Category Archives: Dorset

Blogging with boars, birds and bunnies!

A week of changes. Changing places and changing weather.

Just before leaving Navasola I wandered into my huerta or vegetable garden. I wanted to check on the plants. I am hoping that I have created enough paths and cut back grasses and vetch to keep it all more under control. Last year when I returned in May I posted about my ‘Wild Welcome Back’. I was overwhelmed with neck high grass,vetch and then hay fever.

Maybe this time I  had a wild  farewell.

There were rustling sounds from within the abandoned olive grove. I stood very still and listened. I thought it might have been some noisy blackbirds. It often is! To my surprise a large female boar made her way into the field. Although there was a ‘boar proof fence’ between us to protect the huerta, I didn’t want to see it tested. I stood very still. Females are said to have a reputation. Following  her were three slightly smaller wild boar. Then one by one, a group of stripy baby boar trotted in. No camera,  no  phone, just me and the boar family.

Part of the Huerta by the boar proof fence and gate.
Part of the Huerta by the boar proof fence and gate.

I stood still and watched them move around grazing and looking like large dogs. The youngsters climbed up over some rocks. I just kept still, not daring to move and too far from the gate.Then the large female saw me. She came forward a little and but decided to turn away and run off, with the young ones following. It was quite a sight. Reading up a bit more I discovered that these groups are matriarchal and called sounders.They consist of the very young and slightly older females.It is far more common that boar will run away but it seems they may move towards you a little as their eyesight is so poor and they are curious. Most injuries to humans from boar are during a hunt and with the males turning to defend themselves if cornered.

After this event we were off to Portugal for my flight. I had a quick check on the house martins I am trying to survey. There are not so many on the frontline this year but these small birds were working hard with the mud to build over netting put up to prevent them. I had been disappointed to see this attempt to deter them in a local street.They certainly wouldn’t have bothered anyone in that location and it now looks quite unsightly. It also might mean the nests are less secure for the young. The birds are undeterred and determined to build in places they must remember. Those whose nests had not been destroyed have had a head start. I think they have got young and these might manage two broods.

image

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers at our favourite restaurant in Cabanas, Portugal.
Flowers at our favourite restaurant in Cabanas, Portugal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Dorset we had snow and hail, lots of birds and a vole. The bullfinch is a regular visitor at my friend’s  bird feeders, along with a nuthatch and some pheasants. After the snow a kestrel came by but the birds had disappeared into the nearby hedgerow.

image

 

 

 

 

 

Sculptur of half hare, half woman outside Salisbury cathedral.
Sculpture of half hare, half woman outside Salisbury cathedral.

Back in London I was shown the video of the baby robins nesting in the ivy by the house and at least two are now alive and well, feeding in the garden.  My daughter has fallen in love with feeding the birds and they seem to reward her. I was also updated with the slow motion function on the latest  phones. Mine is too out of date but it was lovely to see they had captured the garden Robin flying! Sorry no video as I have to update WordPress and pay money to upload a video! Will think on’t!

Baby robins by back door in London
Baby robins by back door in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am in the north of the U.K. and enjoying my other daughter’s young pet bunnies. These bunnies seem to want to blog with me!

 

image

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be close to the animal world seems important. My wilder world of Navasola is still without pets and the wild ones choose their moments. Mice in the middle of the night and a mongoose went up through my rock garden one evening. The wild ones like to be invisible and secretive  but it is good to know they are out there.Not in the house! Four mice have been ‘humanely’ removed to at least 1 km away!

Mongoose was wandering over the rocks and seen from my sanctuary window.
Mongoose was wandering over the rocks and seen from my sanctuary window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunny friends!
Bunny friends!

I am off to stay with a friend in Rhodes so hope to keep up with blogging about the flora and fauna there soon. I may not be on wifi much but hope to catch up with everyone’s blogs again soon too.

 

 

Advertisements

Coddiwompling through Dorset England. For Dverse Poets

This poem is inspired by Dverse poets Dverse and the strange word coddiwomple. This seems to be defined as English slang but as I had never come across this I was gripped by a resfeber feeling( travel fever)  to see if I could find where the word had originated from. It’s not in the Oxford dictionary yet, unlike lolly gagging! However it has a kind of ancient ring to it. Maybe a cross between a cod piece and a wimple.  I am travelling through Dorset to visit a friend. Dorset is stunningly beautiful but has so many strange, odd and rude sounding place names. I always want to find out more.It is also a place for going on a literary tour with Thomas Hardy and others. But most important perhaps in the struggle for equality is Tolpuddle.

For me it’s not where we travel to but how we travel anywhere. Hopefully then our minds can be opened to different experiences and understandings.

If you coddiwomple in Dorset as I am doing now

You pass by place names so fun and strange.

Some will tempt you back to visit

Some will remind you of the past

Some will scare your wits away.

Fiddleford is one where maybe someone fiddled by a stream

But what they fiddled may have been a dream

If they could happily wander up the the river Piddle

And excuse themselves with just a little widdle

Dorset farming folk out in the cold.

From Roman times in Blandford Forum

No slave could ever make a quorum

The ancient chalk giant at Cerne Abbas

Still well endowed with great prowess

His private part gives hope for future births

Dorset folk of old from Celt to Roman bold.

Down to the coast to find a woman’s love

For her lieutenant looking out to sea

Lyme Regis, royal and proud

Among the fossils of prehistoric swamps

Ammonite from Jurasiic Times.

Dorset fossil hunters find a kind of gold.

To roll along on paths through Hardy’s  heavenly hills

Farming folk and friends of Tess

Characters in dark distress

Obscured within the depths of native woods.

Good folk must prevail for Dorchester jail.

The devil never far away with rocks thrown down

To make Old Harry and Aggleston

Places like Dewlish are devilish and Grim’s Ditch

Makes the Pokesdown goblins twitch.

Dorset folk beware the uncanny in the air.

But now in modern times when we’re coddiwompling along

To pass by Puddletown is easily done

We go too fast on the new highway

And can now by pass the place of martyred men

Tolpuddle and its meeting tree

Dorset folk who wanted to be free.

From coach window travelling to Dorset.