Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Fast and Furious

by admin - 23:55 on 24 July 2011

After several days of no garden wildlife, half an hour tonight made up for it. The action was fast and furious, and at 10.30 was far too dark for snappery, but being able to watch some animal magic was enough.

The first clue that something was afoot came from Bess, who became even more alert after watching intently through the window. Matchgirl was up first, to see Speedy (or one of his clan) fossicking in the not-quite-so-photogenic clump where not only was Nutella, peanut butter and egg secreted, but also a small ex-mouse we found this morning, suspiciously close to one of Bess's outdoor snoozing sites.

A pine marten appeared a moment later, followed by a second, then a third – the kits were back!

They swarmed over the gate and lollopped around the clump, then while one sniffed at Speedy (who had sensibly curled up) before wandering off the other two scampered up The Nutella Tree and got stuck into their supper.

When they left, Speedy uncurled and bolted for the hedge. Then the two martens returned, and so did a confused Speedy. In the gloom it was hard to keep track of who was doing what and where. Bess must have though so too, for at this point she exited The Rural Retreat through her cat-flap to take a closer look.

The cautious moggy stayed on the doorstep until the martens left again then took the opportunity to investigate Speedy before something caught her attention near the willow tree. The overwhelmed hedgehog made a sharp exit for the second time.

And that was the lot – all finished.

If it had been light I could have got some great snaps – martens with hedgehog; martens climbing over each other in The Nutella Tree; marten jumping over hedgehog – but I wasn't too disappointed. Few people get to see such sights so I won't complain.

But it would be great if they do it all again tomorrow, at 7pm.

Book Update: Two more orders have pushed sales of The Bumper Book of Black Isle Snappery past eight hundred. Today, Andrew delivered ten more copies to The Emporium in Cromarty while Matchgirl and I took fifty to Waterstone's in Inverness, which is delighted with an average sale of ten a week. Long may it continue; at this rate we could reach one thousand sales in September.

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