Trails of Destruction

This isn’t going to be a sad post. It is going to be quite an interesting post, I just need to tell you about what happened yesterday.

You remember the little black lamb that I showed you a few days ago? Well sadly I found him dead on the roadside, hit by a car. It happens and I guess he was always going to be the last one that they saw.

Black SheepIf you walk in the countryside you get used to seeing Β Badgers, Foxes and Rabbits lying by the roadside and this is not really any different but I did feel sorry for him.

What really spoilt my day was what happened next. His Mum was not going to leave her dead lamb and she was wandering up and down a busy road with her other lamb trotting along behind her, it was pretty obvious that there was going to be another accident if we didn’t get her off the road and I got met with a bit of a Β negative response.

Eventually Jeremy (for that was his name) came out and picked up his dead lamb and moved the others to safety. So that was that.

I hear a lot of, “Oh you townies just don’t understand our country ways,” but I do.

Sorry little lamb, I should have stolen you.

Black Sheep

Then my day picked up, when I went to see the little dog downstairs.

Fizz is a philosopher and she ought to be studied in universities. She is a bit like that Frenchman, Jean Paul Sartre but brighter and she doesn’t use so many words, in fact her whole philosophical argument could be summed up in a single sentence.

“The world is full of stuff that is not Fizz but that is not important.”

It is perhaps not as complex as existentialism but it is true and it helps me to exist.

So off we went to La La Land…..

Dr FizzFizz knows some nice places to walk and she can make even an angry heart forget.

Trail

Orange TipHelp me little animal for I have been hurt.

Orange TipAre you magic? How come you are there when I need you? Why do you even exist?

Orange TipThank you and here, have a nice flower.

Orange TipHello!

Was that butterfly called Fizz?

I don’t think so.

FizzI am going to crawl under the gate now.

If you follow me you can tickle my tummy.

I want to look at flowers.

Bush VetchBush Vetch, It’s a pea and so it has those grab onto anything tendrils and I think that it is wonderful. It is one of those plants that helps to make the jungle an absolute mess.

Bush Vetch

Bush VetchI can’t wait forever.

Fizz

Fizz

Bush VetchOkay I am just going to take a few moments out to check that they did her hair cut properly. Sometimes people are slackers and they miss the little important bits, you know what I mean?

Fizz

Fizz

FizzEverything seems to be in order and they have done a good job.

Fizz

FizzGet down little Monkey! I am fixed.

FizzI am ready to begin my tale.

We are walking along the track, observing nature and playing games with the flowers….

Dog’s Mercury,

Dogs MercuryThis is the female of the species.

Dogs MercuryThis is a Dog in Mercury.

Dogs MercuryAll right! I am fixed all ready.

Dogs MercuryAs we are walking along I have been noticing signs of animal activity. Little holes everywhere.

Snuffle HolesIn my mind I am seeing “snuffle holes.” These are little holes that Badger’s make as they dig for worms. They sometimes look like little animal burrows but they don’t go anywhere, they are only about six to eight inches deep.

There is not much that is unusual about this. We are very close to a Badger main sett and there is a lot of activity further along the track but there is a lot here and I am a bit surprised because we are still a way from the sett. Very active Badgers, I think.

Then I noticed something beside this hole.

Wild ArumThis isn’t actually a “snuffle hole,” this one is where an animal has dug up and eaten the root of Wild Arum.

Badgers do eat the roots of Wild Arum. I have read of this described as a winter activity when food is short and we are in Badger country.

This is Wild Arum (Arum maculatum)

Wild ArumTo us this is a deadly poisonous plant. Every part of it contains toxins that can kill a Human. The reason that it doesn’t kill people is that those toxins cause immediate and painful burns and blisters and if we accidentally put it in our mouths then we quickly spit it out again.

However we can eat it. The roots are edible but they need preparation (I think it is roasting but that is only from memory). This is not a good one to eat unless you are starving Β but remember that most animals are starving.

Wild ArumThis next one is very edible and in fact if you don’t eat this then you are an American Donkey (an Ass).

Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Wild GarlicThis is Wild Garlic.

(In fact the Americans do not use the word Ass to describe a Donkey but this is only because they have not mastered the English language and particularly spelling, to me “American Donkey” is just a euphemism, what I meant was that you would be a fool not to eat this wonderful herb πŸ™‚ I said it crudely because I like crude it is very different from rude but I don’t like crudities, I prefer to dunk soft white bread into my soup. Consider this to be my soup. There are some very beautiful and expressive words in the English language and you would have to be an American Donkey to diminish them, you don’t always have to use them.)

Wild GarlicThen…

Here is another one.

