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.
If you walk in the countryside you get used to seeing 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 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.
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…..
Fizz knows some nice places to walk and she can make even an angry heart forget.
Help me little animal for I have been hurt.
Are you magic? How come you are there when I need you? Why do you even exist?
Thank you and here, have a nice flower.
Was that butterfly called Fizz?
I don’t think so.
I am going to crawl under the gate now.
If you follow me you can tickle my tummy.
I want to look at flowers.
Bush 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.
Okay 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?
Everything seems to be in order and they have done a good job.
Get down little Monkey! I am fixed.
We are walking along the track, observing nature and playing games with the flowers….
This is the female of the species.
All right! I am fixed all ready.
As we are walking along I have been noticing signs of animal activity. Little holes everywhere.
In 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.
This 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)
To 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 but remember that most animals are starving.
This next one is very edible and in fact if you don’t eat this then you are an American Donkey (an Ass).
(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 🙂 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.)
Here is another one.
This 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.
Stop it. I can see your beauty.
I choose my stuff carefully, I am not a fool and I love you.
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.
These 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.
So I don’t know what to say about all of this, except…
Let 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.
I 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 🙂 but probably not)
One more deep breath and then I will go and see who is now my Glorious Leader.
The Leader is coming 🙂