Garden News

Mammals - 3 July 2017

P1240541It's always a treat to come across a mammal when walking around the Gardens: birds, bees, grasshoppers, butterflies are all expected and easy to see. But coming across this young fawn (left) lying up in its "form" in the long grass was completely unexpected. It's a young roe deer, but it is late in the season for it still to be lying up. Fortunately, it didn't get disturbed. Adult deer will leave their offspring in a safe place during the day when they go off to feed, and the young are programmed to stay still as a defence against predators. But beware of the long grass: it is full of deer ticks, as I discovered.

 

P1240552Another animal taking advantage of the fine weather was a big dog fox, lying at the edge of the picnic lawn, sunbathing in the afternoon warmth. The lawn is quite wide and the path is a fair distance away; the fox had its eyes open and was watching the people walking along in a very relaxed way. Even when several people stopped and looked at it through binoculars it made no move and didn't appear to be disturbed. It's often a matter of keeping your eyes open as you walk around; it's quite surprising what you see.

‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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