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Where does the time go?

We're well into Autumn now and I'm enjoying the beautiful autumnal

colours though there are hints of the winter to come. I'm now being

reminded by my youngest child of how many days it is till Christmas

in a daily report! Hedgehogs have been busy fattening themselves up to gain enough

weight to successfully go into hibernation along with other animals too.

Squirrels don't hibernate but delight in the abundance of nuts on the

hazel trees and caching them all over our garden, hiding them for another day. The birds are on a bit of a frenzy on our feeders - they seem more bolshy,

so perhaps the survival of the fittest is about to begin, to cope with the

harsh months ahead. Fox, deer and red squirrel have a stunning autumnal glow about them,

as the sun highlights the richness of the orange and red tones in their coats. Oaks, beech, larch, willows, maples are just some of the trees showing

off their autumnal colours of golden yellow and tones of auburn. Grasses

are beginning to mellow, but evergreens like pines, and shrubs like ivy

and hollies hold onto their deep greens for the winter.

Magical appearances pop up in our garden and woodland of varieties of fungi.

My favourite has to be Fly agaric, the ‘fairy toadstool’. They’re so beautifully

formed and with such striking colours.

I'm truly spoilt for choice as I explore my wild place looking for inspiration of

what to draw and paint, or trying to decide how my next children's wildlife

story will unfold. I love to photograph and sketch my findings. I suspect my

other half thinks I'm just wandering about outside. Honestly I am working, but absolutely loving it at the same time. Things to look out for ● Conkers ●Autumnal colours ●Fungi varieties ●Nuts and berries Things we can do for wildlife ● Check bonfires before lighting, as hedgehogs may have chosen to

hibernate there. ● Offer a bird feeding station, with a water supply ● Create an undisturbed area in your garden with branches and leaves

to offer a safe place for hedgehogs. HEDGEHOGS If you have hedgehogs visiting your garden offer water and cat meat

( not fish), they should be a good size now ready to hibernate. If they

look small or are wandering about during the day, they need help.

Contact your nearest vet, or the Scottish wildlife Hospital at Dumfries

even just for advice.

Till next month -

Happy Wildlife Watching!

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