Posted by: kathandroger | July 29, 2018

Animals.

We are surrounded by animals here in rural France. Both domestic and wild, they provide us with great entertainment. Not so much last week though, when the sheep, probably led by the goat, found that they could push their way through the gate from the field, trespass into out neighbours field and eat a new and interesting menu. If they did not express their delight by continuous baaing, they could have stayed the night, but the escape was soon discovered and they were shepherded home, and the old gate made more secure. Gates don’t deter dog and mog, who continue to play together, with the dog not realizing that she is larger than the cat and unable to get through the same size holes. Several high speed chasing incidents have resulted in a concertinerd Polly.
But a couple of days ago we had a glut of wild animal incidents.
On coming home in the car, we noticed five storks in our friend Manus’ field. We sometimes see them flying over, but rarely on the ground and never so many together. It is not the season for migration, so I guess they may be a family with young from a nest nearby. The birds have been different this year; we have more and more swallows, but I have only seen one Bee Eater and only a glimpse of a Hoopoe.
Polly the Airedale is great for demonstrating the local wildlife. She has yet to catch anything other than her squeaky bunny toy, but she does enable us to view the animal and bird population. I took her out the other evening, and first call was a family of wild partridge, Grey I think, and she had great fun chasing them though the sunflowers. We then came to a field of mowed wheat. Hares seem to be everywhere at the moment, and they are lovely creatures, with fur nicely coloured to match the corn, but a mistake has been made with those great big black ears! They often crouch down when spotted, but the ears are a giveaway. Anyway there were two in the one field, and for once our intelligent dog spotted them both. They were about fifty metres apart, probably in courtship, and the poor dog did not know which to chase first. Needless to say the chase ended with no hare being caught, and a confused dog wanting to understand where the second animal had gone. Hares have a wonderful way of running in a straight line and then when in cover changing direction completely. The poor dog always goes straight on and returns at last panting, confused and frustrated. But this evening another bonus was in store. No sooner had we entered a local secluded wood than she took off at top speed through the undergrowth. I heard lots of rustling and twigs being broken, and after a few moments a family of Red Deer careered across the path just in front of me. Two adults and two well grown youngsters, and then an outclassed terrier in pursuit. The Red Deer are so much larger an more impressive than the little Roe Deer that are more common, and it was a delight to see them. Dog exhausted again!
On returning home we passed through the sweetcorn fields by the house and noticed lots of plants near the path had been bashed down and the cobs eaten.
I guess it is the work of the wild boar, and would explain why there have been lots of extra hunts in the area recently to try to keep the numbers down. Apparently they can travel many kilometres each night, so it must be a fairly futile measure, but it keeps the hunters happy!
And finally a visit was made to our local famous Zoo at Beauval. The celebrity panda cub is rapidly growing and showing off to the world.IMG_1674 Wonderful to see, but I prefer our local fauna!


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