Monday, 11 January 2010

A special guest blog part I. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

I am very excited today as we have our first ever guest blogger at Wisteria and Cow Parsley. Stilton is giving her a suspicious look, but I think you'll like her! Today's post is by our dear friend, wildlife gardener and writer, Aspidistra. Photo's are from her Sussex garden.

The fabulous Mr Fox.

It is finally changing from the serene scene of the last few days to a gritty, grubby mess underfoot. The Big Thaw begins. During recent times, I, however, have been more interested in The Big Paw. One of the great joys for a wildlife gardener of all this snow business is that The Wildlife cannot trot around undetected anymore. I woke one morning to what I imagined would be the perfect blanket of snow in the back garden the other day, only to discover that The Wildlife had already been up and about for several hours, kicking up the place, having snowball fights and generally messing up what I had hoped would be a pristine scene.

The birds put out delicate prints, many of which ended pitifully at the open porch, where they must have sought shelter and warmth from the worst excesses of the weather. There are some slightly strange and worrying prints that look like a snake had gone through the snow, but I suspect may have been something unspeakable, small and furry, so I shall just pretend I didn't see them, they are a tad too close to the back door for my liking. But the great delight are the foxes' footprints. At last, a full account of what they get up to after I have gone to bed at night. And they get up to a lot. Back and forth around the garden, right up to the cat flap, probably sticking a nose in to see what's what indoors, a bit of digging here and there, then along the pavement (well they wouldn't want to get run over in the road) to next door.

I decided, in best old-fashioned tracker style, to follow the prints and see where they went. So, strapping two tennis racquets to my boots, donning my best faux beaver hat, I tracked up and down the road. Then the next road. And the next. The footprints were sometimes delicate and sometimes the foxes appeared to be perfecting their downhill ski movements. But of course I have to admit that eventually I was foxed. I hit a brick wall which the fox had apparently somehow managed to get through or over or something. I could merely wonder at how large a territory these creatures of the night move across.

Icicles on wallflowers.


Carol said...

I love seeing your red fox Rhoda ... great photo! I have not seen my neighbor this year yet. It is so much fun to discover and follow their tracks. Lovely post... gee I wonder if the fox might someday be so desperate he goes through the cat flap!

Joanne said...

Lovely photos the icicles look great and good capture of the fox

Noelle Johnson said...

So great you got a photo of the fox. We don't have red foxes where we are in the Arizona desert. But, I remember seeing many red foxes while traveling in Ireland.

Unknown said...

A friend of mine has been following fox prints round his garden and is very surprised by the routes they take

janerowena said...

How lovely to see you on here! What a nice surprise. What's she paying you? :-)

Lovely photos, and what a good idea, to follow the tracks.

Cenya said...

Fabulous picture of Mr. Fox. Wish I had a fox neighbor to come dance in my back yard at night.

Aspidistra said...

Last summer one of the fox cubs did appear to be trying to scramble in through the cat flap - his head was through - but he beat a hasty retreat when the cat went to see what all the noise was about.

Jro, I have to pay Rothschild's Orchid to be here, not the other way around.

IlonaGarden said...

Love fabulous Mr. Fox1 But also wished for a picture of the tennis racket-strapped feet! LOL!

Rothschild Orchid said...

Yes about that payment dear Aspi, if you could just deliver 10 unmarked boxes of salmon and trout flavoured nibble sticks, Stilton says that should just about cover costs!

He's a difficult cat to keep happy I'm afraid.

D said...

Lovely post! and I must say your blue-eyed boy in the header is absolutely beautiful! Diana