Working at my cobbled-together-for-covid-still-totally-fine makeshift standing desk in the kitchen a few nights ago, I was distracted by a peculiar noise. Like somebody with a cold hyperventilating, and coming from the bottom of the thick beech hedge alongside our garden, it was loud enough for me to hear it even though the windows and door were closed.
I swung the door open and was astonished to see a long, black and white striped face fossicking along: a badger!
Findings from the world of nature: on a visit to Edinburgh Zoo a little while ago, we watched as Tian-Tian the panda lazily munched on some bamboo. Next to her was a bowl of “nuggets” - some sort of protein boosters, and loads of magpies and jackdaws were nipping in and stealing the nuggets. The keeper remarked how brave the birds were and, on questioning, revealed that Tian-Tian had caught and eaten several feathery meals since she arrived in the UK in 2011.
Girton recently lost a big tree - I think it was a holm oak. Until a couple of weeks ago it had a great spot right in the middle of the village. Things feel stark without it. It’s going to be replaced - but it will be tens of years before anything comparable has grown up.
Out running recently I found this “Woodland welcome” sign. There are some saplings just out of shot but I don’t think I’ve done it an injustice.
…in the world of squirrels, that is. Where we live, red squirrels have long since been “out competed” by greys. In the past few years, though, the greys have been supplanted by black squirrels (this rodent revolution is the subject of academic interest).
On a very local scale, we recently witnessed a good old squirrel squabble in our back garden, and the melanistic contender has won!
Recently, the victor has occasionally woken us up with a dawn chorus of squirrel barking.