Did you know that there are no native wild hedgehogs in America? I didn’t either until reading somewhere about how publishers rarely accept children’s books that include hedgehogs as characters because American children wouldn’t recognise or relate to them, minimising the publisher’s commercial reach. Can you imagine growing up without knowing what a hedgehog is? I really hope we can stop the current issues hedgehogs are facing in the UK or we risk that situation becoming a reality in the UK too.
We finally got home from our month away in the USA on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday I set up the wildlife feeder to see what was going on in the garden – with the leaves all blown down and the stormy weather it seemed like we had missed the whole of autumn completely. The lady who looks after our cats and house whilst we are on holiday has been feeding the hedgehogs for me so I know they’ve not been going hungry as they pack on the weight for their winter hibernation. I was eager to know whether our garden visitors might have gone off for their winter snooze before we got back from California though and Roo was keen to see our little garden friends again too.
Despite the wild weather on Tuesday night the hedgehog biscuits had gone down a lot the next day. A quick peep through the video footage from the night and at least one hedgehog had braved the storm and is still up and active. It camped out for about 20 minutes in the hedgehog feeding box -don’t blame it with the rain and wind lashing down. I think the same hedgehog came back again another two times during the night. Either that or there are some other hedgehogs out there with the same funny markings on their prickles!
I suppose the weather is pretty warm for November so no rush to hibernate yet. From what I saw, it didn’t look like it was in danger of starvation! I don’t know where our other hedgehogs have gone though. We normally have at least three during the night. Perhaps they are hibernating already perhaps or just keeping in the shelter on what was an awful weather night perhaps. Here is a video of our prickly visitor.
It’s lovely to come home to our native wildlife. We saw everything from humpback whales to rattlesnakes out in the wild in the US (no bears though…I’d have loved to see a black bear) and I hope to share our nature adventures stateside with you in the coming weeks. The ability to study nature in such close proximity and especially a little creature as engaging as our British hedgehog though remains very special. Home sweet home.
Have you been out watching the wildlife near you this autumn? Are the hedgehogs still active where you are?