Wildlife Wednesday – The Ducklings Brief Visit

The Mother Duck who laid her eggs, under the elderly sage bush in our neighbours garden, went on to hatch 13 ducklings, one sadly died on the first day, 4 more died during April, most likely because of our exceptionally cold nights, 8 survived.

Mother Duck and Ducklings visit our garden

Mother Duck and Ducklings visit our garden

On Bank Holiday Monday we got up to find all 8 ducklings in our garden, with the Mother, a Drake and another slimmer adult female. During the previous week The Mother and slimmer female had been flying in to visit us here.

Drake, second adult female and the mother and her ducklings

Drake, second adult female and the mother and her ducklings

With warmer nights our neighbour, 2 doors away, had corralled the mother and her 5 week old ducklings into the rear of his garage, then opened the front garage door to let them into the lane, hoping they would make the short journey to one of the 3 rivers our lane crosses. Although they have a small pond, they could no longer live there, the garden is fully enclosed with no independent route out, the Ducklings needed to be much closer to the river, where they could learn to forage for themselves. But 5 weeks is still too young to go it alone. They needed their Mother to lead and protect them.

35 days old, flight feather not yet formed

35 days old, flight feather not yet formed

Somehow, the Ducklings made it to ours, rather than the river. We do have holes in the fences for hedgehogs and the hole still remains, where I cut the fence to let last years ducklings out to reach the river. As you can see, at five weeks old their wings are virtually non existent. Flight feathers are not yet formed. The Mother can fly in, the Ducklings must walk.

Mother Duck with her mucky ducklings

Mother Duck with her mucky ducklings

Whilst she watched, we gave the Ducklings some dried mealworms and mixed bird seed.

Duckling eating seed

Duckling eating seed

The Drake ran in to shoe the ducklings away from the food, so that he could eat and the Mother shooed the other female off when she tried to get too close to her children.

IMG_2449

The Drake finally wandered down the garden and the Ducklings and Mother were able to eat, without interference.

Ducklings eating bird seed

Ducklings eating bird seed

Then a second Drake arrived. One pinned the head of the second smaller female to the ground, whilst the other forcibly mated with her. The Mother flew off, so did the two Drakes and the smaller female followed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

An hour passed and no sign of the Mother, the Ducklings remained sitting in the sun, waiting for her, so we put out bowls of water in the shade for the Ducklings to drink from.

Ducklings drinking water

Ducklings drinking water

Or swim in!

Ducklings in the makeshift water bowl

Ducklings in the makeshift water bowl

We haven’t got a pond, we did once when we moved here, an enormous thing where the previous folk kept huge Goldfish, we filled it in, ponds and young children are not ideal, no end of ‘please do not go near the pond’ worked. Our new wildlife pond is still being dug out, ironically the Bank Holiday Monday project.

Ducklings in the potting tray bath

Ducklings in the potting tray bath

Finally the ducklings settled in the shade, dipping in and out of the makeshift potting tray baths. At five weeks old, their down is not waterproof, the RSPB report the mother waterproofs the ducklings.

Duckling down is not waterproof

Duckling down is not waterproof

We thought the Mother would come back soon, to care for her Ducklings, 4 more hours passed and still no sign of her. Several water bath changes, more mealworms and to my delight the Ducklings were finding slugs to eat. But still no sign of what they really needed, a Mother to lead them to the river.

Duckling eating a slug

Duckling eating a slug

A fox visits our garden, he leaves footprints in the vegetable beds, so we knew they could not stay here, with or without a Mother to protect them, we have a dog, bringing them indoors was not an option, the potting shed is occupied by nesting Robins and the Summerhouse jam packed with stuff, plus they needed to be somewhere she could find them before a predator did, pondering our options, we went for an long overdue dog walk, hoping the Mother would come back, look after her Ducklings and take them to the River, only a few meters away, they were so close, yet so far.

Alert Ducklings

Alert Ducklings

When we came home, there was no sign of adults or Ducklings, with fingers crossed we hoped the Mother had come back for them and led them through the hole in the fence to the river and the next stage in their hazardous lives. Or that the Ducklings had hunkered down in the shrubbery somewhere and she would find them, when we could not.

Ducklings looking for a safe place

Ducklings looking for a safe place

At 6p.m, (Monday), The Mother flew in with a Drake and the other female and no Ducklings to be seen. Yesterday (Tuesday), morning still no sign of the Ducklings.

