Ace hits the jackpot !

Living on the Dorset coast, within easy reach of a wide variety of coastal scenery, it’s also a bonus that my humble terraced abode opens out onto a mix of open grass, loads of shrubs/trees, and (unfortunately on the other side of the bypass… ) the Radipole Lake Bird Sanctuary.  Ideal dog territory !

The elderly lady next door has her garden festooned with bird feeders, which also attract a variety of wild animals, as well as some more exotic species from the bird sanctuary.  Sadly – often with the odd rogue cat lying in wait for any unsuspecting feeders. My Collie-cross, Ace, is always on the lookout for cats, and is quite good at flushing them out of their hiding places.

So, on one of our (2 a.m.) nocturnal walks this morning, it was no surprise that Ace suddenly shot off into next door’s garden.  Seconds later, after some thrashing around, Ace emerged in hot pursuit of not one, but two, very chunky animals.  Now I’ve seen most wildlife here from field-mice and voles, thro’ rats/squirrels/hedgehogs/rabbits, up to foxes and the odd deer, and even a small herd of migratory cows looking surreal with just their heads showing above a low ground-mist -  but to see Ace in full flight, legging it after TWO BADGERS was really something !  She honestly didn’t know which one to chase…  Decisions, decisions, decisions…

They passed just a few feet either side of me, the closest I’ve ever been a live badger – let alone a beautiful pair like that – and I don’t know who was the most surprised – Ace, me or the badgers.  Off they went, doing their characteristic ‘high-speed scuttle’, in search of cover – wonderful sight ! Ace, as usual, was more interested in the fun of the chase than doing them any harm – and they can really bite – so it was with some relief that she emerged unscathed from the bushes on command, looking disheveled but with tail wagging furiously…  Great fun – she’ll dream about that, more than a few times !

Loads about badgers at badgerland.co.uk

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13 Responses to Ace hits the jackpot !

  1. Lewis Pelham says:

    Not only do badgers have a dangerous bite but TB is endemic…a real risk to Ace.
    Not at all sure that I agree with the tree huggers/yoghurt weavers in their unceasing but fruitless attempt to preserve every species of animal which ever roamed the planet. Examples of animal and pond life have been disappearing and evolving since the dawn of time. Save the Siberian tiger…I think not…I would not like to encounter one in the wild without a 500 Express rifle! Also, can someone tell me the purpose of snakes…yugggh. Please do not use the perennial excuse of “food chain”…that does not hold water.
    Soon there will be a militant wing of out of work/ on the dole/ contribute to nothing/ unwashed “activists”, all with degrees in sociology, attempting to preserve the tape worm.
    This unquestioned “preserve endangered species” philosophy should be examined closely….if any Government had the guts.
    I think that I will start a campaign to eradicate snakes and teenagers.

  2. alan says:

    Lewis, leave the snakes alone, but definitely cull the teenagers 🙂

    Ace is going in for her annual ‘jabs’ this afternoon – so I’ll mention it to the vet. No sign of bites, but Ace is quite ‘savvy’…

  3. ukebert says:

    I certainly wouldn’t advocate culling teenagers or badgers, and snakes are a fantastic piece of evolution. I assume that you didn’t see Attenborough’s excellent series of “life in cold blood”?

  4. Lewis Pelham says:

    Yes…I did see “life in cold blood”….horrendous. The usual “natural” wildlife programme, ie. all sh*gging and killing with the added spice of poison and suffocation!
    Up here we have the Tarka Trail; the old railway from Barnstaple to Torrington. They ripped up the rails and, free from all traffic, it is a nature walk where people walk (and crap) their dogs. Totally natural and pesticide free, it is lined with bushes…blackberry and the like. Every year, countless inquisitive dogs are bitten by adders which infest the place.
    Snakes usually have one of three types of poison; all targeted to kill in differing ways. The Gaboon viper has all three. Added to which they lie in, and are disguised as, dead leaves. The head of this utterly disgusting animal is shaped and coloured to resemble a dead leaf. Their retractable fangs are 2″ long.
    Perhaps they should be issued with a Glock G19C just to be absolutely certain!
    The human race is a far better example of “fantastic evolution”, and it certainly does not need the loathsome snake;…or crocodile…or church bells…..:-))

  5. ukebert says:

    I don’t think humans are as well “designed” as some snakes though. Look at the uh,the snake that ate that deer for example 🙂

  6. alan says:

    Ah, well… The obvious answer is to genetically engineer a snake that feeds only on bell-ringers ! 😉 QED

  7. Lewis Pelham says:

    Look as I do, I have yet to see arms and legs on a snake, let alone that triumph of evolution, without which we could not play the saxophone, the prehensile thumb.
    Another masterpiece of evolution is the invention, by humans, of the knife and fork, thereby eliminating the need to swallow deer whole. 🙂
    Always remember Owen that they could also swallow your children whole. Where is Health & Safety when needed?
    Whilst always enjoying our banter, I am prepared to bet that we would not get along with each other. I may well be wrong, but I bet that you drive a Nissan Micra and are working on that masterpiece of propaganda, your carbon footprint. 🙂

  8. Lewis Pelham says:

    Alan.
    You are responsible for starting this….however I must admit to the slight tangential slant. 🙂
    A bell ringer eating snake…what a brilliant idea; cunningly disguised as a bell rope. Perhaps it could be further evolved to eat Vibraphone players, H&S officials, Guardian readers and do-gooders in general…oh yes, let’s not forget the unemployed and the benefit scroungers….great idea. 🙂

  9. alan says:

    Lewis – perverse, isn’t it – I put up musical topics and they struggle to get a handful of comments. Yet the ‘throw-away’ one about the Cornish Flag got 22 comments, and this one will probably trundle on for a bit as well…

    Hey Owen, you’re not a Guardian-reading teenager, by any chance ? 🙂 (heehee)

  10. lewis says:

    Possibly because pretty well everything has been said about saxophones and everyone’s views are, by now,quite predictable. We are all set in our ways & pretty inflexible. What’s the betting that you will finally decide on a tenor mouthpiece for your C Mel…your excursions with the girlie alto pieces are, nonetheless, laudable. Why not go the whole hog & try a tenor piece on your Martin alto?
    No-one has yet convinced me that snakes have any use; never having heard of a sniffer snake, a sheep snake or a guard snake. On that basis I must include bird killing cats on my list of disposables. I am serious however about the danger to inquisitive dogs.

  11. alan says:

    Hmmm…. Lewis – why not email Scott Robinson and Nathan Haines and ask why they persist in using “girlie alto pieces” on their C-mels ? 🙂 The Martin Magna alto is just fine with an alto mouthpiece – in fact I’m still using that Aquilasax – Yanigasawa metal one.

    Anyway – back to the topic… Ace was given a ‘clean bill of health’ by the vet – she said Ace would have been showing definite signs of badger bites had there been a clash. One of her colleagues is missing half a finger from attempting to treat a not-quite-roadkill badger… As a sax player, that makes me worried, the badgers were THAT close to me, thankfully on the move 😦

  12. lewis says:

    I too would be worried by wild animals so close to home.
    Possibly due to a lifetime of experimentation in the Motor Industry I have to ask the question “how do you know that Scott Robinson and Nathan Hines would not be even better with a tenor pieces.” So often we thought that we had found the optimum, only to find that there was more to come. Henry Ford thought that he had found the ultimate in 1907.

  13. ukebert says:

    I’m not a guardian reading teenager, no. I never remember to buy it 😉

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