Uprootedand another…

Uprootedand another….

Uprootedand another….

UprootedThis is getting weird. Something has walked along this track and systematically and selectively dug up and ate every Arum Lily that it could find. I saw more than thirty of these holes and photographed them.

What on earth does this?

If you know me then you might think, “Colin would know the answer,” but Colin does not know the answer.

PhilosopherStop it. I can see your beauty.

PhilosopherI choose my stuff carefully, I am not a fool and I love you.

PhilosopherI am trying to concentrate.

Something is eating our flowers.

We need to put our tracker hats on, Badgers are obviously in the frame but something doesn’t ring true. The other animal that would do this is Wild Boar and I know that they are also here.

printThese prints are partial, the ground has been quite hard. A Boar has dew claws that leave an impression behind the hooves and I can’t see them, but they could be Boar (or Sheep or Deer) I don’t know.

PrintIt is all a bit weird.

Mystery

Mystery

Mystery

MysterySo I don’t know what to say about all of this, except…

IdiotLet me take you by the hand and lead you through a place that doesn’t have any streets, I will show you something that will make you change your mind.

Fizz

Red Campion

Herb Robert

Greater StitchwortI wrote this through the night and it is now Friday. Yesterday we had a General Election in the UK. I have no idea who won.

Good people never win. Niceness isn’t a winning trait and I already know that the worst man in the country is now our President. That is the failing of democracy. Let them come into the Jungle and we will see who wins.

I haven’t told you about this but I once lived for a year with a Member of Parliament. It’s okay, my wife knew about it. He was a decent man and a friend who helped me out of a jam but I could tell you some stories (and they would include naked MPs, another day perhaps πŸ™‚ Β but probably not)

One more deep breath and then I will go and see who is now my Glorious Leader.

Orange Tip

Yellow Archangel

Bluebells

Get out of the mud.Disrespect

The Leader is coming πŸ™‚

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46 thoughts on “Trails of Destruction”

  1. This sounds like a job for Super Trail-Cam Man. A chap called Cameron won the election apparently. I don’t have a vote but I would have voted for Lulu or Fizz. Sad about the sheep

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andrew πŸ™‚ I too am disenfranchised, although I am on the electoral roll (a sign of my rehabilitation) and technically I may vote, I am only allowed to cast my vote for the man who is going to win. If I voted for Lulu then my vote would disappear, so it is not really a vote at all. It is not something that I worry about.

      I would love to get this animal on the trail cam. I have made many attempts but without any luck so far. I think that this is the animal that made the nest last year. The Beast of Badger Alley. So far it has eluded me but now I know that it eats Poison Pie πŸ™‚

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  2. Lovely ramble, today, Colin. Sorry to hear about the wee lamb, but I’m guessing he would not be happy with the state of your new government and is well out of it. Commiserations with you on that. By the way, going by that footprint, I’d put my money on boar, but then again, it could be an escaped ass. Happy days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Melissa πŸ™‚ I don’t really care about Governments, so long as they don’t get violent. Those people only care about fast cars and how much money they can have and that has nothing to do with me, they can have all of that, it is worthless. I am sorry that it was Cameron because last year he promised that if his party won in May they would start killing baby Badgers in June. It is easier to kill the babies than the adults, obviously I am not big on this. So it goes. In any conflict or competition the worst player will always win, gentle people don’t win fights. I am just going to stay under the radar, I very much doubt that we will ever even meet. It is a shame about the baby badgers though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dan πŸ™‚ It was a terrible pity about the lamb, especially because if it had been one of the white ones I probably wouldn’t have recognised it but I knew this one straight away. There are a lot of sheep wandering around on the roads in this area and there is little to warn visitors. It is especially difficult when there are new lambs about because they just don’t have any road sense. I really think that the animals should be better cared for and yes dogs are good for scritching πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sad about the lamb πŸ˜”πŸ’” poor little thing… Not even the flowers and butterflies could make me smile but Fizz managed to do it πŸ˜„ she’s my favorite intellectual in the whole wide universe.

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    1. Thank you Becky πŸ™‚ I felt angry about it. It was a lack of proper care because this way was cheaper. Then Fizz helped me to forget, she is good at that. A clever little dog and she is crying for a walk right now πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another lovely post. I am no great fan of farmers either. In my own admittedly limited experience, only those in western Cornwall are at all interested in wildlife, and even some of them thought a buzzard could lift a sheep. Bovine TB? Would putting 130 cows together in one field encourage it at all? (It took me ages to count them!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ I live with farmers and I have to get on with them. They do sometimes seem to have a business like approach to any form of animal life but those that know me seem prepared to make some concessions. I was recently asked by my landlord what I thought we should do about the Magpies. He described a trap that he had used in the past. A large cage that the birds could enter but couldn’t get out again. He said that once you get one Magpie it attracts others and the more birds you get the more that keep coming. I am glad that he asked me first πŸ™‚ (We are not doing anything about the Magpies)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ That is just the way that it is around here. There are still plenty of new lambs wandering around the roads today. Some of them won’t make it. That is life.I feel sorry for the people that run into them, that can’t be nice, especially if you don’t make a clean kill. I really must go on another lovely walk now πŸ™‚ Maybe I will see the Beast today.