At lunch time yesterday, when I was yet again wearily re sowing beetroot, chard, peas and mangetout, I found one Duckling, fully intact but dead, about 3 inches deep under the ground in one of our vegetable beds.

One of several things may have happened. – We have voles tunnelling through the veg beds like crazed things, the Ducklings may have been looking for worms and one ended up in a tunnel. Or the Fox buried the Duckling – does this happen? Before finding the dead Duckling I briefly thought one positive of a Fox visit maybe he deters the Voles, in the same way, the scent of our Dog deters Moles from tunnelling through the lawn. Then after discovering the sad little body, thought, what a crap way for a 5 week old Duckling to die and what could or should I have done to prevent this.

The RSPB report Ducklings are 50 – 60 days old before their wings enable them fledge and be independent, our visiting ducklings were only 35 days old.Β I hope wherever the remaining 7 are, they are safe, and that she has found them. I have not seen the mother today but the drake and his new female are sitting in the shade in our garden.

In more hopeful news, Robins nesting in our Potting shed are still there and we see the parents fly in with food. Nest building continues elsewhere and we have been happy to see lots of bird species collecting Archie’s pegged up hair, the forecast this week is warmer too, so kinder for young chicks and nesting parents.

Please take a look at other Wildlife Wednesday posts hosted by the lovely Tina at My Gardener Says.

And hopefully happier Wildlife Watching for you!

Post script. Thursday May 5th.

I have found a second duckling under the soil in one of the veg beds. Sadly Foxes do cache prey. We now believe the ducklings were still in our garden and Tuesday night were predated and cached by the visiting fox. Below are two helpful articles on Fox Behaviour and Wildlife Food caching.

http://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/node/3031

http://www.discoverwildlife.com/british-wildlife/how-identify-animal-food-stores

92 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday – The Ducklings Brief Visit

    • Thanks Judy, I hope so too, the fact that the Mother has not returned here again makes me hopeful, and she has them on the river now.

  1. What an amazing story. I followed with baited breath, thankful for your efforts, hoping the mother would return quickly. What do you think happened? Do you think the fox ate all of the ducklings?

    • Nature is cruel Cynthia, especially when it comes to Foxes, they are known to kill without eating, why I do not know. I understand the need to predate, other animals will have young to feed and we would be overrun with creatures if some were not taken. I just hope she managed to lead the rest to “safety” – the river comes with another set of hazards and predators. Spring comes with joy and tragedy, its a tough old world.

  2. Gorgeous photos of the little ducklings. A lovely post altogether apart from the ending. How strange for the mother to abandon them like that. Must have been something to do with that second female.
    I do hope you see them again.

    • I am not sure, both females were here on their own during the previous week, I wondered if she was trying to escape the Drakes attention. I’ve tried to google more on her behaviour but cannot find an answer so far. She has a small patch of feathers that hang down under her belly, so we will know her if hopefully we see her and her ducklings again.

  3. I Love the photo in your header- is that new? I would love to just make a fort like we did as kids in that photo:-) Your photos today just are amazing and inspiring!!!! I ride the Mississippi River and this time of year we have so many little babies:-) I get up close but not as close as your pictures and they really are some of the best I have seen. I can feel your love through your photos for the little ducklings:-)
    I can “aww’ those photos for days!!! thank you for taking the time to take these photos and share your story-I know it took time to capture those for they are amazing:-)

    • I wasn’t that close Robbie, I had a long lens and I’ve cropped some. Riding along the Mississippi sounds really lovely. I wish I could comment on your coir compost, we are virtually peat free here, I’ve had mixed results with coir though, so glad to see you are so successful with it.

      • well, they are beautiful photos. I took comments off my blog since I just am not on the computer much anymore. I love to visit and comment on other blogs when I have time. I tell people if they have a question to just email me and I’ll answer. I check that every day. I have found with the coir it is good for germinating seeds but you have to plant them after true leaves emerge in rich soil. Since it is steril it has no nutrients for the plants and after they get true leaves they need that to develope. I am having great germination on my natives in strafication in our fridge, but I mix soil with them when they get true leaves every time:-) Interesting medium but a challenge to figure out and I have to admit I fail and learn alot-lol

  4. Precious little ducklings and thanks for this story, but I hope some of them did survive and they are somewhere safe. It may not have been a fox. Do you have any birds of prey there? Or a mink, perhaps? We’ve a lot of different predators here, any one of them could take out a duckling. But I would think that some of the ducklings will have got out or you would have seen evidence of them – feathers, particularly.

