For more than a year we have had a sika deer hind coming, on a regular basis, to our garden to graze. Last May, the hind had her fawn right next to the house and we were lucky enough to see it within a couple of hours of its birth. In the last fortnight we have seen the deer in the house vicinity every day, and it is likely she has chosen the garden as a nice safe location to bring another fawn into the world.
I am about half-way through reading David Attenborough's book on his Zoo Quest Expeditions during the 1950s, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Unlike his Life series books this one concentrates on the human adventures, and David's in particular, though the animals are still the focus of everyone's activities. Those activities included filming the wildlife and capturing animals to bring back to London Zoo. This latter activity is completely frowned upon today, which Mr. Attenborough admits in the opening section of the book, but sixty years ago attitudes were quite different.
I started noticing that there was a screeching noise from the engine bay in our VW T25 campervan when starting the engine. I decided it must be the auxiliary belt needing tightened or replaced. However, I delayed doing anything about it as I had recently looked at the belt when replacing a section of the cooling pipe and it looked fine then. Anyway, even if it needed replacing it wasn't a problem as I had a spare.
I was working outside on the washing green which entailed walking up and down the steps several times during the early evening. I happened to notice that each time I passed the cornflower plant, at the side of the steps, there was a stationary ginger bumblebee perched on top of one of the flowers. The bumblebee was still there more than thirty minutes later in the exact same position, I decided to investigate. I very carefully prodded the bumblebee and it moved in response, so it was still alive.
We have a peanut (groundnut) feeder made of wood and shaped like a house. On the top of the feeder are two slates which form the roof. However, there is a gap between the slates which allows water to drip down into the nuts. In a wet West Highland climate it doesn't take long for the peanuts to rot when constantly supplied by dripping water. To prevent water ingress we fashioned a metal strip to act as ridging. This worked really well until last winter when we would constantly find it lying on the ground. The winter storms must have been worse than we thought.