Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs!
15th April 2017 at 6:27 pm #5915
Whilst we all eagerly await the next instalment of Williamc’s ‘Madge and her gang’, I thought I would fill you in on the latest events at this end.
Things have really been hotting up on the patio, there isn’t a single night goes past at the moment without at least one hog being bounced around from pillar to post. And who is to blame for all this mayhem…yet again it’s the old rogue Simba. Despite being in his twilight years and suffering from arthritis, he is still manages to terrorise anything that moves including me!
Following Nic’s advice on trying to identify hogs from their own markings rather than painting them with blobs of goo, I ventured outside last night armed with the camera to take a few snaps and break up yet another altercation. One hog lay balled up on its back wedged between two plant pots, whilst Simba circled like a hungry shark ready for the next bout. I fully expected him to do a runner, but no, he ran over to me as though I was going to be the next in line for a beating, until he realised that my trainers were not a pair of rival males. After giving them a good old sniff, only then did he decide to flee the scene – can’t blame him for that! But Simba is certainly not getting all his own way, it seems that thuggery and violence are not the way to a ladies heart and his much younger and larger rivals with bags of charm are reaping the rewards. Daisy the main focus of all the males attention is certainly not won over by the aged hooligan’s antics. With very few females around at the moment and at least three males on the scene larger than the old man, tensions are certainly running high. I’m beginning to wonder if the high protein kitten biscuits I have been feeding the boys has turned them into a bunch of mutant giants; Bruno the largest is the size of a football!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the tails of Madge, Williamc has a theory that the hogs have a command and control centre under the lawn with a network of tunnels allowing them to travel from one side of the garden to the other unnoticed. Well, I have now discovered the evidence that these secret passages actually do exist. No I am not losing my marbles, it appears that the wood mice in our garden have their own central headquarters located under the bird feeders in a network of tunnels beneath the lawn, so they must be pooling their resources with the hogs. I couldn’t understand why every time I shone the torch under the bird feeders to look for hedgehogs there was always a cat on the prowl, so I set up the camera and there it was, incontrovertible proof…
Several years ago we had to have two large trees chopped down after discovering that they were being ravaged by the dreaded honey fungus and in danger of crashing down onto the house. Since then the fungus has continued to eat away at the trees roots under the lawn and every now and then it turns it into a sea of orange mushrooms. So there you have it, what better place for the wood mice to make their home in a grand network of readymade tunnels right beneath a regular supply of food…wood mouse utopia, if only there weren’t so many cats! 🙂
And here’s the proof!
https://youtu.be/VXV2u6Ng8nI16th April 2017 at 9:25 am #5917
Brilliant Penny, but how do you get the video clip onto your post? I see the cat is quite happy to sit right in front of the hedgehog. The cats round here seem to be wary of the hedgehogs and don’t hang around when the hogs are about – which is not a bad thing!16th April 2017 at 11:05 am #5918
I just copied & pasted the youtube link in the usual way and there it was, fantastic new feature.
The cats are usually a bit more wary of the hedgehogs, but with a whole colony of mice beneath their feet I think they are a bit more preoccupied.17th April 2017 at 8:34 pm #5922
So, I guess it is because it is already somewhere else on the internet? I tried to paste a photo in some text, but it didn’t work. It doesn’t give the option to paste a photo on it’s own either.
I think I must have mouse tunnels under my patio – they seem to pop up from all over the place. One little mouse looked as if he was going to steal some food from under boss hog’s nose the other day, but he took fright at the last moment! Boss hog looked up rather indignantly.18th April 2017 at 7:16 am #5923
It looks as those it is just linked to YouTube then.
We found another hole in the lawn yesterday, so it looks like our mice have been busy building an escape route just in case those pesky cats manage to break in.
I also managed to positively identify Arnie yesterday; he’s really quite distinctive with a very dark skirt and a light coloured band of hair across the top of his head, which shows up well on the trail cameras, no wonder Simba is working himself into a frazzle!18th April 2017 at 9:08 am #5924
Poor Simba! I do feel sorry for him. The boss hog here is hanging on, although I don’t see him every night, so this is probably not the centre of his ‘range’. Gentle giant seems to be gentle no more – except with the ladies, of course.
Glad you have managed to id Arnie. Digger is very obvious on the nightcams as well. She has a naturally very dark face and dark skirt, like Arnie. She looks very sleek and beautiful. She and boss hog were having a good old romp through the woodruff the other night and have left a good trail behind. Little Magic (not really so little now) was having a romp with Tigger. They were best buddies when they were hoglets. Magic was called Midge then, Tigger was twice the size. She could have ended up being called Madge if I had known she was a girl then!!18th April 2017 at 1:25 pm #5927
I hadn’t seen Arnie since he was a juvenile, so it’s great to see him back. I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Simba he really is a thug, if he was human he would have been put behind bars long ago. He roams the garden like a coiled spring pacing up and down ready for his next victim. It’s a shame that you can’t post photos; I’ve got a great one of him about to attack my trainers!
Is that Digger in the photo, it’s certainly got distinctive markings unlike most of ours?
Sorry to bore you with another of my videos, but I couldn’t resist posting this one of a very cute and feisty little Arnie refusing to budge from the food bowl last summer and why Simba has good cause to be worried.18th April 2017 at 2:04 pm #5928
No, it isn’t Digger – it’s Magic when she was a bit younger. Lovely heart shaped face. Most of my photos turn out a bit dark, will have to look through the old ones to see if Digger is in one. Digger’s face is really dark.
Are you absolutely certain Arnie isn’t a young girl hog? Otherwise it may be still a hangover from when he was a hoglet and the adults don’t push them around too much. Simba (I’m guessing he is the big boy) seems to be behaving in a similar way to how the big boys act towards little Erin the ‘returned’ female ‘hoglet’.
I love seeing your videos. They are so much better than the ones I am getting!18th April 2017 at 2:59 pm #5930
OK, Penny. Have just changed my profile photo, so it is now Digger – not a very good photo, but she is in mid-dig which is quite appropriate. She doesn’t stay still, even when eating, so it’s difficult to get a decent photo.18th April 2017 at 5:36 pm #5932
Wow, she’s lovely, she really has got a dark face.
Arnie is definitely male, unless I’ve got him mixed up with one of his siblings again, they all stood their ground. The adult hog isn’t Simba and I’m pretty sure that it’s a female; they all used to try and bully the hoglets away from the food. I’ve been a bit hard on Simba; where hoglets are concerned he is usually pretty good and keeps a watchful eye over them especially if they are his own.18th April 2017 at 6:32 pm #5934
She’s really lovelier than the photo shows! She nearly always has her nose buried in a bowl when she is still enough to get a photo.
There are two other dark faced girls, one slightly lighter and she is quite russety coloured and the other possibly even darker faced than Digger but the dark is a different shape. I wonder whether they are both her daughters, as she has been around a long time. Haven’t seen the other two yet this year – hope they are ok. Most of the boys have much lighter faces.
Sorry maligning Simba like that! If it was a female, not Simba, that makes more sense. Will have to try to get Tigger on the profile next! I’m sort of imagining he might be a bit like Simba with a big ruff?13th May 2017 at 4:10 pm #6344
After 2 weeks of sneezing and giving me the run-around, little Tippy Toe has finally been captured and incarcerated at a rehabilitation centre for ‘wild’ hedgehogs. Yes the little devil has got roundworm and a bad case of lungworm, so hopefully she’ll make a full recovery and be back tip-toeing around the garden again soon.
With males still outnumbering females by a ratio of 2-1, the boys are not at all happy with this new development and have been busy venting their frustration. Booby traps have been deposited in strategic places around the house including one parcel ready for me to step in as soon I get into my car. Tippy toe on the other hand will be glad of the rest I am sure, after two of the boys barricaded her exit from the terracotta hedgehog house for over an hour the other night whilst they battled over who was top dog (hog!) I’m not quite sure who the victor was, but when she finally emerged from her confinement, she was still being circled relentlessly over an hour later.
Wood mouse headquarters is still a hive of activity and with the local cats busy trying to dig their way in and the mice busy trying to tunnel their way out, the lawn is starting to resemble a putting green…well it would, if only we had a bit more grass and a lot less moss and mushrooms!13th May 2017 at 8:40 pm #6350
Hope Tippy Toe makes a quick recovery and is back home soon. Is that her in the photo?14th May 2017 at 8:34 am #6355
Yes that’s Tippy Toe in the photo, just look at the size of those feet! It amazes me how different she looks in real life after watching her in black & white for so long; you wouldn’t believe it was the same hog. She’s a tough little thing; she survived the winter so hopefully she’ll be ok. I just uploaded the photo to Flickr, copied the link and there it was.
I can’t see any poo in the usual places on the patio this morning, so I wonder where the boys have left their booby traps this time!
I spotted a wood mouse out in daylight the other day, (they’re so cute!) so couldn’t resist posting this one and making use of this great new feature.15th May 2017 at 2:07 pm #6371
Cute woodmouse! Tippy Toe is cute too. That does look a big foot.
Unfortunately, I’m not on Flickr or anything like that, so still can’t put photos, etc. on here.
It’s funny how the boys seem to just all decide to go somewhere else some days. The other night none of them turned up here – well during viewing time anyway. The boss hog doesn’t visit every night any more, but when he does, he well and truly makes his presence felt. I feel sorry for the poor hog he decides to make a particular target of. Last time it was the biggest of the hog visitors (Bandit) he was still pushing him around with ease, even though Bandit is much bigger than him.
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