Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Ouch!!

It was a long and cold Winter and many of our small birds and mammals paid the ultimate price. Numbers are drastically down of both animals and birds and like many I have been placing out extra food – not only for the birds but also for creatures like hedgehogs. It is surprising how just a few extra ounces of weight on a hedgehog may be the difference of their survival during any cold snaps.

Well, I had placed out some dried fruit on the slabs by the small shed and had hurried back to cut up an apple, crumble some digestive biscuits and raid the cat food. By now the light had gone and suddenly it was pitch dark … I hurried down towards the bottom of the garden just about making out the outline of the path from the dim light at the back door. I placed the food in little heaps in a row - then turned around to go back to the house. It was much darker on the way back and I couldn’t see the garden path. All of a sudden my foot (I was wearing open toe mules) jammed into something that felt like a pin cushion. It was so painful I winced out loud and realised that I had walked into a hedgehog.

Once back inside, I realised that my foot was now pouring with blood and I could see where each of the spines had penetrated … I had no idea that hedgehog spines were so sharp!

I bathed my foot … and then felt so guilty wondering if I had hurt the hedgehog at all … so back down the garden I went and saw him busily chewing on some apple. Back inside I went – and to try and make myself feel less guilty I came out with yet more food and placed it as though I were laying a little animal banqueting table right before him (I am assuming that this hedgehog is a him, as he was quite a large size).

hedgehog  Hedgehog

13 comments:

Ann said...

You are much more generous than I. I doubt that I would have gone back out to give him more food after that incident. Did you take a flashlight the second time out?

sandy said...

Ouch is right, what an ugly ugly animal. I would not be encouraging animals like that the house, I would be all for getting rid of them.

My youngest nephew is a ranger and talks about how poorly animals fair when people feed them, intending to do good; just the opposite happens. They depend on people too quickly for food and stop doing what comes naturally. We have laws in some areas that levy heavy fines for people feeding wild animals, and stay animals.

Kloggers/Polly said...

Hi Ann - That's me generous .. Lol!! My toes still hurt too - but they are lovely little creatures. When they move about in the dark they sound like a man sawing wood - backwards and forwards. They can really run fast as well. I enjoy them coming into the garden as they eat the slugs and snails - they love the occasional earthworm too. As their name suggests with having 'hog' at the end they have a diet similar to a pig if they are able. Sadly, many of them starved to death last year though. If the weather is mild in the Winter they come out from hibernation for a nibble or two and this keeps their weight up - but last year the cold spell went on and on month after month and so many just didn't wake up. I'm doing my best to fatten up big Henry and his family ... do you think I'm succeeding?

Kloggers/Polly said...

Oh Sandy - I really love all creatures and if I am able to help them - then I do. We usually listen out for what the naturalists request and if a particular animal is in danger of becoming even more rare and we are asked to provide extra feeds then many of us do.
Hedgehogs had a really bad year of it with an extra lengthy and cold Winter period and more than two thirds of them died off. People have been asked to supplement their diets to try and make them gain a few extra ounces so that they stand a better chance of surviving through until next Spring. Hopefully by then their numbers will have climbed a little. It is important to help them maintain their numbers as they are a major creature in our eco system.

When hedgehogs give birth late on the youngsters are often too small to survive without help and you can often see them looking for food in the daylight. They are night creatures so you know that this is not good. There are now sancturies where young hedgehogs that are found during daylight hours wandering about - should be taken so that they can be given extra feed or even retained in shelters over the Winter.

We also in some areas have special road crossing facilities so that hedgehogs, frogs and toads may pass without the risk of being squashed or injured by cars. It's most likely a different mind set than what you may be used to ... but now at least if you decided to come and live in Britain you will know what to expect.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I think that it's a lovely idea to feed these prickly creatures and from what you say it may be their best chance of surviving through the bleak cold weather.

Duni said...

That must have been painful.
I have never actually touched a hedgehogs spines - they look pretty sharp though!
Sweet of you to bring him food :)

Russ said...

Thank You for the information. I love all animals. I try not to hurt any of Gods creatures. My dog is always trying to get the toads in the yard.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

oh you are so sweet! You save the animals like I do!! We have foxes, raccoons and possums (as well as birds,squirrels, etc) that we feed too. It is through such kindness like yours that little hedgehog had a nice dinner!!! Glad you were both okay and thanks for putting me up.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

oh you are so sweet! You save the animals like I do!! We have foxes, raccoons and possums (as well as birds,squirrels, etc) that we feed too. It is through such kindness like yours that little hedgehog had a nice dinner!!! Glad you were both okay and thanks for putting me up.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Polly just wanted to say thank you again for welcoming me back! It means so much to me. Your kindness is everywhere:) Heidi

Jen said...

Yikes! I didn't know they were that sharp either...they always look so cute and harmless too :o\

The Fitness Diva said...

Awwwww.... that is just so sweet!
How nice that you took the time to think of feeding the hedgehogs, too.
That's awesome! Too bad you got stung by the quills for your efforts, though!

Never seen one of those little guys in person...only in pics. I will know for sure to not try to pet the thing if I ever do. Ouch! Hope your foot heals okay! ;)

selfdrivetours said...

First time I seen a picture of a hedgehog. It is cute.. but dangerous.