Hi folks, yes - it's really me!
I'd like to thank sincerely, those of you who have contacted me, concerned that I was okay.
I hope that you are all still out there, and haven't lost interest during my absence - and of course all is well with you.
Time flies and I can hardly believe that it's been four months since I last posted.
I'd lie if I said it hadn't been a stressful four months with various things going on, and as you can imagine my Mother has been at the centre of a lot of it. Her dementia continues to run it's course, she is still refusing any outside help and so I continue to go each day with her meds and to make sure that her beautiful cat Teddy is fed - she forgets otherwise.
We've had other problems in the family, and I admit that there's been a black dog following me around for a while, which is the main reason for my low profile. I feel that I'm gaining a better hold though now and my face doesn't seem to leak as much - thank goodness. I have visited blogs a couple of times a week, though I know I've missed a lot that's been going on.
Anyway, that's enough of that. Updates on my sweet little prickly friends.
Since I posted Juvenile Hedgehogs way back in November, I captured a further five underweight juveniles the following night, making a total of NINE! Poor Joan was overwhelmed with these and many more that came into the rescue centre.
One of the 200 - 250g hogs
Double decked carriers waiting overnight in the laundry with the five hogs inside.
I also had another two brought to me by neighbours who were found in daylight, but sadly neither of them made it.
Joan kept my nine (!) and fed them up over the Winter, but again sadly two of those didn't make it either. BUT the seven that did make it were released back into the garden in late March and early April during the mild weather we were having. The hedgehog boxes in the garden were waiting for them :o) They all came back like fat footballs, five of them weighed in at over a kilo!
The first three paint marked and ready for freedom :o)
The big bruiser - the heaviest one.
I'm pleased to report that they've ALL prospered and were joined by at least three of last years adults. I continue to feed and look out for them.
Oh, I almost forgot - a few weeks after release I awoke one morning to find one (very large one) feeding in the garden, and I knew that wasn't right. I weighed it and it seemed to be okay but it wasn't curling up, but after speaking to Joan we decided that she'd better take him in to check over. His eyes appeared to be bright and there was nothing apparently wrong. He was wormed and given a dose of antibiotics, then after a night at the rescue centre was released again. Joan's only comment was that he was very randy! So we put his daylight hours down to keeping his strength up ;o) and I decided to christen him Dick! BUT the following day a neighbour came round and said that there was a very large paint marked hedgehog in her garden looking for food. When I checked it was Dick. I contacted Joan again, and after much discussion I checked his eyes again - still clear and bright. Joan asked me to put my finger towards his eyes - he didn't flinch at all. So off he went again back to the rescue centre. He was certainly blind, and even though Joan had over wintered him it wasn't apparent at all, and we wondered if something had happened since his release? He couldn't be returned to the wild as his life would be in danger without sight.
Happily though Joan has some very good contacts, a few of them have very large, enclosed gardens in which disabled or blind hogs can live safely and happily. A retired farmer who lives near to us both offered (the now re-named) Dead-eyed Dick a permanent home in his walled garden. We both went along to release him into his new home. Here he is settling into his new home.
a corner of Dead-eyed Dick's new garden.
The good news is that he has settled in well and there is also a young three legged lady hedgehog living there, so you never know there could be some little babies this Summer :o) We're all just hoping they have four legs and are not carrying white sticks ;o)
I'll be back again with more in the next week or two.
Sending love and best wishes