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Hickory dickory dock


Autumn has come and gone in a whirlwind, and suddenly winter is here. Time seems to be positively flying by.


Over the last week we’ve had gales, endless hail, and even snow, and tomorrow winds of ninety mph are forecast along with heavy rain, so I’m rather pleased that I’ve finished walking Oscar and Charlie as their owner has now recovered. I do like the dramatic scenes that winter paints, but I’m no fan of the long dark evenings. My body seems to want to curl up at four thirty….which will NEVER do!


The German markets have now arrived in Liverpool, and I wish I could say I was in town shopping for Christmas presents, but sadly I was eating out…I haven’t even bought a Christmas card yet……sighs….


Now, y’see the all those little hedgehog planters at the bottom of this pic? Well, I was seriously tempted to buy one and put it outside my front door as several people have knocked asking for the hedgehog woman….which would be me. Hubs is always highly amused at this and is  threatening to buy me a hedgehog suit so I could answer the door wearing it….I think I’d prefer the planter. 


And talking of hedgehogs, the rescue is steadily filling up with littluns. This hog weighs 350 grams, which is half the weight it needs to be to successfully hibernate, so if you see anything out and about this small it will need to go to a rescue. 


This is how it looks when walking, it’s about five inches long. I’ve put these pics in to give an idea of size as I’ve had several emails from people who have come across hedgehogs recently and are not sure whether they need help or not. All healthy hogs are now hibernating and any out, especially in the daylight are highly likely to be in trouble.


Now, I deeply apologise to any of you who dislike mice…..but I feel obliged to share my recent troubles, and as no-one else will listen, I have to inflict my woes upon you, my poor blog friends.

So…..at the rescue I am being driven stark raving mad by mice. The problem is that they breed all year which means I’m endlessly disturbing nests full of pinkies. Often when I delve into a bin bag and pull out a generous handful of shredded paper, or hay/straw, invariably a mouse darts out, and then pinkies drop onto the floor, yes….I’ve disturbed yet another nest. This then means that I have to go through the entire bin bag looking for more babies, and crawl around on all fours trying to locate the pinkies that have fallen out. Then I have to make a new temporary nest like the one above and leave it in a quiet corner where the mother will come and collect them one by one and take them somewhere safe.

This week I must have spent two hours faffing around with pinkies. Now the mice are actually nesting with the hibernating hedgehogs…..enough is surely enough!

Now I’m on a mission. The mice have to go, and there’s plenty of food to be stolen from the farm and the outdoor aviary so there’s no reason why they can’t move outdoors. SO….each friday from January, I’m going to spend a few hours moving and cleaning absolutely everything…..and try to patch up holes as I go to stop them coming back. Wish me luck eh…. 


 Sorry about that!!! So, moving SWIFTLY on….

Now, as you know, daughter and her partner are staying with us for a while……well, between them they’ve turned the lounge into what I can only describe as a grotto. All we need is a Santa sat in the corner handing out pressies to kids. Seriously! They both love Christmas and slammed the deccies up in their quarter’s on the first of December. I usually wait until the fourteenth. They actually have two Christmas trees and are talking of putting up a third, and about ten sets of lights twinkling away….


And each evening, they light the scented candles, put their Christmas hats on and have a glass of mulled wine!


It’s so funny, little ornaments are everywhere! I wish her luck dusting around everything though…..and until the fourteenth, I remain the proverbial humbug!!! Yes!!

42 Responses to “Hickory dickory dock”

  1. Glo says:

    What a great read! From the rotten weather, to the baby hedgehogs, ‘faffing with pinkies’, and returning home to North Pole headquarters!

    I’ll be back with more….

  2. elaine says:

    A Christmassy and a not so Christmassy post – not sure I like looking at ‘pinkies’ whilst I am eating my porridge though.

