Dear Readers, I’m sure that for all of us there are animals that, when they appear in our gardens or we bump into them during a walk in the countryside, fill us with awe and joy. For example, my garden is regularly visited by foxes at night, but seeing them in broad daylight always sets me up for the day. This little vixen popped in on Thursday morning for no apparent reason other than to check if there were any suet pellets for the birds that she could hoover up.
Another creature that always makes me run for my camera is the rose-ringed parakeet. No doubt I would be a lot crosser if they visited every day and dismantled my birdfeeders, but as they only stop by about once a year I am more than happy to see them.
Then there is the grey heron who visited for a few days during 2019 and seemed to spend most of his time eating the frogs in the pond. What a shock he was! And how reading this piece takes me back to those days just after Mum had died, and when Dad was still adjusting to life in the nursing home.
And while we’re on the theme of unexpected visitors, the sparrowhawk always brings a frisson to the garden. To be confronted by the struggle for life that is taking place every day in the natural world is a challenging thing, but I am still stunned by the audacity and the strength of these birds. This visit in 2017 summed it all up for me…
And finally, I would hardly be Bugwoman without having a love for the insects that visit the garden, especially the more unusual ones. This female Emperor Dragonfly absolutely made my day as she tried to lay her eggs on the wooden steps, and I now have some rotting wood permanently placed in the pond just in case she comes back.
And this beautiful rose chafer beetle made my day in 2020, on a hot August afternoon when it felt as if lockdown would never end.
And how about this beautiful Jersey Tiger moth, now being seen in some numbers every year?
So, over to you readers! What are the animals that make you gasp when they make an appearance? What of your garden visitors make you happiest? Pop your answers in the comments, and let me know if you have photos – I’d love to make a ‘favourite garden animals from around the world’ post in a few weeks. I bet we’ve all got some stories to tell!