Monday, 1 August 2011

The Second Coming

I did get to go on holiday but not to Pompeii. We all went up to the cabin instead. Not much had changed, except for the weather. It was hot, boiling hot, at least at the start of the week. I had to scratch at the patio door window to let them know it was my sunbathing time. Latterly they just kept the doors open so I could decide if I wanted heat or cool.

The loony dogs of the dog asylum were still barking their message, "they're coming, they're coming". Then all of a sudden it was true: the campsite turned into a bug dive. The sky darkened as a flash mob of horny winged ants filled the air (and the grooves of the decking), fornicating wherever male could grab female. Mass panic ensued across the camp as patio doors were closed over, windows were locked shut and little children had their eyes covered by protective parents. All around humans were staring out in disgust and trepidation. A pleasant sunny evening ruined by insect life. 

Then after two hours the ants all lifted off and departed for a post exertion cigarette or whatever it is they do. The mistress sent the master out onto the decking to check we were safe again. I didn't join him. I'd encountered a similar event before in the field above the Robertson car park and it was not pleasant. Thousands of beasties carpeting the grass, bursting into the air as you walked by disturbing them. Yuk! I got bitten loads that day. I was happy to miss my evening constitutional that night too though I still insisted on my Bonio. Priorities!

Another freaky visitation happened at dinnertime last night. I was on the decking chewing on my squeaky Kong toy, the red one with the tails, when I was surprised to get a reply. I thought I was imagining it. It wasn't an echo. I'd squeak then hear a similar shrill sound high above me. I looked up and there were six buzzards circling. The mistress laughed as she implied I was mimicking their mating call. These were birds of prey I was duping. I found it funny too and continued to squeak away, until the master suggested that they might swoop down and take me away for their dinner. I didn't want to be a takeaway. I tell you it took all the fun out of that toy. He's a bad man! 

Living in the country can be very interesting. They've got loads of different animals. I've sniffed froglets, followed a wandering grouse and, yesterday, found a hedgehog and I don't mean run over on the verge of the road. What is it with roadhogs that they insist on squishing their hedge cousins? It can't be good for their tyres.

The hedgehog was shimmying its way along the path up from the dog walk area, perhaps returning to its hedge. When it saw me it rolled itself into a small ball. I wasn't falling for it. I may be ball obsessed but even I draw the line at biting a pin cushion. Besides I could see loads of insects crawling between its spines. It looked really itchy. I bet the hedgehog would have loved to have been able to pluck out one of those spines and give itself a really good scratch. Maybe that was why it walked the way it did, a compromise shimmy, enough to soothe the itch without pricking itself. Maybe all the roadkill hedgehogs weren't just unlucky with their road crossing skills but deliberately decided to end it all, unable to cope with the intense itch. Doesn't explain the dead foxes though.

Lastly, I had my second ever experience of 'window bombing' at the cabin. The first time it happened I thought it was an accident. Little did I realise it was actually a dangerous pastime, adopted by bored, young, mainly male birds as a competition to see who could concuss themselves the longest by flying head first into a closed window. Despite advertising condemning the activity by the RSPB, many are ignoring the advice and still ramming into windows, getting off on the dizzy head spin as they revive. But with limited street corners to hang around on in the country setting, it is anticipated this home made entertainment will grow until eventually, regretfully, someone dies. The RSPB have created a series of window stickers in the shape of splatted birds to try to deter these bored bird delinquents. Only time will tell if they've been effective. You can order them here: