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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

Wild things

The best thing about being in the country is that each and every day I get to enjoy the wildlife irl in close up. It is a bit like living in my own safari-park, except all the inhabitants are wild and free. ​

The other day when I was taking wood from a log pile on my terrace to start the grill, I found a small bat hiding underneath. Since we had plenty of dogs visiting, we had to move it to a safer location. As you can see Mr Bat is none too impressed by being woken in the middle of his beauty sleep, but safety first my friend! I love bats. They do no harm and keep mosquitos away, providing fascinating entertainment in late summer evenings. We have many different colonies in all out houses, and as the sun sets you can hear them make a clicking sound as they prepare for flight.

My feelings for the next garden visitor are completely the opposite of my feelings for bats. Each spring the Adder or Common European Viper comes out, and each time you can hear me scream when I see one. It is not very aggressive and only bites when attached or alarmed, but the bite is poisonous and can be dangerous for people who are allergic to the venom, for small dogs and little children. This year I have counted six adders in my garden.

As you know I do get a lot of deer in my gardens. They do not make so much damage, probably because there is so much to eat that a few nibbled leaves don't make much of a difference. That said, they aren't shy so I have to keep young both fruit trees and the kitchen garden well protected by sturdy fencing to keep the deer away from the luxury buffet!

My favourite visitor this year are the woodpeckers and birds that flock to my bird-feeder. The forrest on my farm are mostly left alone to form natural habitat for the wildlife, and this natural woodland habitat encourages a greater diversity of spices than a managed forrest does. Consequently we have most of the eights pieces of woodpeckers there are in Finland.

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