I've been keeping an eye out for the hedgehogs in the evenings. It's been more than a week since I've seen one nosing around the edge of the lawn, or amongst the lupins. Perhaps they were just passing through on some spiny transcontinental adventure.
Yesterday I was out taming the front yard a bit (always only a bit; it would take serious work to really get it into shape, and the back yard where I can eat the fruits of my labor is so much more interesting to mess with), and I noticed a smell. It was the smell of the dead shrew left by the waste bins, only much bigger. So I looked around in the weeds for some other body, and there it was.
One of the hedgehogs! Quite dead.
They are much less cute all deflated.
I wondered what might have done it in. The cats do leave them alone. And then I remembered: a few days before noticing the first one, I saw my rose buds were utterly covered in aphids.
There are only two chemical products I use in the yard - some Roundup for the weeds that sprout in the cracks in concrete & can't be pulled, and anti-aphid stuff that I use quite sporadically. And I had sprayed the roses in the front yard, sprayed them good, just days before the hedgehogs made themselves known. I just may have done in my little insectivore buddies.
I feel awful about that. I hope the others got away.
11 hours ago