Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Where's Our Wildlife Gone?

We seem to be missing a lot of wildlife just lately here in Biggin Hill. In previous years I'd open my curtains in the morning and there would always be pheasants in the garden or a deer in the field but this winter I've only had 2 pheasants visit us on one occasion and three sightings of deer. The fox that regularly visited the garden to drink from the wildlife pond has gone and even the heron hasn't bothered to stop off lately to grab a fish from the fish pond. Hmmm...all very strange.

Thankfully there is plenty of wildlife to be seen when we are stock checking the ponies and the sheep. The sheep have just been moved to graze another area of overgrown chalk downland. It is quite difficult walking through the scrub to check the fences but very entertaining as nearly every step disturbs a mouse, vole or rabbit.

I also love checking the sheep as it gives me a chance to give a very friendly Jacob Ram (I call him Rambo) a scratch behind his horns. He loves it and pulls faces of pure ecstasy:-)

I have been very busy just lately producing some course notes for a friend who is running a course in stable management. The area around my computer is now covered in horse reference books and magazines but at last I have finished with them so I suppose I should now tidy up. It was enjoyable doing the notes though as it refreshed my memory of all things horsey and I also learnt quite a few new things.

Talking of learning new things, my husband and I spent Valentines day attending a Monty Roberts demonstration. He is an incredible man, the original horse whisperer. After suffering many beatings (and broken bones) inflicted by his father and hating the way his father used to inflict similar beatings while training horses, he followed the mustang herds and came to understand their 'language'. He then used that knowledge to train horses without the need of inflicting pain. He has since spread this knowledge throughout the world and it has made such a difference to the way horses are treated. Monty is now 75 and is still going strong in his mission to leave the world a better place for horses. A great man and an honor to see him work.


Sue Palmer said...

My husband Simon and I were at that demonstration - Simon is Monty's cameraman in the UK so he was up on the scaffold, and I'm team physio on tour as well as looking after the IH village - glad you enjoyed your day!

Helen said...

Hi Sue...I think I spoke to your husband and probably you too, on the wildlife photography stand. I commented on how he could make a photo of horses ears look so good and on his lovely photo of the deer and fox. I think I may go on one of his courses to get some hints. It was a wonderful afternoon and everyone seemed so happy and friendly even though it was sooo cold :-)