ... Love woodpeckers they come down here occasionally .. but the jackdaws and magpies are horrid!

Good for you keeping the top part of your garden for wildlife .. just what we all need to do ... I don't own - so that is a difficult challenge.

@ Susan - yes the darling little hedgehogs - how wonderful to have protection hedgehog signs ... we have them for toads in the spring. Hoglets is a great name isn't it. We can certainly all do more to help and be in gratitude of Mother Nature always helping us out.

@ EC - Hedgehogs .. but hedgepigs will do! They are pretty illusive.

Gardens do provide solace and yours down under is lovely. Poisons do ruin the earth - so am glad you hand weed it is good for us.

We could do with the weather cooling right down - it's out of kilter. But for now I hope it doesn't as they've major floods in the north and life is going to be very unfortunate for some over Christmas with flooded homes.

I remember the 30 degCs in South Africa - I was glad to leave behind and live in our mixed climate here in the UK ...

@ Val - thanks ... yes being spotless in the garden isn't necessary. If I owned I'd feed the birds .. but it's not easy to do here. Your weather is usually similar to ours ... but the cold wind has got up - and you are very exposed: as you say it is December ...

@ ACIL - yes it is warm, much warmer than I can ever remember. We need the cold .. but when it will appear is anyone's guess.

Thanks so much - glad you're enjoying the layby stop over .. cheers Hilary

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. I can't remember the last time I saw a hedgehog; I think they are in steep decline.
As for the temperature, I am longing for some proper winter weather!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Thank you for this post, Hilary. Upon reading it, I relate to your environmental theme. There has to be a balance for we must learn to respect that we can work with or against nature. Hedgehogs, sadly, as Barry has pondered, are sadly in decline and we need to help them as much we can. Hedgehog Appreciation Day would be a start.

I shall now go for a walk on the wildside and bask in the tropical temperature up north!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Hilary.

Gary

Denise Covey said...

12C is warm, Hilary? Wow. That's like freezing down here. That would be a nice night-time temp. Our days are already much over 30C. Just returned from Melbourne, which is much cooler, normally, than here in Queensland, but 2 days were over 30C, so global warming is definitely kicking in Down Under. Our last 2 summers have been one long heatwave.

Thanks for being on the money as usual. If we all did enough, we wouldn't have to rely on our politicians who seem to view climate change as a good excuse for taxpayer-funded jaunts to exotic places where nothing much changes. So, yes, plant gardens, trees, preserve our wildlife (what's left of it), grown our own food, put solar on our roofs, and cut down the carbon miles on our food. That's my preaching over and done with for today, being Sunday.

Thanks Hilary

Denise :-)

D.G. Hudson said...

I'm always for the environment, Hilary, so enjoyed this post. Everyone loves going for walks in the forest, or just in green areas, or near water. All these areas need to be protected from things which can damage, like industry, development and toxic chemicals leached into the soil. There should be more who care about the state of our resources, and the animals who inhabit those areas which could be in danger if governments don't take a proactive approach. Great subject, and glad you having fun gadding about.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bazza - it appears the hedgehog has declined sharply in numbers - concrete and gravel don't help. We need proper winter weather - but I'm sure it will come and then we'll be complaining - it's so cold! Good to see you.

@ Gary - interestingly there is a Hedgehog Appreciation Day - next year it will be February 2nd. They've also been hitting the media headlines these past few days. Enjoy the walk - if it's not too wet or windy with you .. sounds like it's easing up later on.

@ Denise - oh gosh I had times like that in South Africa where I wished it would cool off - but I'm sure your break did you both the power of good.

Looking after all our flora and fauna is almost (probably is) more important than humans - we can't survive without plants and animals of all sorts. Exactly as you say - preserve wildlife, grow our food and eat seasonally. It's now Sunday here ... so I can continue.

@ DG - thankfully many of us bloggers are aware of our environment ... we realise what's important to the world continuing. Like you I think we need to do things locally and all do things to help in small ways - we'll probably achieve more. Governments, local councils etc need to take that proactive approach ...

Thanks to you four .. great comments - let's encourage and hope things will change ... cheers Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Hilary, The field mouse and hedgehogs actually look cute in some of your photos. We had a mouse or a mole in our house a few years ago, and I didn't feel the same admiration when I was trying to chase it out the door. It is important to protect the environment. Glad the weather has been nice enough to go on nature walks. I always enjoy your posts Hilary, and I'm sorry I haven't visited in a while.