    By the way, if any return, try soaking some of the dried mealworms in water for them as, even though young birds can eat them dry (obviously!) the water will help hydrate them.

    • We have seen Sparrow hawks, both male and female, but not for the last few weeks, thats not to say they haven’t visited whilst we were out though. No feathers yet as they are too young and probably the Hawks would take the whole duckling. Thanks for the tip about soaking the mealworms, I will try that Val, they look so unappealing dry. Once we put water down for the Ducklings, we could see how thirsty they were, our bird bath is on a pedestal, so hopeless for them. Hopefully our Wildlife pond will be ready soon!

  5. Well, sniff. Such a lovely, though sad post. I do hope mama came back, but it’s a tough world for little ones, isn’t it? Love your photos, just beautiful. I always suggest that, rather than nature being “cruel”–it’s harsh and unforgiving. It really is true that the strong survive and there’s so much that can impeded the road to adulthood for animals. Thanks for joining in–a great story, well told and documented.

    • You are so right Tina, harsh and unforgiving is a better description and very true the strong survive. Nature needs to be as strong as possible to withstand man’s destructive behaviour.
      For our part, maybe the best we can do is to make our gardens as wildlife friendly as possible, nature has enough harsh realities without the added devastation man plies on.

  6. Julie, I can imagine your anguish watching all this play out, I hope the mother and her ducklings are together and fine, drakes sound dreadful! first he steals his children’s food then commits rape, I’m glad the robin family is well, thanks for the pretty pictures of the ducklings, so sweet, Frances

    • The Drakes behaviour really makes you wonder at why as its so abhorrent. There is a parcel of land just behind us which we called no mans land until last week when it was bought by one of our neighbours, the nesting Robins in our Potting shed are within a foot of this land and they’ve agreed to steer clear of that area until they fledge. So we are thankful for that at least.

      • They are a young couple with 3 small boys, the pioneer Birches and Alders will stay and they would like to keep chickens, she is a keen gardener,so hopefully there will be a balance between the wildlife that lives there and any new plans. The ground is boggy and on a flood plain. One of the river tributaries borders one side. Our garden is on the boundary of the village settlement envelope so no building allowed beyond into that parcel of land. I do feel hopeful, they said they would wait to clear until after the nesting season, there are blackbirds nesting within the scrub too. I will have to find another home for my slugs though!

      • lol love the last sentence, though you could throw them in with the chickens they will love them, yum yum,
        it sound hopeful, at least it is not a chemical farmer, good that the rest of the land around you is safe, Frances

  7. Poor ducklings – I wonder if any of the others survived. Your photos are lovely though – they are so cute. And your garden bed looks lovely too.

    • I hope so, the adults and ducklings all did some light weeding and slug eating, possibly snails too, if it wasn’t for foxes I would happily have some long term.

      • We have domestic ones that stay in our veg patch all winter – well actually this year they haven’t as much as they have a pond now and they prefer to spend most of their time there!- still I am convinced they do some good in decreasing the slug population.

  8. I am new to Wildlife Wednesday and enjoyed reading your post very much. So sorry for the sad (for one duckling at least) ending to this story, but glad you shared it. This is how it goes in the natural world sometimes. Your photos are beautiful! I especially love the shots of the ducklings drinking and swimming.

    • Thanks Tracy, Tina’s meme is wonderful, a real insight into other folk’s wild visitors. A few years ago, we kept chickens like you but I did not have such a willing helper. πŸ˜‰

  9. Brilliant pictures, lovely words – and then you almost had me in tears. Poor ducklings; terrible mother. What could you have done differently, nothing I fear. I hope you do find some of them alive.

    • Me too Christina, although last night my husband saw an enormous dog fox, as large as our Labrador in the Front garden, previously we had only seen the smaller vixen. The footprints through our veg patch were huge this morning, so we think he is coming in there too. Without their flight feathers, the Ducklings are so vulnerable, but I’m still hopeful some have survived.

  10. I do find it so difficult sometimes. I love that there is so much wildlife on our land but if it’s here I feel responsible somehow. And nature has no regard for my feelings. I do hope that the remaining ducklings are safe. Wonderful photographs that you got of them.