  3. I’m a humbug too. Hope that you solve the mouse problem – they must have looked up the word sanctuary.

  4. keggy says:

    I thought the little baby mice were so cute and helpless. Good on you for sparing them. I would have too.
    And I always love looking at pictures of hedgehogs. I had to laugh at you being called the Hedgehog Lady :D
    I can just imagine you answering the door in your hedgehog onesie with prickles all over LOL :))
    Your daughter and her partner are not wasting any time getting into the festive spirit are they ? Well why not. It only comes but once a year, as the saying goes. I haven’t put up any decorations yet either, but my neighbours who put up a massive illuminated crib every year have set that up already. It certainly cheers up a dark night.

    • Snow Bird says:

      You paint a wonderful picture Kegs, I rather fancy myself in a onesie with prickles now!!! I have to do a hedgehog post just for you soon, we have them in all shapes and sizes.
      Yes the lights do brighten up the dark nights, but some are completely over the top aren’t they! Thanks Kegs.xxx

  5. Jo says:

    Winter’s certainly hit today, we’re in the middle of the storm here, high winds and driving rain. It’s hard to judge the weight of a hedgehog. After weighing the one we found at the allotment, I would say that they weigh less than they look, so even largish ones need help. Good luck with the mice, but you know what they say, where there’s a will there’s a way. Your house is looking very festive. I haven’t even bought my cards yet, never mind put the decorations up.

    • Snow Bird says:

      We have the same Jo, it’s wild and windy and now the rain has turned to sleet. It was truly horrible walking the dogs.
      Yes, hogs do look heavier than they actually are, this is the second year that the autumn litter has been really late, it’s not good news for hedgehogs numbers.
      You and me both Jo re Christmas cards, I’m always on the last minute. xxx

  6. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post, and lots of terrific pictures.
    Good luck with your mice mission! I’m a bit of a humbug too.
    I can’t wait to see what Glo is going to come back with! xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Flighty….there are a lot of humbugs about, I think people are getting sick to the back teeth of all the commercialism surrounding Christmas. I’m looking forward to Jo’s return too….xxxx

  7. Linda says:

    Always enjoy reading your posts about life at the animal sanctuary. Never a dull moment and it seems that way in your living room too! I don’t do much Christmas decorating until just before Christmas Eve, but I do like to see the festive street lights and the continental market stalls. High winds raging outside today – hope it’s not too bad where you are.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Linda. The lights do add a little cheer to the grim winter evenings. Yes, we too have raging winds and sheet hail. It’s freezing too. Britain is being battered, I hope there aren’t any floods.xxx

  8. Wendy says:

    I love the beautiful photo of your golden autumn tree. I expect today’s storm is ripping the last of the leaves off here. So glad to be inside!
    Thanks for the advice on hedgehogs – if I see one now, I know it’s in trouble.
    The baby mice are sweet but they’re not entirely welcome here, either. I know they’re in my shed and I know they’ll chew their way through all my stored frames for the bee hives if I let them. So fingers crossed everything is sealed and mouse-proof.
    Your house looks wonderfully Christmassy but just like you, I’ve no Christmas spirit yet – it’s still too early!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Yes, I think todays winds have finished off all our trees now. I’m glad to be indoors now too, it really is horrible today….sighs…
      Mice can chew through almost anything can’t they, I have them in my shed and garage and as fast as I block a hole up another appears. The young mice seem to get everywhere, a most adaptable species for sure.

      I think if Christmas starts too early we all get sick of it…..thanks Wendy.xxx

  9. godschool says:

    Gorgeous as always – thanks for the advice about hogs but I don’t think we’re likely to have any – our back ‘garden’ is a small concrete terrace with some shrubs – no hedges nor nuffink for hogs to nestle in! I take my hat off to you rescuing the mice. And yes I’m bah humbug too until mid-December … although the thought of curling up at 4.30 with a glass of mulled wine exerts a powerful appeal … !!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….yes, I rather like the mulled wine and scented candles bit, especially on a wild windy cold day like today! I’ve almost been blown into the road while walking the dogs, winds of 80 here….I do hope we’re not in for another dismal winter….Thanks Gilly.xxx

  10. Marian says:

    No wonder I didn’t see the German market stalls …. I was on Lord Street, SOUTHPORT!!!!!