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      1. The Forest of Dean has it’s own history and traditions. Men born in the forest and over the age of twenty one who have worked in a mine for a year and a day have the right to open and work their own mine. Recently a woman who otherwise had met all of the conditions took the forestry commission to court for sexual discrimination and became the forest’s first female Freeminer. Anyone born here and over the age of eighteen may freely graze sheep in the forest. They are also allowed to let their pigs roam but I don’t think that anyone does that any more. I don’t see any pigs in the forest but there are a lot of sheep. Of course these traditional rights date back to long before the motor car but nobody is going to give them up now.

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  5. Sorry about the lamb and I’m sorry for its mother too. Why do people keep animals if they are so careless and unfeeling about them? I have never understood it. I voted yesterday because I felt I had to but didn’t feel particularly hopeful about the outcome.
    Do you have Muntjac deer in the FOD? They often dig holes to eat roots but I have no idea if they eat wild arum. They have very small feet too, so your footprint may be too big. They are loners and aren’t often seen with other deer. Very interesting post with lots of beautiful photos, including those of Fizz the philosopher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Clare πŸ™‚ I have been up to the village today and I saw mum and her surviving lamb there. It is pretty safe, there is traffic but it is quite slow.

      Around here, in the farming community, people keep animals for profit, that is simply how they make their living. Generally they look after them well but they see animals as a commodity. Fizz is not allowed in the house, it is different from town life. Honestly, who would own such a dog and not even let her into the house? What is the point in that?

      My German Shepherd slept at the foot of my bed and licked my face in the night if I needed waking up. At that time I had an old Collie, Bess and if she became distressed in the night the GSD would wake me. He was very attentive of her.

      We haven’t really got Muntjac here yet. We have got them on the edge of the forest, they are spreading towards us from the east. That print is much too big to be a Muntjac but there is something else that happened today.

      Fizz and I stepped out today and right in front of the farmhouse we came face to face with three Boar. I haven’t been imagining it, they are here living with us on the farm. I have only been seeing signs in this last week but they have arrived and it isn’t all great.

      There is a threat to Fizz. She is an idiot who will chase sheep, if she chases one of these animals she could get killed. I have to sort this out. I do love the Boar but they should have been allowed to stay in the forest. My very good friends in the Forestry Commission have put their problem in my front yard. It is good for the naturalist but it is bad for Fizz, Maybe I can teach her some sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure that Fizz would understand what you were trying to do! The Forestry Commission seem to have their own agenda and don’t like compromise and I can’t see that the local farmers and villagers are going to like the idea of wild boar roaming at large either. This doesn’t look too good from any angle, Colin!

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  6. So how is it that Ass came to be referred to as donkey? Is it because it’s something we sit on, perchance? I take some kind of dark, inward chuckle with the English/American tension over language. As an English student from my college days and a lover of our language, I can relate with the English (I wonder if there are comparisons to be made with the French, and their feelings about how their language is used in Canada?). Language is so personal and key to a people’s identity, but at the same time it’s got a kind of flowy, porous quality to it…which is to say no one really owns, it gets ‘shared,’ passed around…the proverbial commoners (the masses) ultimately decide its future, through frequency of use. I am a rambling fool here myself but hope you can relate to some of these thoughts, albeit fragmented, from my morning robe here in Seattle, with my coffee and my cat who keeps getting in the way of my typing. Best to you and yours, my friend. Tschuss! – Bill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bill πŸ™‚ But in this case I am going to disagree. Never mind the “English/American tension over language” you are simply wrong. Our word has an “R” in it. It is a good descriptive word with a musical quality that rolls of the tongue and it is even pronounced in a different way, a way that befits it. An arse is a musical part and our word describes it well. It is also a very rude word, there is just nothing rude about ass. Why sanitize something that is so important and jocular at the same time. All Americans should have to read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales just to understand the concept of “Ribald” and why that is so important in language. There is a reason why we speak the language like what we do, for it’s lyricism and humour and sometimes rudeness. I love my language. Having said that some of my very favourite writers are Americans but isn’t it true that if you sat a monkey in front of a typewriter for long enough, then one day he would write the complete works of William Shakespeare? Arse is a really good word and Ass is just bottoms πŸ™‚

