It hasn’t been the greatest few months for our wildlife. Things had been ticking along very nicely for quite some time and then we were reminded that it can all come to an end in an instant. I think it started with our deer about eight months ago. At the time we had three females bringing their fawns into our garden every evening for the peanuts we put down for the badgers. Our poor badgers didn’t get much of a look in, but it was nice to see the babies up close and I even photographed them one evening only feet away from the study window.
We sometimes spotted a baby left in the long grass of the field next door. They are good at lying low until Mum comes back to collect them. So when we saw one in the bottom corner while we were working in our fields one weekend, we didn’t take much notice. It was only when our llamas became agitated that we moved closer to find the little one with a back leg horribly damaged and caught up in the neighbour’s stock fencing. We tried to get to it, but it struggled free and ran off on the remaining three legs. Thankfully the local farmers are very good with these things and they tracked it down within a few hours and dealt with it in the only way possible.
Not long after that, a careless driver ended the life of an adult just up the lane from where we live. I don’t know if it was one of those who visited on a regular basis, but I was gutted all the same. Then my husband reported a badger left by the side of the road not far away. Our little lane is normally very quiet, but since major works began on the A-road a few miles away, drivers have been looking for short cuts.
It was about that time that I found myself not wanting to get involved with the wildlife. We fed everyone just the same, but I was no longer interested in watching or even taking photographs. It was hard enough coping with the losses of our own pets at the time, let alone worry about anything else.
Time moves on though and once again I am preparing the badgers for a photo shoot later in the year. Their peanuts are being moved on to the back lawn where I should have a good view from the path. Great improvements have been made since the last time though, as instead of a pile of old bricks to sit on, I now have a folding stool. I still have a mind to photograph them in more natural surroundings and plan to scatter peanuts not far from their sett. The trickiest part will be finding somewhere with a decent view, as they are perched half way up a hill. I will find a solution though because nothing can beat spending time with our local wildlife.