My wife, Carole, has had a wee bit of a cold over the past few days. Her appetite had gone and her back was aching. She felt lethargic too. I was beginning to worry because she rarely gets ill.
We both went to bed early last night because I get up at 04.30 to go to work. I slept like a log. Fortunately, my body clock always wakes me before the alarm goes off. Therefore, I am able to get up without waking Carole.
This done, I went to the shower and put on my work clothes. I heard the bedroom door open and out came dotty dog Dotty wagging her tail excitedly. To my delight, Carole followed looking bleary-eyed still, but wearing a smile.
I made her a cup of black coffee. She only drinks strong black coffee. She sat down and the cobwebs gradually cleared away.
I asked how she felt and she replied that she was feeling considerably better.
Outside it was still dark with a wonderful clear star filled sky. We chatted to each other for a bit when I went in to continue getting ready for work. The sensor light went on by the carport and I heard Carole woop with pleasure.
"Colin!" she called. "Get the camera quick!"
With great aplomb, I sprang into action. I was out by her side and saw a small hedgehog by the back door going to the back garden. It had frozen and curled up. It had caused the sensor light to go on as it was scurrying through the carport to the sliding door, leading to the back garden.
I tried to get a photo shot. However, because I had left the 300m lens on and the little hedgehog was so close, I could not focus. I looked down at the camera and the next thing I knew; the little hedgehog was off. I was much more nimble than I expected.
We went into the garden, which is rather wide, with lots of scattered shrubs. In the darkness, we could find nothing. Carole had a small torch and was sweeping the area to no avail. It was dotty dog Dotty who found the little urchin amid the strawberry plants.
"Use your mobile phone camera," said Carole.
I did and got some nice shots of the little creature. There are three hedgehogs that come into our garden and this is the middle sized one.
I went off to work while Carole went back to bed for a few hours more. When Carole got up again; she decided to take dotty dog Dotty for a walk and saw a dazzling sight. Two magpies were harassing a kestrel.
The kestrel, under duress, started to make high pitched screeches. This caused Dotty to start barking. The magpies managed to get a hold of the kestrel as it went to the ground. Here it was pinned down and in a desperate state.
But then, to Carole's surprise, two more kestrels appeared. They immediately started swooping at the two magpies who were, in turn, harassed off by the nimble swooping of the two fellow bird of prey friends.
When I got home from work, Carole was full of excitement about the whole episode, during the morning dog walk. I was pleased to see that the Fenland wildlife had brought her spirits back up. Especially when the kestrel managed to get away from the magpies. She was giggling because her mobile phone flap fell over the lens as she was trying to control over excited Dotty and get things together for a photo. By the time she had sorted herself out, the whole episode was over. Never mind - better luck next time. I was just pleased that Carole was back to her normal self.