Julie

Rhodesia said...

I wish everyone would have respect for animals large and small. A subject that gets me very worked up so I will not start her. I have just read of another 3 rhinos left dead for their horns. Soon there will be no wild life left in the world we live in!!! Diane

Deborah Weber said...

What an inspiring post Hilary and call to action. And those hedgehogs - oh my! I've never seen any here in the US outside of captivity, but how they delight me.

beste barki said...

The change in the weather is very noticible here in Montreal. By this time of year we would have snow on the ground and lots of sunshine. Now it's temperatures way above 0 C and dark cloud cover.

Joanne said...

aware and alert - key words for nature and so much more. Good post. We are crisp and clear in TX - 50F and up to 60s today.

mail4rosey said...

I'm in Florida this year, and after being up north for a decade where there was LOTS of snow, it's a very refreshing change. :)

Maria said...

I love walking in the countryside, unfortunately, I'm not getting out and about very much at the moment, but I do like exploring and seeing the wildlife. I try and do my bit though...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - yes once they invade ... probably a mouse - it is difficult to get rid of them. However in our gardens we can protect them and thus the environment. No worries - I'm sure there are other things going on - your Mother for one ... the elderly need our attention.

@ Diane - yes it would be nice wouldn't it .. and Christmas isn't always good for pets.

Oh no - more rhinos ... I'm afraid the big mammals will be gone soon ... the locals don't appreciate what they're doing - anymore than we did 150 years ago ...

@ Deborah - thank you .. I just needed to get off my West Country Tour for a break! Hedgehogs are delightful ... I think my brother and SIL have them, and I'm fairly certain my uncle would have done. We have hedgehog conservation areas now - where they can have peace and quiet ... or can be nursed back to health.

@ Beste - yes it is definitely warmer .. but I'm sure it's normal - looking back over the centuries. We've had excess rain - and they've major floods up north .. poor things.

@ Joanne - yes we need to keep our eyes open for hedgehogs that need that extra care, or to leave the hedgerows undisturbed for a few months while things hibernate. Your temperature is about the same as ours ... but we have that cloak of grey above us - nothing clear and crisp here.

@ Rosey - how very fortunate being in Florida ... as the North-East states can get clobbered with bad weather - I bet it's hugely refreshing!!

@ Maria - good to see you. A walk is always good isn't it .. and I hope you'll be feeling easier soon ... as it's lovely exploring around and reminding ourselves about the wildlife as it materialises during the year. That's great you help as you can ...

Thanks so much - for joining me in checking out the hedgehogs and dormice, or field mouse ... cheers Hilary

Lowcarb team member said...

Such an enjoyable post, and I love all the images that you've put on here too.
It is so lovely to get out and about in the un-seasonable weather.
Having said that Storm Desmond has wreaked havoc up in the NW of England ...

May the new week ahead be a good one for you.

All the best Jan

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love your blog, Hilary. You inspire me. I've never seen a hedgehogs, but we had many moles on our farm when I was a kid. I did see my first possum last winter here in Bucerias. Not what you'd call an attractive fellow.

DMS said...

I love this post. I try to spend as much time as I can outside and it is wonderful to see animals in their habitats. I agree that it is important to do what we can to conserve and treat the environment right. We can all do our part and the earth and animals will blossom. I haven't seen a hedgehog- but love the picture you shared. Thanks for a wonderful post. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jan - many thanks - good to see you again. I enjoy putting the photos in ... it sort of brings the subject/s to life. Desmond has really wreaked havoc - really difficult for all in the North West.

@ Joylene - thanks so much .. moles are a different cup of tea aren't they ... but they all have their uses. Opossums are interesting creatures and I see there are lots of different sorts. No I agree - not an attractive fellow.

@ Jess - lovely to see you .. and yes, getting out and about is an essential to get our fresh air, enjoyment of life. Taking care of all things - then as you say we can all blossom. Few people have actually seen a hedgehog.

Lovely to see the three of you - thanks for coming by and appreciating the hibernating hedgehog, and field or dormice ... cheers Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Here's to diversity and to recognizing how essential it is to our planet. I've never seen a hedgehog except in Alice in Wonderland. They are adorable little creatures.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - sorry hadn't got here before this ... we just need to remember each organism (animal, vegetable or mineral) impacts on all other life ... and keeps us alive and part of the whole world.

Forgotten about Alice and her hedgehogs ... thanks for the reminder - cheers Hilary