      But thank you for your kind comment my friend πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bettylouise πŸ™‚ That is a good question and I will try to answer it as well as I can. Open Range cattle ranching was a system of ranching introduced into America by the Spanish in the early nineteenth century. Open Range refers to the practice of running cattle on the unfenced public lands of the American prairies. I can see the analogy. Here we have open range sheep. If it were not for the advent of the motor car it would be idyllic, providing that they were shepherded. I don’t personally own any land any more and so I do think that all of the fences should be taken down and “open range” should be adopted across the country. We have motor cars now that speed down our roads and fences are necessary to protect our livestock. Animals need to be cared for. That maximises our own profits and also benefits the animals πŸ™‚ It is a great and important idea but here, today it is just impractical because of everything else that is going on and because most people are not making their living from livestock.

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      1. I used to own woodland and it was unfenced. Everybody and anybody was always welcome to come and enjoy my woods. So I guess that I have always been an “Open Range” landowner πŸ™‚

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  7. Yes indeed, animals need to be cared for. And as far as Americans not having mastered the English language, I find that offensive! Except…well…we haven’t. Texting hasn’t helped anyone anywhere, as far as that’s concerned. Maybe I should say “u r rite.”

    And Fizz wears a crown well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about the black lamb. When we had sheep, a ewe gave birth to twins, one died and she would not leave the dead one behind as I tried to coax her into the barn. I had to pick up the dead lamb and walk to the barn with it, and she and her live lamb followed. I got her and the live lamb in a pen, and also left the little dead lamb in there for her to come to terms with the issue. She sniffed at it and made loving sounds, but by morning she seemed to have accepted things. I then removed the dead lamb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy πŸ™‚ I had a similar experience last year. We had an unexpected birth, nobody had even realised that she was carrying. The new born lamb was tiny and we didn’t have much hope for it but we bottle fed it through the day and did our best. By the end of the day the mother seemed to have abandoned it. When I picked the lamb up it was cold and had that stiffness about it, I was sure that it was dead and the farmer asked me to put it in the paddock with it’s mum and said he would clean up in the morning. That sheep cried all night, it was upsetting to listen to her. The next day I took Fizz out, I hadn’t bothered to check on the lamb, I knew what had happened. When I saw it trotting about in the field I had to ring my landlord, “That dead lamb is following it’s mum around the paddock and feeding.” She had cried all night to keep it moving, not allowing it to lay down and die. It lived and I learned something about sheep πŸ™‚

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  9. Really sorry to hear about the lamb Colin and the poor mother also, it beggars belief how some people can be so thoughtless in regards to the negative response you received from some motorists, not only were you looking out for the safety of those other animals but you were also preventing a possible road accident from happening, but I’m glad the day eventually picked up partly due to mans best friend πŸ™‚ and as for the stories of naked politicians!!! best to keep that one to yourself … lol … take care Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marco πŸ™‚ I was so pleased to see that you were coming back to blogging and then it disappeared again, whatever, you have a remarkable talent and if you choose to post again then the world will gain some wonderful pictures. I totally sympathise, blogging takes up a lot of time that could be spent elsewhere. When I look at my screen sometimes I just don’t know what to do. I may have thousands of unread notifications in my inbox (it stood at 4000 a few days ago but is down to 11 today) There are thousands of posts that good friends of mine have written that I haven’t had time to see and pretty well every one of those needs thought and a response. Should I write a new post? I really should answer my comments. There is just so much to do and I can’t do it all, so I let everybody down. Who would blog? In the end I usually just turn the machine off and take Fizz out. I am not a very good blogger but I do meet some wonderful people this way. I hope that you are still getting the opportunity to get out and take those photographs. The beauty that you capture is breath taking and it really helps the wildlife too, people see the pictures and they care about the subjects. We could all use more of that πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Poor little lamb, that was very sad. It was such a beautiful little creature too. The rest of your photos are wonderful, it really felt like a walk in the woods! You may appreciate my nature story today so I will share. I was in my garden this evening and saw a little hawk (I think) catch a male red cardinal and sit on the arbour with it in its talons. I tried to get a picture but it flew over my head with the little cardinal still in its grasp. It was a real nature moment. The sad part is that the cardinal’s mate was in my lilac tree looking for it’s mate. Normal they are so skittish they fly away if I am near but this one didn’t, I think it was so distracted. However, the hawk and it’s babies got fed, so that has to be a good thing as well, that is what I told my 7 year old daughter who watched this with me.

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