    • I know just how you feel Jessica, your lovely garden and woodland is haven for so many creatures, even those comical squirrels all play a part in the circle of life, its so hard not to feel responsible, especially when they give so much pleasure in the interaction they have with us and the gardens we care for.

    • Its a rollercoaster Susie, one minute there is absolute delight and the next just sadness at how cruel life is. I have just been watching another pair of adult Mallards, I hope they are more successful.

  11. Oh the stress of watching nature in our gardens….we have seen fox hunt baby rabbits born in our garden…and some voles….no ducklings here but I bet we see them around in a month or so….there is nothing more adorable than baby ducklings. What a great pair of godparents you are. Hope they are OK.

    I will say the voles in our beds seem to be deterred by the screening we are placing in the bottom of the veg beds.

  12. You are a great story teller! The photos are divine. I love the one of the duckling gargling his water. I hope the unaccounted for ones made it to the river rather than were lost to the fox.

    • Sadly today revealed another one buried in one of our veg beds but have now also been told that Foxes cache food, which foolishly I had not realised before. I now believe they were all still hiding in our garden and when the fox or foxes came back that night they were easy pickings. My husband saw a dog fox the size of our labrador, where previously we had only seen a vixen, they must have or about to have cubs nearby that need feeding too.

      • A sort of weary inevitability, once the penny dropped this morning. I came home from work and dug over the beds knowing I would almost certainly discover more. I have now flushed the beds with a running hosepipe (the foxes had marked their scent) and my client today gave me a box of Silent Roar – pellets soaked in ‘real essence of Lion dung’ – she had filmed foxes caching food on her own garden. I’ve put the pungent Lion Dung pellets on. My veg garden as you can imagine now smells like a zoo!

  13. Oh goodness Julie – What a story! First your photos are so lovely and it was wonderful to see these adorable ducklings in your garden and swimming in the water you put out for them. Of course I was literally holding my breath as I read on to the end – still that rather childlike desire for a happy ending. Now I am not so sure – the cynical side of me feels that maybe they didn’t make it, which is just so sad. It just seems like such strange behavior on the part of the mother to seemingly abandon them like that, if of course she did. Let’s hope the Robin family you have has a happier ending to their tale!
    – Kate x

    • You are right to be cynical Kate, we now know the foxes cached the ducklings as I found another in one of our raised veg beds today. The Mother has taken up with another drake and today she has been visiting the neighbours garden where her original nest was. Our raised beds are next to the Potting shed, so I have put lion dung pellets down to try and deter the foxes after flushing out the beds to try and dilute the smell of the fox scent markings. Hoping this will work, currently a bloomin’ Magpie keeps sitting on the potting shed roof, he or she must know whats in there too. In Spring every creature has a mouth to feed, just wish it wasn’t so destructive, but like you I am very much hoping the Robins make it through!

      • Oh goodness that is so sad 😦 Nature is beautiful but oh so cruel sometimes. On the bright side you obviously have such a wonderful garden for wildlife because of the diversity of creatures you have living there. Crossing all fingers and toes for the Robins!

  14. Oh Julie! It’s so difficult having wildlife in the garden! I have my heart in my mouth all spring and summer hoping everything works out okay. I hope the mother returned and collected her babies – though duck mothers aren’t too reliable in general and are easily spooked. It might have been best if your neighbour had held onto them for a while longer until it was obvious the duck was ready to take her young off elsewhere. We have goslings in the garden at the moment but no ducklings as yet and I haven’t seen any moorhen chicks either. Moorhens don’t seem to have much luck in our garden. I have seen crows carrying off the babies and the year before last I watched a baby dragged underwater by something – horrible!

    • Sadly, I had to tell him today that a fox had definitely cached two of the babies, we found another today, he said just the same as you but hind sight is a wonderful thing and a fox could of jumped his fence too. We went on an early dawn chorus walk and the warden was telling us of the very high predation rate of Moorhens, their nests are quite precarious too. I wonder if your Goose, makes a better mother than ducks, she is probably a great deal fiercer. Our Mother is off with another Drake lurking around her old nest, must be pretty miserable for her too.

      • I’m sorry the fox has had two of the babies. I would love to go on a dawn chorus walk! I must book myself onto one. The goose is quite fierce but the thing that really makes a difference to the well-being of the goslings is that the gander stays with them all the time and guards the babies and the goose as well. He’s a real gentleman!

      • Hi Clare, your Gander sounds a fine Dad, I hope all goes well for your goslings. This walk was at Dusk, so very civilised, and very productive, lots of song at this time of year. We have got up at 4 for Dawn walks before – not so civilised!

