Posted by: kathandroger | March 6, 2017

Polly, and Castor in the Creuse.

I came back from Australia on Saturday and we picked up the new Airedale puppy Polly yesterday. The trip back from Oz was with my daughter and her two year old twin boys. 24 hours on a crowded plane with a couple of would be hooligans is not relaxing. To be honest the chaps were quite good, but their occasional screaming fits was not to the enjoyment of the other passengers, and repeated gymnastics on the old fellas lap was uncomfortable to say the least. I only managed to catch up on about a dozen films! But the noise was nothing compared to the first night with Polly. Her trip back from the Brenne about an hour and a half away was the first time she had been in a car, and she managed well, only dribbling a few litres of drool over my leg. Her introduction to Boodie, the old lady, and the cat Dennis, was not too bad. She was nose swiped by the cat and growled at by the dog, but was not put off by them.img_3684We have only had two piles of poo on the floor so far, and weeing has been confined to the door mat. I had made a box for her out of old palettes, knowing that puppies tend to chew anything near to them, but forgot that she was not confined within it and could walk out into the dining room and kitchen at will. Her first night was very akin to being with the twins on the plane. How can such a little dog make such a lot of noise and for so much time? The howling began as soon as we went upstairs, and did not cease all night. It did sound a bit like the boys screaming, and in the middle of the night it felt as if I was still with Singapore Airlines. No attractive hostesses appeared however, and nobody brought me food. Boudie added her own deep barking on several occasions but it did not affect the yapping from Polly. And to think I was looking forward to the peace and quiet of rural France! Today she seems full of energy despite her lack of sleep, and follows us everywhere.img_3679She has a lot of growing to do, and will have to change her coat to look like the old girl, but despite all the oncoming problems we love her already, and only hope that the night times improve.

I have long wondered why I catch so few fish in the Creuse. It is partly due to the demolition of fish stocks by the stupidly introduced catfish, and equally due to my lack of skill, but there are other animals spoiling my sport. Coming home from the Brenne, on the banks of the local river, I made Kath stop the car after seeing a felled tree.img_0593There were a couple of other trees similarly felled nearby, and some which had fallen into the water. The bark of several poplars had been eaten off and there were tracks all around. No doubt this is Beaver work. Actually I can’t blame them for my piscatorial failures, as they are herbivores, and it was both a surprise and a pleasure to find them so close to home. Having been hunted to near extinction they are now spreading back to many rivers in France, and I would love to see one. Apparently they are only active at night, like Polly, so sighting is unlikely. I knew they were hunted for their fur, but only recently that the anal glands contain a substance used in perfumes amongst other things. I am not sure I want my wife to smell of beaver bottom, and hope other ways can be found to make her smell nice!


  1. I hope Polly settles down at night and continues to thrive. Great news re the beaver activity. How exciting!

    • Susan, I see there is nothing on beavers in Loire Valley Nature. Would you like me to write a little piece?

  2. Hard work at first, but such a delight. Courage…

  3. There are 10 beavers on the river Otter in Devon.Apparently they are breeding there.There must have been a couple of escapee’s from somewhere.I expect some faceless bureaucrat will decide that the beavers shouldn’t be there.and that will be that.

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