  11. Snow Bird says:

    Hahahahaha….that explains it then!!! xxx

  12. Kitty says:

    Oh, Dina, loved the info about, and pics of, the hedgehogs: how precious and how important your work to save them is! The wee mice, too. :) Thank you for loving the world in all the ways you do.

    Love your daughter’s spirit. I admit I started earlier this year too, because the month goes so quickly! Already decorated and have begun to bake…need to get going on the cards.

    A merry season of joy and warmth whenever it begins; may it last all the new year. :)

    • Snow Bird says:

      Ahhh, thanks Kitty. Already decorated eh???? And what are you baking….I think I can smell it from here. I do enjoy the mulled wine, I don’t wait until the fourteenth for that!xxx

  13. menhir1 says:

    Little pinkies, everywhere. Is that where little finger name originates?

    I can’t imagine our animal rescue services doing much, if anything, for hedgehogs. Farm animals, cats, dogs, equines, domestic pets of other kinds, in all likelihood but….. I believe it is the difference between the urban lifestyle and the very remote rural one.

    Looks like you’ll have a cosy house for the festivities.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol, I hadn’t thought about little fingers, but maybe you’re right!

      I agree re the rescue’s, friends of mine in remote rural areas have said the same thing. Thanks Menhir.xxx

  14. Jennifer says:

    I feel for you and your mouse problems. Our house being the age that it is means that there are little cracks here and there for mice to get in. Every fall is a problem and we usually have to live trap them and take them away. This year I put any food in the lower cupboards in plastic bins and that really has helped.
    I have a few decorations up but I don’t blame you for waiting. Christmas is wonderful, but it should only last so long.

    • Snow Bird says:

      We often get mice coming into the house over winter and have to live trap them. I don’t think they like the cold. I had bird seed stored in plastic bins in my garage, but the mice chewed right through them! I think the only thing they can’t chew is metal.

      Yes, you can get sick of Christmas if you start to early. I prefer low key traditional Christmases. Thanks Linda.xxx

  15. rusty duck says:

    If you find a way of keeping the mice out I want to know about it!!

  16. nikkipolani says:

    Clearly, I haven’t been around mice much because “pinkies” is the cutest name EVER for those tiny mice-lings! I applaud your intentions to move them to the outdoors rather than surprising people who are merely looking for shredded paper.

    Ah, that golden tree looks glorious. You still had blue skies that day. And good timing on returning those dogs to their owners. I, too, have been feeling more like joining your daughter and her partner each evening rather than checking things off the to-do list! Cats tend to be pretty amenable to lounging pursuits. But you remind me that I need to get some Christmas cards, too!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahaha….glad you think the name is cute, I rather like mice-lings! Has a ring to it.

      I must say, the grotto is growing on me, especially the scented candles and mulled wine…..on a wild and windy night. No more blue skies for a while sadly….sighs….thanks Anne.xxx

  17. Jason says:

    We just cleaned out an old chest on the back porch. It was basically mouse city, though we didn’t see any babies. But there were plenty of nests and lots of delightful mouse droppings. Of course I had unwittingly provided them with a free buffet consisting of some old bird food at the bottom of a drawer that I had forgotten about.

