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The Hidden Fortress
mad

NatureNerd's corner

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We used to ocassionally see exotic antelope and once a giraffe while passing a certain spot on the highway. There was a tiny wildlife park near there & they had periodic escapes. It was kind of thrilling.

i can imagine :oh: giraffes really are the weirdest things.

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pine martens like jam, and peanut butter - and will come to take it if it's left out for them, in the right areas (like when Mum and I were staying over on the west coast).

 

leopards - yes I think so - there are a fair number of big cats living wild in Britain, mostly that have been released when folks found out it was illegal to keep them as private pets. The Govt like sto deny it, as if they admitted it they may be asked to do soemthing about it, but the number of sightings and reliable evidence (DNA in a case of a leopard that got trapped briefly in someone's caravan in the back garden in Lincolnshire!) lead me to believe that they are out there. We are supposed to have one up here - the 'Beast of Buchan' - possibly black panther, and that fits with the desciption of s beastthat my friend Angie saw cross the road in front of her car one night...

 

there are plenty of places for a smallish population to hide out....

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mad, that is a little scary, but somehow heartening, too. good to know that even in Europe there is room for wild animals (i always count the British Isles in, even thopugh they do not seem to themselves :p ).

 

i have a question, even though i am embarrassed i have to ask … :blush2:

 

i put uup two nesting boxes last year, and one of them was occupied by black tits who raised two batches of birdies in it. which of course was a joy :manic: the second one was supposed to be for wrens, only i realised (too late) that the booklet they came with was mistaken, and that i had positioned the box far too high for wrens.

 

well, the second half of last year's summer and all autumn was blighted by a lot of noise and dirt from the building site, so i was barely in the garden at all except at night. now i realise that i forgot to clean the nesting box :neutral:

 

can i still do it? or is there a risk of disturbing anyone? the box is hanging where i can only see it when i am in the garden, so i am not sure if there is any activity. i would like to reposition the wren box, too …

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Guest sweetp

We have raccoons that come to steal Barbeque utensils off our porch. Well anything shiny really (now where did that grill go?)

 

sweetp

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do they like shiny things, like magpies do? i didn't know that :lol:

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Hmm..difficult regarding the nest boxes. Birds seem to be nesting early this year, so there should be some activity around any box in use, so I suggest a bit of quiet observation, if you have the time. I would guess an hour should do it - hope for a warm spell!

If no activity, you can probably clean them, though be prepared to back off quickly if there are eggs - they lay them over a period of days (could be a week) before they begin to brood them, which is when the eggs start to develop. If you're not sure, it may be as well to leave it - though they may not nest this year in the boxes as there is a tendency for old nest material to have mites etc, which our mild winter has probably not killed off.

 

Probably OK to reposition the wren box, if it's in the wrong place wrens aren't likely to be in - just be sure nothing else is using it!

 

raccoons do seem to like collecting shiny stuff! like magpies, crows, various bower birds....

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:smooch: thank you :manic: fortunately it opens in a way so i can quickly close it again if there are eggs.

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:cool:

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Guest sweetp

I planted some seeds (cilantro, and basil and columbine) in my window box and they are sprouting now. Whoo hoo, what a miracle --- you just sprinkle these brown things into the damp soil and two weeks later you've got Plants!

 

sweetp

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yes, it is amazing every time. :oh: (i am sure that is not really how you say it, but you know what i mean)

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sounds right to me! Amazing every time, no matter how many times it happens.

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I planted some seeds (cilantro, and basil and columbine) in my window box and they are sprouting now. Whoo hoo, what a miracle --- you just sprinkle these brown things into the damp soil and two weeks later you've got Plants!

 

sweetp

 

so cool! i've wanted to have little window box of fresh herbs but just somehow never got round to it. of course given i have yellow fingers (as in the kind that desiccate a plant instead of greening it to life), it's probably a good thing.

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i think only very few people are born with a green thumb. i think it is something that comes with time … for me it did. you do need a little patience, and you have to trust nature to know her way.

 

not like an ex-sister-in.law of mine, who when they first had moved into the country and had a garden, went out the first spring, dug out all newly germinated plants and put them back the other way round because she thought they grew the wrong side up … (i am sure i told this before :lol: it is one of the family's funny stories)

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