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Hi Penny

I have only recently started looking more at the hog’s legs – they are often covered up! But one of the female hog visitors here has quite pinkish legs with dark blotches – quite different to any of the others – so they could be a good aid to identification. I have always noticed that some of them have pale patches on the bottom of their feet or heels, which you can see easily as they leave.

It is never that easy with photos. Even though yours appear to be face on – actually on the colour one you can see more of one side of her face and the b/w the other. The sides of their faces are usually not mirror images, even if sometimes close. So it is always easier if you can see both sides when they move and all the other things as well. I am glad you have decided it’s Fern.

It could be that the ‘decorator’ was new to the area and possibly closer to where Fern lived (as well as the mealworm thing). The mealworm thing goes on. I was told the other day about someone else locally feeding mealworms. Hopefully the message will now be passed on. I wish the ‘authorities’ would be clearer about it, but I think they are relying on it only being supplementary feeding so not as huge a problem. But, if the rescues are getting all these poor hogs in with Metabolic Bone Disease, it must be more than just supplementary for some hogs and may be as a result of more people feeding the hogs, so that they are just getting too much artificual food. I know money is always a problem, but it would be good if some research was done on that sort of thing. The trouble is there are so many problems facing hogs that there is always something more important.

I haven’t seen any new hoglets since the really early ones. I hope it hasn’t got any connection with the excessive marking. It would probably be difficult to prove either way, but if a female hog smells ‘wrong’ she could be less interesting to the boys.

It is definitely a mixed blessing loving hedgehogs and particularly getting to know individuals. So many hazards which we can have no control over. My little friend Digger was absent again last night. She had only been back for 2 nights following an eight day absence, which I was hoping was hoglet related. It still could be. I like to think that, maybe, as it was wet and windy, she decided to stay nearer to home, so they didn’t get too cold.

I wonder if the males go walkabout at this time of year. There have been a couple of ‘strangers’, the regular boys are not around so much, but I seem to be seeing more of the ones who are normally only occasional visitors. But, sometimes only one a night.