Save Our Hedgehogs

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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A project, a mouse and a beach.

Though overcast it isn't raining (yet), but I had occasion to pop outside in the downpour yesterday and guess who was sitting sheltering by the pond and looking totally fed-up with the weather?

 He made me laugh out loud!
(focus not too good as it was howling down)

Do any of you remember the cream painted wash board I got from Dagfields around a year ago?

Well I've FINALLY done what I was thinking of doing with it, hanging it on the laundry door (with a little tweaking!)

(Sorry there's no natural light here in the back hall way.)

I've given the wash board a couple of coats of light blue emulsion and a dry brush over with grey.
I've had the wash tongues for years, and I've been on the look out for the 'Laundry rules' at a bargain price - finally found on e-bay for a song.

(If only they worked!)  I just added a couple of pegs and Bob's your Uncle :o)

As you know it was my birthday, and (lovely) Hubs had ordered my gift that arrived this week.
The tissue paper may be a clue?

Now the word 'furniture' may be a little misleading, because what I wanted was...

a breadboard, with it's signature mouse and adz marks - it is after all hand made. 

Isn't he cute? It's going to be a real family heirloom.
  I have followed the directions and lightly oiled it with sunflower oil ready for use,
that's if I can bring myself to cut on it!

Hope the little chap cheers you up as much as it did me.

I did manage to get my feet in the sea last week and it did me a power of good.

We had a (wonderful) day out at Fairbourne Mid Wales on the opposite side of the estuary to Barmouth.

I really needed to re-charge my batteries.  Walking along the pebble beach for me is the ideal way to do it, and it's been too long since I'd done it.  Of course I bought a few more pebbles back for the pond ;o)
and found some interesting rocks - I love the different lichens.

I found a large number of shattered slate roof tiles, and crawling across the was a HUGE Fox moth caterpillar

Then on closer look there were more in the grass.
They were around 3" long and as thick as my little finger!

We watched as the Fairbourne Light Railway chugged past us :o)

Then we went a ride further down the coast - looking back along the coast road towards Barmouth

and then the view out to sea

Bardsey Island is on the far left of the photo, and looking out towards the Lleyn Peninsular.

Then on to Tywyn  to the sandy beach  

Where I had a paddle ;o)

and a view of the groynes

Aah, that's MUCH better!

Welcome to my latest followers - So pleased to see you here :o)

See you all soon, best wishes

Late addition - an apology

I'm sorry if I haven't been replying to emails to 'secondhandrose' address, I've only just discovered that there was a blip and I hadn't received any since Mid AUGUST!  I've sorted it out now (fingers crossed x)
Please accept my sincere apologies, I'll try and catch up this evening - but I've over 100 to go through.

Rose x

Monday, 24 September 2012

Drumroll please.....And the WINNER is.....

The Random Number Generator has chosen....

Liz at Shortbread and Ginger :o)  Congratulations!

Please let me know your contact details and I'll get your prize off to you.

Sorry to the other entrants (And thank you for your interest), but I thought the 'Random' system was the fairest way to choose.  (I only put the seven folk in who wanted to be in the draw.)

I have added a little something extra for Liz from my own collection that I think she may enjoy.

See you all again very soon.

Best wishes

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Hello folks, hope all are well and warm.
As promised now I'm up to 100 followers I have a little give away to celebrate :o)
So here it is...

As this is Jubilee year I thought this handsome (Lakeland) Jubilee apron  was appropriate- I LOVE all those stately crowns :o)
with this really useful blue pocket.

A beautifully worked white vintage crotched table centre 22.5" x 13"
with lovely raised centres to the flowers.

I just HAD to put in a cute little cuddly Hedgehog!

And a tiny friend too :o)

I'll also add a little 'something from my own collection....
There is only one prize.
To qualify for the draw you must be a follower, and leave a comment on this post - if you are a 'no reply' blogger you MUST leave an email address for me to contact you if you are picked..
I will leave the draw open for comments until noon on Monday 24th September, then I'll make the draw and notify the winner.   I will also post the winners name on the same day - GOOD LUCK!

I found a few more bits 'n bobs.  
This gorgeous Autumnal table runner for £2.50

These two plates/chargers have been in the charity shop for some weeks priced at £2.50 each, I hesitated to buy them as storage space is getting VERY limited at home!  But when they were put in the 40p box there was no contest and home they came!

I really like the shape.
I then found this pretty china Edwardian 'Hairpin' lidded dish, with it's pretty lustre glaze and 'pie crust' edge on the lid, in absolutely perfect condition for £2.50.