  15. Such a wonderful story! Some happiness, some sadness, but that’s the way life goes. It’s good to think that the ducklings made it to a safe place πŸ™‚

    • Yes, that is how life goes, a circle of life and all creatures are a part of the food chain, these ones we know now did not make it but hopefully there will be another more successful clutch.

  16. I’m a newbie here to Wildlife Wednesday and I just wanted to say what beautiful photos you have of these gorgeous ducklings, the close ups were simply amazing. It was a beautifully written story as well, although a little sad. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Sue, thanks, all has not turned out well unfortunately and the ducklings appear to have been predated and then cached by the visiting fox or foxes. When I tried to click on your link a message came up that your site was deleted, so I am sorry I can’t read yours but thanks for visiting this post.

      • Hi Julie, what a shame about the ducklings, that’s heartbreaking. Sorry about the issue with the blog link. I have just contacted WordPress and resolved the issue. My profile was linking to my old deleted blog but that’s been changed now. Next time you shouldn’t have any trouble. Looking forward to next month’s Wildlife posts. πŸ™‚

  17. Some beautiful photos Julie. Foxes will bury food as a way of storing it for another time. I hope the rest of the ducklings have survived, they do experience a high loss rate. Nature is red in tooth and claw!

    • Hi Brian, I found this out today, when working for a client who told me she had filmed foxes in her garden caching food. She has given me a box of ‘Silent Roar’, which she had bought in to deter cats from fouling.
      This morning before work I went down to my veg garden to find several holes and an overwhelming smell of fox. So I’ve flooded the smelliest bed with a hose pipe for over an hour, to try and dilute the smell and put on the Silent Roar – the box claims it to be pellets soaked in ‘real essence of Lion dung’. In checking another recently created raised bed as it also had holes, I found another cached duckling.
      I do not want to encourage any further caching or scent marking and secondly I grow food for us to eat here and as an organic gardener I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy creating the right soil conditions to do just that!
      I also do not want the foxes near my potting shed where the Robins are nesting, which is adjacent to the raised beds.
      I am living and learning fast here and can’t believe I had not realised foxes cache before now.

  18. Living with wild creatures all around is wonderful but at the same time terrible when we witness how hard it is for animals to survive. I suppose the hope for the ducklings is fading now. I hope at least the robins are not disturbed.

    • Sadly I found another one today Cathy. Foolishly I had not realised that Foxes cache their food and come back to dig them up. I’ve just read your comment to Eliza, its a really hard life for Ducks. I am worried the foxes will easily reach the Robins as they have put their nest close to the Potting shed window, which I can’t shut as the parents will not be able to fly in with food. A Magpie is now regularly sitting on the shed roof too, they have nested in a tree at the bottom of our garden and will have chicks to feed. It would be much nicer if they were all vegetarians!

      • We were saying the same today… a pair of magpies appears to have a nest on the edge of our garden too, and they have kept the blackbirds and great tits away from the house this year. Such bullies! I was hoping the woodpeckers would nest nearby too this spring, but they have been vanquished from the garden completely.

      • Oh Cathy, Magpies seem to be relentless, sorry to hear they have kept Blackbirds and Bluetits away, both birds, that bring a great deal of pleasure. What a shame about your woodpeckers too, I hope wherever they did nest this year they are successful.

  19. Not the ending I was hoping for. I suppose with wildlife anything can happen once your back is turned, and a sad day for ducklings may be a wonderful day for foxes, but I’d still rather watch a healthy batch of ducklings grow up.
    Beautiful photos.

    • Hello, you are right, there are many mouths to feed in Spring, the foxes will have cubs too. Last year, in a clients garden, I came within a few feet of a vixen with her cubs, it was a magical moment. Had it been an old dog fox, then maybe that moment would not have been so magical. The young of all creatures bring out the need to protect them.

  20. It’s so hard to watch when it’s all going on in your garden isn’t it? We have Grey Herons visiting our pond for ducklings to feed their young. This wildlife is so wild!

    • Now there’s a duckling predator I had not considered, that must be a grim sight Gillian. Had to smile at your last sentence though – exactly!