    • Snow Bird says:

      I have the same problem Jason, I store bird balls and forget about them, then a while later I’ll find nothing but empty wrappers! They do seem to get in everywhere. xxx

  18. Great photos that already make you a foretaste of the feast!
    You give a remarkable commitment to the hedgehogs (which I think are the most useful as well as adorable as “garden-pest-born” (I don’t know the right name in english).
    With regard to the mices, maybe my question will seem stupid… but can’t you live in peace with the mices? Maybe I can’t imagine what that means, then I feel half-apologized for the stupid question :-) but I find that nature can provide for a self-regulation of the mices. Maybe with some expert hunter cat (that atrocity, but this is the true Nature)… Otherwise I think that if the mice are in your property is because they feel safe and secure…
    Dina, please, forgive me for my lack of consideration, here we don’t have mices around the house because there are too many cats ;-)
    Hug and peaceful weekend :-)c

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh yes….hedgehogs are brilliant for getting rid of garden pests….they simply love slugs!

      I would happily live in peace with the mice, I like them. The problem in the rescue is all the babies, we don’t want to harm them but we keep on accidentally destroying their nests, and the babies are so tiny and helpless we worry the mother may not come back and move them. The other problem is they go in and out of all the animal’s cages so they can spread disease from one creature to another. We always leave a cat out in the cattery but was can’t in wildlife as the cat would go after our birds and rabbits. You are totally right about the mice feeling safe and secure.
      Hopefully I’ll be able to move them outdoors in the New year, there are lots of outbuilding where they can live. Thanks Claudine….and there is absolutely NOTHING to forgive!!! .xxx

  19. Good morning dear Hegehog Lady:)
    What a lovely post and I say always…..bring on the mice. I think they are dear little creatures that are much maligned!

    Meet someone else who is a humbug…..me. I like an old fashioned Christmas, but all this commercial stuff drives me potty.

    have a wonderful weekend surrounded by Santa’s grotto:):)xxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahaha….Dear Hedgehog Lady eh????

      I completely agree about the mice Janet, I think they are lovely little critters too and great survivors. But, they will have to go outdoors as they can spread disease amongst the animals as they go in and out of the cages stealing food, and for their babies safety too. Their nests will be a lot more secure outdoors.

      Ah yes…..I love an old fashioned Christmas too and loathe all the over-packaged tat and commercialism….have a lovely weekend.xxx

  20. Glo says:

    I’ve written a little poem for you over at my blog ~ I’ll print off a copy and send it in the mail if you like :)

  21. Beautiful glowing tree picture is lovely….
    I couldn’t kill mice nor pinkies neither….. poor little beasties. What a problem they are though in the wrong place poor little things. I am still marvelling about the post where you said about how the mice look after each others babies in a sort of nursery – how amazing.

    Hope your tearing winds and hail etc have passed by and gone. We are ok here living up a hill but not that far away was flooding due to storm surge high tides etc…. must have been very scary.

    Not one Christmas decoration up here yet… will get the tree out of its box though as Daughter keen to get that up and she has already bought some pressies and wrapped them!! I don’t do much for Christmas until the last minute but of course the churchy bits for Advent are underway so I’m on my journey to the stable etc already! xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      The mice nurseries are astonishing aren’t they, I came across a few more this week too, they were in with the hibernating hogs, there were at least three different sizes of mice, some new born and some with their grey fur. It is a shame how often we disturb them, no matter how secure the bedding and straw is the mice always seem to find a way in, perfect nesting conditions they think.

      Well, glad to hear you are safe on your hill. The winds were ferocious but not too much damage done, just lots of downed branches and such.

      Good luck with your decorations, I managed to buy a few presents today….xxx

  22. ShimonZ says:

    Yes. winter is here too. We’re having our first real storm of the year, and the animals I’ve befriended don’t seem to want to go out in the downpour. Which has me worried all the time. Will they take care of the business in the house, I wonder. Strange days. I can well understand your difficulty with the little mice… what a challenge… Best wishes.

  23. Snow Bird says:

    It’s rather horrid when the cold kicks in isn’t it? I’m sure the animals will go out when nature calls, do the cats have litter trays they can use?
    Our dogs hold on in bad weather but always ask to go out in the end.
    It certainly will be a challenge for sure! Thanks Shimon.xxx

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