Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Stuff of Nightmares

The earless rabbit featured in my last blog really had me in stitches. Here are some pictures that give me the Screaming Abdabs.

I was walking the last mile home when I heard a squeak from the bank next to me. It must have been the voles last breath. When I went to investigate, I could see its tail sticking out of the moss and though it strange it wasn't moving. As I slowly uncovered it I suddenly noticed this adder just at the other side of my hand. Yikes.

I cleared a small area around the dead vole and waited to see if the adder (unusual colour- I wonder if it's because it is a young one) would return. It did.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Ears Something You Dont See Every Day

I woke at 3am to mist and rain. Just for a change. So another morning gone without us getting out to the foxes.

On the plus side, I had a day catching up with my traps instead. Unfortunately catching up was the only catching that was going on.

I'd checked my last trap and was walking home when I came across a sight that brightened up my day. I just had to share it with you.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Dawning More Clothes

Those of you who are regular visitors will know that I have a big hind cull in the winter. And because of this I have to be stalking nigh on every day, regardless of the weather.

This isn't a problem- once I'm out of the landrover. And when the rain is rattling on the roof and the wind is whistling, that can be a serious challenge. But it comes with the territory and, well, that's what you expect in a highland winter. I sigh a big sigh, don the waterproofs and get on with it.

"Why the hell is he talking about hind stalking?" I hear you ask.

You'd think, maybe, that getting out of your bed at 3am- as we are doing just now- might be a similar challenge. And you'd think right. But once you've levered your eyelids open and looked out, the tiredness quickly passes. You see the hills silhouetted against a paleness creeping into the clear night sky and know you are in for something special. Dawn in the hills can be breathtaking.

Knowing there are still foxes out there only goes to further spur you on. The visibility a clear morning gives you, added to the hear-a-pin-drop silence greatly increases your chances of falling in with foxy. And you know it.

So every morning for the last God-knows-how-long the alarm clock has gone off at Stupid O' clock. And every morning I've looked out at a cloudy/windy/drizzly/misty predawn.

Some mornings I've thought "Well, the light wont be good but at least I'll be able to see" and gone out. And seen nothing.

Some mornings I've thought "Well it looks like it might clear" and gone out. And it hasn't.

And some mornings I've thought "It's not worth going out" and gone back to bed only to doze fitfully and continually look out in case I'm missing a chance.

The mornings I have gone out have been cold. There were sleet showers blowing through on Wednesday morning. So what young grouse the foxes aren't killing, the weather is.

It must be nice here in the summer, tho'...............