  21. The natural world is wonderful, yet so very cruel. I do worry about ducklings – their mums are not all we would wish them to be. We have a pond right in front of the house, but the mother ducks walk their broods past the fox I see regularly in the hedgerow to a pond much further away (it takes me 10 minutes to walk there and I am a little larger than a duckling). The pond in front of our house has reeds in the water, it is surrounded by vegetation, and is as safe a haven as a duck could wish for. The other pond was dredged a couple of years ago and has no cover around it. Incredible!

    • Hi Sarah, I wonder if the Mothers were born on the farthest pond and they just want to return home with their own ducklings. That does seem mad to travel to a place with little cover. Your nearest pond sounds beautiful too.

  22. Awful. I’m so sorry. The duck nesting under the dwarf spruce in my front yard abandoned her nest a few weeks ago. She had 9 eggs too. Right now I’m worried about my Northern Flickers. The male has disappeared and the female isn’t around much so her 4 eggs are left unprotected most of the day. I’ve seen Starlings occasionally in the box and I worry they’re going to pierce the eggs and take over.

    • Its so hard not to feel protective of these tiny creatures. Every breeding species has a mouth to feed or is trying to preserve itself. And the element of not knowing why parents disappear or are not caring for their young is hard to reconcile too. I guess its all about survival of the fittest, but grim to watch it all play out.

  23. Adorable photos but a sobering story. Unfortunately if you are really going to have wildlife then predators are part of the equation, there is really no way around it. I do hope the rest of the ducklings survive to adulthood, though.

    • I had hoped so too Tammy, but we have had repeated visits now from the fox looking for his cached food, I guess he or she has young to feed too.

  24. Parental care can be less than perfect and episodes like this must happen all the time in the wild but it is so unnerving if they happen in your garden. You can’t help feeling responsible for wildlife that venture into the garden but it can also be sad. Amelia

  25. Lovely photos, and great detective work, Julie, even with such a sad ending. Foxes and magpies are a powerful predatory combo. You might enjoy the successful predator evasion filmed by Colin, a fellow Pumsaint GC member, on the brief video clip below…it’s only about 2 MB,
    Best wishes
    Julian

    [video src="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11198667/cap_160506_200548.mp4" /]

    • Hi Julian, thanks, I have watched several times but cannot decide what the predator is? Drop box is a good idea, was that easy to set up?

  26. Ooooohhhh the sad ending took me by surprise. They are very cute. Lovely photos. It sounds like the sabotaged your planned day of work in the garden with all the action and catering for them. Louise

  27. Nature can be so cruel and life is tough at times. You’ve taken some awesome pictures, Julie, pity that your beautiful story had to end like this. I’m working at my desk today and had to jump up several times to chase away jays that empty the nests these days as they feed baby birds to their offspring. It’s almost as distressing for me as for the parent birds! Came across some dead babes on the road, leftovers after some bigger bird raided the nest. Terrible. Then I spotted a grass snake eating a mole a few days ago…it seems it all about eating and being eaten. Sadly humans often aren’t any better. It’s important to remember that there are plenty of good things too πŸ™‚

    • Yes it is Annette, otherwise its all very grim. Can you get ‘Spring Watch’ over there? Its running for 3 weeks on BBC, last night male Sparrow Hawks were predating parents birds of Blue Tits and Swallows to feed the female Sparrow Hawk brooding several eggs of her own. Nature in the raw is hard to watch sometimes but if there were no predators than we would be overrun with other creatures.
      We visited Limousin to see friends for the weekend last week and was a little alarmed at the size of your snakes out there, I guess you get used to them eventually….

      • We don’t have a TV, Julie, guess there are so many other things to watch like our fab snakes for example πŸ˜‰ yes, we got used to them and live happily together. Had 3 (!) lying in my border the other day…family meeting I reckon. Don’t forget to call when you’re in our area. πŸ™‚

      • Hi Annette, I have just looked Midi-pyrenees up and see we were not far from you- we flew into Limoges Airport. Expecting the countryside to be flat but were delighted to find countryside as if we were in the Dales here. And wild flower meadows despite the snakes were stunning. TV is massively overrated, and you are quite right, far more interesting things to watch and enjoy too.

      • Lots of hills here, Julie, we’re on the edge of the Massif Central and can even see the Pyrenees on a clear day. You should have said “The wildflower meadows were even more stunning with these amazing snakes” πŸ˜‰ We have a strange fear of them (bible must be the reason for that, I guess) and it’s not justified at all. When I’m afraid of something, I try to look at it (or me!) from the point of view of the poor creature…that helps a lot πŸ˜€

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