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The analogy with your neighbour is lovely. Glad to hear she is happy where she is now.
Totally agree about how attractive the hogs are and such cute little faces with those shiny eyes seeming to always be looking at you.
Re. the ponds, it is so lovely even having my 3 ponds in tubs. For years I thought it was going to be too much effort, but they are so easy. About 20 inches in diameter and 15 inches deep. Two stand on the patio, side by side, and the water is probably about a foot deep and the other is almost completely buried, so I try to keep the water to the top of that one – that’s where the frogs usually are (although they have sometimes made their way into the others, too). All have oxygenating plants and some others (native plants – except, one, a mini water lilly). They all have beaches made from largish pond baskets filled with stones and standing on bricks, so that birds, hedgehogs, etc. have an escape route. They really have been such a delight. No tadpoles yet, sadly, but little water beetles and water boatmen and loads of pond snails – which help to keep them clean of algae. (I love the way they move along upside down on the surface of the water). Also other little pond beasties.
Poor little ratlet disappeared and I fear it probably went the way of the rat. (hope I’m not tempting the appearance of another one by saying that!) But I have a ‘new’ hedgehog visiting – sadly covered in gunk. A male I think, by the way Igel was behaving towards it(!) but quite small so not really interested in her. Looks too big to have been this year’s hoglet but a bit small for last years, so not sure.
Perhaps your brother ought to put the photo of the 7 jays in to the countryfile calendar competition. Must be unusual to see 7. Re. pigeons – we were out somewhere nearby, recently and saw a flock of about 50 and I thought, I hope that lot don’t decide to descend on my garden. I think the most I have had are 3. One, I wonder if it might be a young one, was spending a lot of time just sitting beside the bird feeder. Reminded me of the time I had one youngster here who used to sit in the birdbath. But I usually see one on the camera in the mornings foraging around on the grass and in the borders. So nice to see that they are finding natural food here, too. I love the colouring of them as well.
P.S. Sadly, I think our recent unwelcome visitors have caused the captcha to become more difficult again!