Today I would like to introduce you to a new blogging friend. I'm not sure how Colleen and I met, perhaps I left a comment on her blog, or maybe she left one on mine. Actually thinking about it, I probably found her via the lovely Carolyn at Draffin Bears. The how and why isn't really important, I'm just happy we met. We've been in touch for a few weeks and gradually realised we share many common interests. We are both ex-booksellers with a fondness for vintage books (naturally), animals and nature.
In one of my emails to Colleen, I recounted a story of an encounter with a fox. Colleen suggested sharing the story with you assuring me you would love it. I hope you do, but if not you must blame my new found blogging friend! :-) Before telling you about the fox, I should probably share a little background information. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know all this so please feel free to skip the next bit
I live in a small village close to open countryside but for a long time I hardly noticed. Intent on running a business I spent my days sitting behind a desk or travelling around the country visiting auctions and book sales. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis (brittle bones) which I'm afraid to say I rather took with a pinch of salt. I was given several different types of medication and after six years progressed to infusion therapy, which is prescribed when a condition can no longer be treated effectively by oral medications. Eighteen months ago, I was told none of the treatments had worked and the likelihood of incurring fractures to my spine and/or hips was becoming a real possibility.
The last time I wrote about this, I was several months into a new regime of daily injections, plus walking, Pilates and Tai Chi. The course of injections came to an end last week, and I'm now awaiting the results of a bone density scan. In the meantime, I've closed March House Books, walked many hundreds of miles, and continued to enjoy Pilates although sadly Tai Chi and I parted company. I feel a hundred times fitter than I did last year, and I've found a whole new world just outside my door.
So back to the story … on a very blustery day at the end of April, I was following a footpath I hadn't previously walked. It was very overgrown in places, and before long I came to a stretch which was completely impassable. Never one for giving up or turning back I decided to veer slightly off course in the hope I could rejoin the path further along. This took me into a farmer’s field where I really had no business to be. Walking directly into the wind and keeping tight to the hedge, I was intent on negotiation the boggy ground caused by several days of rain. The combination of soft ground and the wind blowing towards me must be the reason the fox didn't know I was around until I was practically on top of it. To begin with I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking at. Russet in colour, curled up in a ball and fast asleep, it could almost have been a large cat. Until it opened its eyes and fixed me with a steely gaze. Gulp! Seconds passed before the fox slowly rose to its feet, did a graceful about-turn and slunk through a hole in the hedge. I stood still for several minutes, but the fox didn't reappear. I cursed myself for not having a camera, but even if I had I'm not sure I would have had the gumption to take a picture. I was raised on a farm and spent my early years playing in the woods and fields, but that is the closest encounter I've ever had with a fox.
My camera has not left my side since that blustery day at the end of April. I've re-traced my steps several times in the hope of catching another glimpse of the fox but to no avail.
We live in a beautiful part of Somerset, where the changing seasons ensure there is always plenty to photograph, but that didn't prepare me for this...
Can you see? In the midst of all those twigs and branches are a family of badgers! I must have walked past this spot every day for weeks without being aware of their existence. It’s my understanding that badgers are nocturnal animals spending their days in underground burrows or ‘setts’ and only venturing out after dark. I took the photographs on Friday afternoon of last week. I have no idea why the badgers were out and about. It was a warm still day which is how I came to hear a slight rustling in the undergrowth.
I've walked the same path a couple of times since Friday but the badgers are nowhere to be seen, hopefully they are safely back underground. I can't tell you how privileged I feel, first a fox (scary and magical at the same time) and now a family of badgers. A win on the lottery couldn't make me any happier than I am right now.
Before I go, I would like to share these words;
I took my tray out to my secret garden and sat on the edge of the water lily pool in the warm sunshine. There is nothing like warm sunshine enveloping my body to give me a sense of well-being and a warm hug! The extra surprise to send my feeling of well-being soaring was an adorable frog who sat next to me on the edge of the pool and an aerial dance by many beautiful blue dragonflies to entertain me as I enjoyed my breakfast.
Don’t you think that is just beautiful? I do. To read more please visit Colleen at Appreciate beauty everyday
Have you encountered anything unusual while out walking?
Photographs; Henstridge, Somerset, Spring 2016 Barbara Fisher