Hare Today … Gone Tomorrow?
I set off on my own once the dogs were exercised for a walk in the hope of seeing the treecreepers and getting better photographs. I took a flask of tea and an apple and a banana ready to sit it out.
What had been blue sky and sunshine when I was out with the boys started to become clouded over and although thee was a stiff breeze again it wasn’t cold. I had two thin fleece layers n with my sleeves pushed up. I was delighted to see the hawthorn finally bursting into leaf …
They were tight red buds on Saturday … so then I noticed other trees were in green bud and the celandines are opening.
Even though it was dark grey over the Sidlaws you can see the snow is virtually finally gone!
Very clear signs that Spring is finally underway I think. I walked on through the Estate to Treecreeper bridge. No sign of the wee birds so I walked a little further along the opposite side of the burn to normal and then cut across a small plank bridge. Nearby were we found them last week lay another smashed mallard egg …
Very little sign of raptor pellets today but I did go take pictures of this gnarled old tree stump which has been home to a sparrowhawk.
After a sit by Treecreeper bridge and a cuppie or two with no sign of the wee birdies I set off back up through the woodland path. I found larch needles about to burst out of their buds – a bright, bright green
and this intriguing conifer – the roots are on the right of the photograph and a truck has obviously fallen across the path and then grown two new trunks from it on the left of the path
At the top of the path I stopped for some more tea on a fallen tree that is bench shaped (although rotting so a little precarious!) … look who were just arriving in the neighbouring paddock?
And as I sat in my teeshirt sleeves in the re-emerged sun look who passed on the other side … I think they are both bucks.
I paused to take some pictures of the burn and some more of the sheep:
I was disappointed that I couldn’t get a better picture of that hare in front of the sheep – there were two and they had tucked themselves low down in the grass. As I walked up the drive thinking my adventure was nearly over I heard a right racket in a tree above me. Now you will recall that this time last year I could not have stood and looked up into a moving tree without feeling quite ill with vertigo … no problem today and eventually I located the noise maker!
Just look at the feather colours on this juvenile (and did I mention loud) starling! A little further up the drive I saw this old metal strainer post (for tightening fence wires)
I decided to take a quick walk through the larch spinney and check for raptor pellets without Pup getting them before me … little did I know how fortuitous that decision would be. First though here is a different metal strainer post
It was at this point that I came face to face with the chap who owns the geese and the girl ponies. Well not exactly face to face because he was on his small holding across a pond and a fence. He asked if I was lost and so I explained what I was looking for and we got talking. Gradually he moved to my side of the pond and then the fence. He used to be a woodcutter and in his retirement he has created a wildlife oasis in the middle of agricultural land. Planted hazels and beech and willow to attract early insects, encouraged frogs and toads to the pond to breed and he was telling me about the red squirrel that come through his smallholding to the neighbours feeding station. All in the name of “putting something back” to make up for all the timber he has cut.
While we were chatting he said not to turn round but switch the camera on quietly since there was a hare behind me – during this sequence the chap was chirruping to get the hare’s curiosity to turn it round.
And then it’s pal came along too!
And while we stood with the geese coming to see what we were gassing about there was another hare away past us into the field in front where there is the construction site and a fourth turned and ran back into the strip of wood behind us. He was saying that the ponies will likely be going soon because they need more schooling and riding than they get and he isn’t riding anymore because he feels it is too risky as he gets older … he suggested I might like to ride the Bay; I would but I am not as sure that she would take my weight as he seemed to be. It whiled away a very enjoyable hour and we parted on a handshake and exchange of names.
I get the impression that we are kindred spirits – where he has put back into the habitat what he feels he took out in the course of his work I aim to give back to the people what I feel I have benefited from in my life. It was certainly a privilege to catch those hares so close up and if I stake the place out a little I may get to photograph those wee red squirrels too!
A good day in the best traditions of my growing adventures!
So we have sheep that Pup can see in a safe field where he cannot get – excellent and something I have been looking for. I have great photographs of animals that are fleet of foot – literally here one minute and gone the next and today has been a reminder to live in the moment and enjoy it instead of rushing headlong into what might be. Enjoy the Spring … I intend to and my ‘windtan’ will be nicely developed in a day or two!