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A Spikey Friend

It’s been cold and windy up on the hill the last few days. There haven’t been any bats and very little evidence of anything else. The wind was still gusting this morning but the sun was shining and the black birds were singing. (One of them has learned to call like a Red Kite.)

When I got home I went to check out the garden. There was evidence that something had been nosing throught he compost heap. I feared the worst at that point thinking we had a new resident rat.

As the sun set, the air cooled and the wind dropped to a gentle calm breeze. The apple tree hissed contentedly no longer throwing it’s fruit around dangerously. The bats had returned and were making the most of the weather. Against the sunset I could make out midges flying around in large dancing clouds. This must be what draws them to the tree I guess.

As I walked back down the hill I made a wide swing to avoid going too near to the compost heap when I heard a scuffle in the bushes. I froze expecting to see a very large and fearless rodent heading straight for me.

As I stood still and quiet I made out a small shape emerge and plod across the lawn. It seemed completely unaware of me and sniffed loudly as it moved. As it came closer, I finally made out the shape of a hedgehog.

I’ve never been that close to one before. It was scratching at the grass and at one point I could hear it crunching on something it had found to eat, (Do hedgehogs eat slugs.) It walked right up my feet and when it finally realised I was standing their turned and plodded as quickly as it could back up the hill.

We have a new friend in the garden. I will gather up some of the leaves that are now falling thick and fast and make a little pile for it near the compost heap and the woodpile. If it’s eating my slugs I am very happy indeed.

Does anyone know what they eat?

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