Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Horace the Spiny

What? it's been three weeks since the last post? And that's during the summer when I should have more time!
Sigh. Just the way it is, folks.
This fall it's just going to get worse for the blog, as our deadline for submitting our dossier for partial accreditation of the laboratory approaches. That, plus frequent Rotary events (my turn to give a talk next week!) and Bridge (my Australian is back in town soon!) and whathaveyou, and there's just not going to be a lot of blogging going on.

But anyway. Last week I was off for a bit of at-home vacation before the Great Return, as the French trickle back into town from their summer fun. On Wednesday I was out in the yard grilling some rabbit, when I noticed an animal in the yard. Not a cat. Way bigger than a mouse (which would not have lasted long, the cats all being out keeping me company).
Remember this guy? Back in June he was just the size of a tennis ball, and now I've got a spiny football waddling around! Gigantic! There he was, or she, who can really tell?, minding his own business and being utterly ignored by the cats. He didn't appreciate the photoshoot, and wandered off toward the back of the yard.
Later I tried to find him again, and it seems there's a nest in the compost heap. Actually, at the bottom of the heap there's some kind of wooden structure that was mostly buried in grass and vines before I started adding to the compost (probably a nice, neat box for the compost, which overflowed years ago, since I never bother to turn the pile over or anything), and sure enough, there's a trail through the grass that leads up to a cave under there. A real hobbit hole in the hill.
Next year I really do need to take a bunch of the bottom compost, and regenerate the soil in the vegetable patch. The tomatos and the strawberries are quite sad this year, and it's not for lack of water. I'll have to be careful not to inadvertently chase my bug-eating buddy(ies) away.


The Bug said...

Well he's much cuter than a football :)

I wish we would compost, but I guess our lone volunteer tomato plant doesn't really need it...

Dominic Rivron said...

Great, aren't they? We've got two or three in the garden here at the moment. We've discovered over the years that they'll answer to a name if you give them one. They seem quite bright and tame-ish.

They do get a raw deal - prone to horrible health problems and plagued by fleas and maggots not to mention the danger of crossing the road.