Friday, 5 July 2013

Early Next Morning.





I awake early, make a cup of tea and amble out in my nightdress to enjoy a few magical moments, like yesterday.
As I round the corner I see that my strawberry patch, source of pride and considerable enjoyment, has been appreciated by others.
Overnight the badgers dug out a bumble-bee nest.
That's wild-life gardening!

16 comments:

marigold jam said...

We suffer from the badger's night time forays too! As you say this is wild life gardening

Relatively Retiring said...

And I even feed them peanut butter snadwiches!

Relatively Retiring said...

or sandwiches!

Molly said...

Were they after the strawberries or the the bees' honey? Loved your garden pictures yesterday! We don't have badgers but we do have armadillos who are also notorious diggers....

Isabelle said...

We have badgers too but all they've ever eaten was our guinea pigs. This was not, however, good.

Your garden looks wonderful! I wish I had that backdrop of trees instead of the houses behind. Mine is also very labour-intensive, at least for its size, and this is entirely my own fault. But I love it.

Relatively Retiring said...

Molly: it was the bees they were after - the entire nest, including the grubs and probably the queen. I've avoided that area today as I'm glad to say there are still lots of bees around, and they are angrily trying to restore whatever they can.
Isabelle: no, that's not good. Poor guinea pigs - but I see it as the cost of creating a garden to attract wild-life.
I look at photos of our garden when we bought the house, a large lawn with borders around it (and a gardener). I think why on earth did we make it so complicated and labour-intensive? But, like you, I love it.

Elephant's Child said...

Humph. No badgers here, but the cockatoos wait each year until the tulips are in bud - and then they drag the whole plant out of the ground. Or just snap off the flowers.
Part and parcel of gardening I suppose...

Relatively Retiring said...

I'm thinking of you with the cockatoos and Molly with the armadillos and appreciating what happens when we move into someone else's territory!

pohanginapete said...

Apparently, the main component of a badger's diet is earthworms. I guess bumble bee grubs (and peanut butter sandwiches) make a welcome change.

Have you ever managed to see the badgers? The only badger I've ever seen was one in name only: a honey badger in Zambia. Quite a different animal; just as wonderful, but I'd be worried if you had them in your garden ;^)

Molly said...

RR---the animal I love the best(playing favourites here!) is the gopher tortoise. They're the real natives here, the rest of us are just recent blow-ins. Because we've barged into their habitat, I feel we owe it to them to treat them with respect. They do no harm to us and it breaks my heart to see them splatted on the roadside. They don't always die quickly---it's heartbreaking. And when it's mating season they travel their time-honoured trails to get to their nesting areas, even though it's now a treacherous journey with development, houses etc. Whenever we see them crossing the road (my son and I ) we stop, put on our hazzard blinkers and let them make it to the other side. Sometimes, if they sense danger, they'll pull into their shell, right in the middle of the road. The Bean will get out and lift them to safety. I'm not so brave, unless it's a little one as they can scratch you with their sharp claws. Their burrows provide shelter for a large number of other creatures........I could go on and on! Sorry to be so long-winded but re-reading this brought them to mind....I'll go now (slinks away into the bushes.)

Relatively Retiring said...

P.Pete: I've seen a pair on the lawn on night - but only once. Their activities were also captured when I borrowed a night-vision motion-sensitive camera. On one night alone there were over 200 images, badgers, foxes and several unknown cats. It's hard to tell how many there are in this way, unless you can catch them in a group. I think it's probably an active pair who spend most of the night rummaging through the garden. There are also juvenile foxes who play with old tennis balls and empty flower-pots - the evidence is there most mornings.
Next time you come I'm sure you'll be able to sit up all night and watch them!

Molly: That's just how I feel about native wild-life. Some of the badger setts could be a century or more old, and we have no right to barge in.
There are a few 'toad-crossings' around here, with official road signs, where the toads come across at spawning time and people are asked to respect their rite of passage. Only asked though.
That sounds so sad about the gopher tortoises, especially if they are not killed outright.
In the days when we had abundant hedgehogs they used the same fatal avoidance strategy of rolling themselves up into a ball in the face of an oncoming car.
Well done to you and The Bean.

Zhoen said...

Right after the rain last evening, I went out to the lawn. And picked up a score of snails. This might be why that side is struggling. That, and the cat crap.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen: Yes, the snails have ancient settlers' rights. Not so sure about the cat crap!

Peregrina said...

Oh dear. I think it will always be snadwiches from now on - along with our Danish friend's scrambling eggs.

I'm fairly sure the neighbourhood hedgehog hibernates in the leaves under the tangle of wisteria- runners and various prunings beside our drive. We're lucky to have him/her. But one winter, rats devoured all the worms in our compost bin. Lucky creatures, they thought themselves. Fresh meat and central-heating all in the one self-contained apartment.

Relatively Retiring said...

Peregrina: our gardens make the most luxurious homes for others - and rightly so in many instances!

Ida said...

Fantastic!