No Self-isolating from Nature!

Self-isolating from humans perhaps but not from other visitors.  We have a nest box fixed out of visiting cats’ reach on the side of the house and this year we have very conscientious blue tits constantly bringing small quantities of food for the chicks.  There have been goldfinches and jackdaws, a robin who ate biscuit crumbs from the coffee table right under our eyes, pigeons and collared doves, blackbirds and magpies.  The cuckoo I have only heard once and there are no thrushes now.  The bees buzz in the cotoneaster: two different kinds of bee, so they buzz in harmony. 

And then, as it grows dark but the courtyard is lit by light from the house, we have our four-legged regulars. One night I had thrown out the last bits of a meat pie and Mr. Fox smelt it from a hundred yards away and came to get his supper.  He’s a fine dog fox with a luxurious brush but is a little timid: something frightened him and he vanished empty-jawed.  Fifteen minutes later, looking from another window, I saw the badger arrive, a really big one, snuffling clumsily about and checking the menu before choosing the meat pie remains.  He spent a long time there, then waddled slowly off to dig small quite deep holes at the side of the drive in which he relieved himself. Fortunately he is discreet in these matters and I could never consider him anything other than a timid but considerate visitor to the self-isolating and vulnerable!

Sylvia Saunders