The snow has more or less gone and life has returned to normal. L is back at college, M is back at work, the dogs and I enjoyed a peaceful hour walking round the fields this morning and now I have a pile of work to settle quietly to. Which is no bad thing as Pop and I ran 11.5 miles yesterday and I'm feeling it today, both in my muscles and my energy. We popped over to the Heath Robinson exhibition which is currently on at Mottisfont (brilliant and well worth visiting if you can) after the run, and half way round I was struck down with the most monumental, sudden and desperate hunger, so we high-tailed it to the tearooms where we refuelled on Victoria sponge and hot chocolate. It was just the job. Poppy is showing absolutely no signs of either tiredness or extra hunger today, but then she does have Super-Dog powers so I'm not really surprised (plus she had a special bone made of dried fish when we got back from the run which she wolfed down. Her version of vicky sponge).
They say things come in threes, right? And after the buzzard and the girl in the car we were all joking about me maybe staying indoors for a while. But rescues have a habit of seeking me out.
A few days ago, in the middle of the coldest and snowiest of the ice days, L and I were walking down the lane together when I noticed a redwing sitting in the stream.
She was so cold and the water she'd been sitting in was freezing and I hoped it was just the cold and lack of food and that warmth would revive her, so I put her inside my coat and we walked home. When we got back and I could check her over properly I realised there was a wound on her back. I suspect it was a cat attack.
Not knowing how bad the injury was and aware of the amazing restorative powers of warmth to overcome shock, I decided I would sit with her on the sofa and read and see what happened. She seemed content to be snuggled between my coat and my shoulder and after a few minutes I thought she was rallying- she opened her eyes, hopped closer to me and then tucked her beak under her wing and slept.
But it wasn't enough. Whatever injury she had sustained was too great and she died a couple of hours after we found her. I know the majority of wildlife rescues don't end well. By the time a wild animal is sick enough to allow a human to get near it it's usually too poorly to recover. I know this- I've been doing this for years, yet I still mourn every single small soul that passes despite our best attempts to save it. Over the years we have had successes- a fledgling swallow when I was ten who survived to migrate in the autumn, joining all the others gathering on the telegraph wires before flying to Africa; a baby blackbird more recently who for a while would fly out of the nearest tree and come to me when I whistled for her; a nestling sparrow who survived against all the odds; Bop, the baby tawny owl who we found injured on the side of the road when he was a few weeks old and who came back here, a few months later, to successfully fledge out into the wild. It is these successes that make me continue, despite the fact that I know most of our attempts to help don't succeed.
So that's the third. I had a feeling there would be one.
Hope you're all well? I've a busy week ahead so may be back to one post a week without the excitement of the snow to keep me house bound!