Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wexford Sights (XXI): Down The Garden At Night

I was watching the wonderful Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari last night when the hound started scratching at the front door to go out. After I'd let him out I went back to my film, but then heard an unholy racket coming from down the garden. The hound was barking with an enthusiasm unusual for that time of night, so I ventured out with the torch, as it was pitch-dark. He was down by the hedge at the bottom of the garden, staring into the undergrowth and letting out yelps of frustration because he was prevented by his electric collar from diving in at whatever he was smelling in there. I shone the torch in and saw a tiny hodgeheg - sorry, hedgehog - curled up in a ball; one could see the spines stretch and contract as it breathed, no doubt terrified of this huge creature threatening it. I dragged the hound back into the house, and got my camera. It's not the best photo in the world, but I'm chuffed with it!
An update: The hedgehog was back last night, and so I took the opportunity to get a better picture. As it was already in a state of terror from our dog's barking, I don't think it made a difference to the frightened creature that I flipped it over to get this picture (I try to avoid hurting or scaring animals unless it's absolutely avoidable (as in putting down mousetraps, and even then I feel guilty as hell when I dump their tiny lifeless bodies in the bin):
And finally: the hedgehog was out in broad daylight today, and I got this short film, which is, I promise, my final word on hedgehogs (unless he does something unexpected, like burst into song or devour our house).
video
And to go with that, here's a cute Russian cartoon (like a lot of YouTube videos it's framed in widescreen and doesn't fit my Blogger page, but if you go to YouTube there are several versions of it available):

7 comments:

stancarey said...

No wonder the hound was excited! I would have been too, though I'd have been more discreet in my interest. It's quite a few years since I've seen a hedgehog — city living just doesn't offer these opportunities. I'll always remember as a kid having to rescue one that had fallen down a cattle grid. They're lovely creatures. Your photo captures its spiky defence very well!

I like the animation too, and have been meaning to re-watch it. Maybe later. Caligari is magnificent. Quite recently I saw The Hands of Orlac, from the same director and starring Caligari's sleepwalker. It's another silent classic.

A Doubtful Egg said...

I haven't seen Hands of Orlac, an oversight I must rectify. I've been reading a lot about the origins of cinema recently - Eadweard Muybrdge, Louis le Prince, Edison & Dickson, and so forth (and I'm sure you can appreciate words like zoopraxiscope and kinetoscope!) - and I find the little snippets of films they made absolutely fascinating, but have a bit of a way to go before I get to the 1920s (I'm at 1895 and the Lumieres at present)!
I'd be reluctant to touch a hedgehog unless it was absolutely necessary; I hear they carry fleas by the bagful. They are delightful little things, though.
I must watch some more of that animator's work; it very enjoyable.

jams o donnell said...

Even though I live in deepest suburbia hedgehogs remain common visitors to our garden. I would leave some cat food for them but I can think of four good reasons why this would be a waste of time: Robyn, Ted, Boris, Bebe!

A Doubtful Egg said...

Indeed, Jams. I'd imagine that while my eejit of a dog would have no idea what to do with a hedgehog, an inventive cat could be more of a threat, especially when food's at stake...

jams o donnell said...

Ah they'd just scoff it before any hedgehog showed its face!

Claude said...

You're so lucky to see those wonderfuls creatures near you. I thought it was a porcupine but the translation is hérisson. We don't have any in Quebec, in natural surroundings. I love your mushrooms photos. Didn't know there were so many varieties. You certainly have fascinating walks.

The video is charming. I'll suggest it to my grandsons through Facebook. Thank you!

A Doubtful Egg said...

Claude, if a hedgehog was anything like a porcupine there's no way I'd have gone that near to it to take those photos! Although I'd like to see a porcupine, but preferably under very controlled surroundings....
I'm glad you like the mushroom pics. Every time I go walking in the woods I see types that I haven't seen before, most of which I try to photograph!