Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Humbugs



Such a treat the other night. Lovely neighbours up the road, J & D, the ones with the big garden and the stream, the enormous cedar and the constant supply of bird food that a certain greedy labrador tries to snaffle in passing, invited me and the companion to watch the nightly visitation of their badgers.

J called them softly.



Four of the usual six arrived. They trundled at speed through the shadowy recesses of the garden, taking a circuitous route to the patio steps, where the peanut butter sandwiches and the loose peanuts were waiting.



They arrived cautiously, but hoovered up their supper, jostling each other, crunching loudly, darting up and down the steps. They didn't seem to mind the opening and shutting of the patio doors, the camera flashes, or J standing within two feet of them. They moved fast, jerkily; many pictures were blurred, and we didn't manage to capture all four together.


After a while we simply stood and watched. The boldest was an old bruiser with a scarred nose.




They looked at us, and we looked at them, but they didn't forget why they were there.





I had never seen live badgers at close quarters before. We returned home, feeling thrilled and strangely privileged.

After we left, the tamest one arrived, the one who will feed from J's hand. We'll meet him another night; we have an open invitation to return at any time after darkness falls.

32 comments:

Arthur Ransome said...

Oh how wonderful. I love badgers, any creature with a black and white face does it for me. How absolutely marvellous that J has one eat out of her hand - more progress than I've made with Tuppence lately. Thanks for sharing this experience.

the veg artist said...

It always feels like a gift, seeing such wild creatures in our gardens.

Frances said...

Wow...what a treat! You lucky thing!

Dee said...

Very cool! watch your poochie though, we had a farm dog get too close once...

Annie (Lady M) x said...

That is absolutely amazing! You must have been gobsmacked.

I get soooo sad because I see so many badgers killed on the road in Oxfordshire :-( and yet I have never seen one in the flesh - are they nocturnal then?

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Marvellous! I love badgers!

Dan said...

They're so gorgeous Rachel. It must have been fantastic to see them up close.
Dan
-x-

Sue said...

Lucky lucky you.

Anne said...

I am so, so envious ..... and as soon as I have left this comment, I will email the link to Stuart, who has loved badgers since he was a child.

Lucille said...

So lucky. All I see is dead ones.

Toffeeapple said...

I'm not sure how I feel about Badgers but I wouldn't mind seeing them that close.

mountainear said...

HUGE, HUGE badger watching envy. We have a big sett adjacent to our land and much evidence of them to-ing and fro-ing across the field. Part of this field has been 'ploughed' up in their search for food. We've never seen them though.

Fortunately these are 'good' badgers - not TB carriers- and our farming neighbours are wise enough to leave them be, for which we are very grateful.

Marcheline said...

OMG! This reminds me of the brit series "Monarch of the Glen"... one of the characters' dog was named "Badger" but he would always say "BEEYAHJUH"... great stuff!

annie hoff said...

How wonderful. I saw a dead one the other day, which isn't the same thing. I should love to see them live. Brilliant photos.

Lyn said...

Oh my, how wonderful to see wild creatures up close, beautiful pictures of a special moment or two. Take care, Lyn x

Isabelle said...

We get them in our Edinburgh garden too. We have a hill nearby. It's lovely to see them. On the other hand, badgers did kill our guinea pigs and leave them in little bits all over the garden. Nature red in tooth and claw and all that.

Anonymous said...

They're lovely pictures to see. I've only seen a badger once. I was driving home around 3 ish in the morning down a very busy bypass, which fortunately was very quiet at that time. I wasn't driving fast as I was quite tired and not far from home when suddenly this creature started walking across the bypass so slowly.I had to stop the car quickly. It was a big creature and didn't even look up at the car, just continuted to walk across very, very slowly and it was quite a heavy, solid looking creature. I realised later, that it was a badger (a big badger at that) and I was fascinated by it. Am so glad that I wasn't driving at 70mph that early morning and that no other cars were on the road either. Never seen one since. Glad I didn't run the badger over...

Rose H (UK) said...

It's been many years since I had the thrill of badger watching on holiday in the wilds of Scotland, but the experience is still with me. Hope you're able to see the tame one feed :o)
I'm still getting my thrills from the hedgehogs in the garden....

Rattling On said...

Lovely, she's very lucky to have them visit. They live in the woods near me but I don't go there at night!!

hasenschneck said...

I. am. so. jealous.

Lesley said...

I'm green with envy. How magical.

Lesley x

Anonymous said...

Yes, lovely! But I would also like some cats and dogs stories :)!

Ellen said...

Eee, conflicted. Wonderful to see such creatures but feeding them? No, not a good idea. It habituates them even more to humans and can lead to awful trouble. She is not helping them.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Lucky you! They are so cute! I've never seen a badger. I don't think we have any in the Eastern US.

jabblog said...

What a fabulous experience. It's always exciting to see wild life at close quarters.

zephyr said...

Oh, how wonderful! Love seeing all the photos.

elizabethm said...

What happened to my extensive badger comment of last night? Drat and blast. Basically I said I like them and we have loads which come into the garden but which we never see, only the evidence in the morning!

flwrjane said...

Am I the only devoted reader who is strangely creeped out?

Their faces are so intense and their markings so bold.

I'm glad you have a companion to accompany you:-)

xo Jane

colleen said...

Somehow they manage to look like burglars with masks on, don't you think? Marvellous to see.

Ginnie said...

Oh my goodness! I've never seen badgers in real life. I thought they were kind of agressive/mean. It's the team mascot of University of Wisconsin, so my nephews have the cartoony version on sweatshirts. But the real thing - wow.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Wow! you were this close to badgers..I have never seen a real one either.. and I never would have thought they would be tame enough to come this close to humans.. so cool!!

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

The badgers are really cute with their striped faces! Thanks for sharing these pictures.

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