It reads 'Lucky White Heather from Harrogate'
The side view with the beautiful enamelled lettering.
(The lid is enamelled too)

It measures 1.75" wide x 4" long x 1.5" deep, and has found a home on my dressing table :o)

Then I spotted another Wedgwood beauty, a spill vase 6.5" tall x 2.5" wide.  It was filthy!  But after a scrub and a soak in a mild solution of washing up liquid came up as good as new - £4

Lastly, as you know I'm a bit of a cat fan ;o) so when I spotted a set of six placemats for £2 did you really think I could resist?
Three of each design.

Here's the news/updates since my last post..
The pond has settled down well and the fish are happy.  The dear frogs have made a welcome return too.

A bit of sad news on the hedgehog front though.  Now Autumn is approaching we must keep an open eye out for 'late juvenilles' babies born in the last few months that stand no chance of making enough weight to over Winter.  I've had one visiting for a few weeks now, and have been keeping a good eye on it.  I knew that the time was coming to catch him and get him to the rescue centre to be over-Wintered safely.  The other (cold and windy) morning I was in the garden when one of the dog walkers who pass our house regularly told me that there was a little hog in the middle of someone's lawn further up the road.  I went up with her to investigate, it was the little one that had been visiting my garden.  It was asleep in a ball, in the open in daylight.  I picked it up and it seemed very cold to the touch, so I bought him home and put him in the 'rescue' box on a hot water bottle covered in paper and made him a nest with shredded paper before ringing Joan at the rescue centre.

(You can see from  the size of my thumb (top left) that he is only around 4.5" long.)

I 'phoned Joan and arranged to meet her at our local vet's (without whose help Joan wouldn't be able to run the rescue centre)  as she had to take to badly infected hogs there. The little mite never moved off the warmth, and I very much suspect he was hypothermic by the time I'd got him.  Craig (the vet) had to give him a whiff of anaesthetic to get him to uncurl.  Craig checked him over (yes, it was a male) and said it appeared to be okay with no obvious injuries, so Joan took him back home with her.  Sadly he never really came around and died in the night, even though Joan had him safely on a heat-pad.  I'm still wondering if it had eaten a slug that had eaten slug-pellets?   Not a good day for the hedgehogs, as the other two had to be put to sleep too.
Craig was so upset, and said sorry to the poor hogs as he gently administered the injections.
I still have healthy adults though, and continue to feed and watch them each night.  (And happily Joan has a lot more success stories than sad endings. )

Now news on the photo's I didn't manage to take :o(

The one when I spotted a field mouse taking a long drink from the pond - and the next day when it was back again... Soon though - soon!.
The two tiny baby field mice that I disturbed in the dry-stone wall :o(  Put safely back in their nest though.

Last Saturday in Nottingham city centre.  It was my birthday and I went shopping with dear daughter - and didn't take one photo of the most beautiful buildings - doh!  Though I did have a lovely day :o) with lunch in The Pit & The Pendulum The BEST Goth pub!  (Kim, if you haven't been it's a must ;o))  and with two lunches for £8 a bargain.

This week Hubs and I are planning a day on a beach somewhere, anywhere in fact!  I just NEED a breath of fresh sea air.

Don't forget to leave a comment for the draw.  'See' you all on Monday 24th.

Best wishes

Sunday, 9 September 2012

New Pond....eventually!

Hi Folks :o)
Had a busy couple of weeks again, finally the new pond is 'up and running' ;o)
Here's a before, the previous 'puddle' sized one - it holds around 50 gallons (200 litres)
I had to 'strip it down' ready for our builder to come and dig out the other 'half' of the hole for the new liner.  This is how it looked after I had removed the rocks and stones from around the edge and along the waterfall.  I went on to scrape back the gravel too as I wanted to re-use it.
(The blue ring, which is around 8" diameter is used for feeding - the floating fish food is placed within it's sections and prevents it floating all over the surface, this makes it easy to remove any uneaten food.)
We then had to empty out the pond, carefully saving the water so that after removing this liner we could replace the water in it for the one remaining fish to live in until the new pond was up and running.
This is a Ghost Koi Carp.  He's just a foot long!   We've had him for the last ten years - he was around 5" when we first had him.  We also removed 5 large frogs which we put back once the liner had been lifted and filled.
One had already made his escape into the garden by the time I took this.  The next one to make a break to freedom was the one on the far left - it's HUGE, around 4" across!  The one on the far right is almost golden in colour, and is by far the most vocal of the group.
The new liner sits next to the hole that the old liner was removed from.  The old liner is behind.
(Now, here's where I admit to not taking any photos of the rest of the hard work of digging- out.)
Mark, (our lovely, reliable builder who has done quite a few jobs for us over the last few years) arrived with his son Bradley on the arranged day - it was raining hard :o( A little later younger son Reece arrived too.
The mini-skip (dumpster) arrived on time, the only problem is that our house in in a crescent, and the houses are arranged in such a way that the road access is to the rear of the properties - the pond is positioned at the front, with only pedestrian access.  Poor Mark and Bradley had to wheel each wheel-barrow full of dirt around 500 yards to the skip!  There was a LOT of dirt to remove...
They worked on through the rain, (warmed by plentiful cups of steaming hot tea) and by around 1pm the new liner was in position.  Mark had placed 45 gallons of rainwater from my water butt into it to ensure it had bedded down correctly and was level.  (The new pond holds 150 gallons, 600 litres when full)  He tried very hard to clear up the mud from the paving - but as it was still raining, I told him not to worry about it and I would hose it off once the rain had stopped.  I settled the bill and Mark and Bradley left for home, I imagine to have a nice warm shower and get into some dry clothes as they were  both soaked through.  At around 3pm the rain had stopped, and of course I decided to hose down the paving before starting to replace the stones and gravel.  By the time I had finished I too was muddy and wet!  I tidied up a few other things, and watered the plants in the greenhouse and went indoors to get dry and change into clean clothes....BUT I didn't turn off the water supply to the hose pipe :o( 
To explain, the water wasn't actually 'running' when I left it -the end fitting on the hose is a 'gun' type, and the water is turned off unless the trigger is squeezed.  Hubs came home from work, had a quick look at the new pond, and was as happy with it as I was.  We sat and chatted for a while with a cuppa, then watched a TV programme I'd recorded.  Two hours passed before I went back into the garden. 
To my absolute horror the water pressure had built up and had pushed the fittings completely from the hose which had run for around an hour and a half unchecked.  The garden was flooded, in fact part of next doors garden was flooded too, and the new pond liner with its 45 gallons of water was floating 8" above ground level instead of sitting snugly in it :o(  I was rendered speechless!
We decided the best plan of action was to leave well alone for an hour or two, to allow the water to soak away before starting to tackle the problem - the hole that Mark had so carefully dug and shaped had caved in around the sides, so that the liner would not just 'drop back' into once the water had soaked away.
We went back out after another couple of hours, the flood in the garden had soaked away, but the water in the hole had only dropped 4", so the liner was still floating 4" above ground level.  We couldn't leave it overnight as it was as I was very concerned about our hedgehog visitors falling in and not being able to get out again as the sides were so steep.  So I had to bail-out the 45 gallons out and replace it back into the water butt so that we could reuse it later.  Then we lifted the liner from the water filled hole.  Then we bailed out the muddy water from the hole until there was just about six inches deep of mud left - ugh!   (The hole is 32" deep!)  I made it as safe as I could by placing metal grids on the sides (Which by now were sloping in) so that any unfortunate hedgehog that dropped in had a very good chance of escape.  I was on tenterhooks all night long, and kept getting up to check that all was well.  Next morning I was exhausted, but happily, no hedgehog had come to any harm overnight even though it had rained again and the water had risen in the hole. 
I had breakfast, but couldn't get the mess in the garden off my mind, so I decided to ring Mark and ask advice as to how to tackle the devastation.  He said it would be best to leave the water in the hole alone until the weekend when we had the time to tackle it, as rain was forecast again and as the bottom half of the hole was clay it wouldn't soak away... Then, we'd have to dig out all of the soil that was sodden, replace it with more earth and sand, then shape the hole again before replacing the liner.  (This was pretty much as we'd feared.)I thanked him for his help and advice, and prepared to go out for the morning.  I returned home at around 3pm, only to discover Mark and Bradley in the garden replacing the pond liner!   I was again rendered speechless.  When I could finally speak, and through tears, asked them what on earth they were doing, Mark's reply was "I'm helping a friend."  I just couldn't believe his kindness.  I insisted I pay him for the work, he argued that he hadn't done it for payment, and didn't see why I should pay twice as I hadn't asked him to come back.  I of course insisted he accept payment, and told him that there wasn't words to thank him for his kindness and care.   He has a truly golden heart :o)  An hour later the liner was replaced, the pond was FILLED with water, so there was no fear of it floating again, and they left for home apologising for the mud on the path!
So, on Saturday hubs and I visited our local aquatics centre for advice on which was the best filter, UV light and pump to use with the new pond.  They were as always very helpful and pointed us in the right direction.  Over the last ten years things have improved in leaps and bounds - they now make combined pump, filter and UV light in one unit.  We decided upon a Hozelock Easyclear unit, (which I can highly recommend)  and a new pre-formed resin waterfall.  Then, we replaced the stones and gravel, and set up the pump and waterfall.   Oh, I forgot to say the new pond is 6' x 4'.
Finally, here's the 'after' photos...
And the waterfall
and some of the new fish!
 As you can see the water is crystal clear :o) and safely netted against herons and hedgehogs taking a dip.
Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post :o)  I appreciate tham all.
Also, a sincere welcome to Jenny my 100th follower!  I shall have an upcoming giveaway to celebrate as promised! 
Sending very best wishes to all.