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June, 2005:

Snakes III

Grass SnakeOur well traveled cat was in the garden, hunting when suddenly she started meowing loudly. When she does this it means that she has caught something and wants to show us. Being in the countryside, it’s no surprise that she catches numerous rodents, so we just ignored her. Well, she got really upset and started howling. Adrian went to see what was up …… she wanted to show us a snake .. alive.

She was in the orchard, stood guard over a smallish, pretty looking snake. At first it feigned death, but when we prodded it, it hissed and reared up like a rattlesnake. We are not sure if she caught it or had just found it, but it was all in one piece. With a quick flick of the wrist with a trowel in hand, it was put into a bucket for a photo session. We then surfed the internet and found it to be a common grass snake.

It was released down the bottom of the garden. It wasn’t as big as the skin that Adrian found previously but it still was about 50cm long.

Birds VI

The Muscovy duck saga continues…

Another 2 eggs discovered in the grange. More appeared over the next few days to a total of 13. Again we waited and after a few weeks removed them. All sterile. If we had checked the grange daily and found the eggs when they were first laid we could have taken them and had them as fresh eggs. Unfortunately, we didn’t know when they were first laid and with the hot weather we didn’t want to chance getting food poisoning. Apparently, duck eggs don’t keep fresh as long or as well as chicken eggs. To be continued …

Hedgehogs

One night whilst lying in bed, we were disturbed by a rustling underneath us. Assuming it was one of the cats I got up to get a drink and returned back to bed. Adrian also got up and noticed that both the cats were in the kitchen. Hmm – I went and had a look under the bed and came face to face with a huge hedgehog – the size of a volleyball.

We can only assume that one night while our backdoor was open and we were either in the garden or on the computer, this prickly friend, came in to explore. It had eaten all the cats dinner but unfortunately hadn’t used their litter tray. The obligatory bucket was brought out and the hedgehog was put back in the garden. The kitchen floor was mopped and we returned back to bed. As this was 3.00 in the morning we forgot to take any snapshots.

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