A beautiful release



I’m rather pleased with myself for asking for plants for Christmas and my birthday this year, I simply can’t get over how many I’ve received. This is my birthday hoard….are you ready? Here we go…..Hazel Hedging, a beautiful Acer, a King Sago Palm Tree, a Fig Tree, two Rock Roses, Switch Grass, a Rambling Rose called Wedding Day which climbs to thirty feet and a gorgeous fragrant Evergreen Jasmine.



Along with this delightful Orange Tree which has lovely tiny oranges that are supposed to make excellent marmalade.



And…..my own mushroom growing kits, something I’ve always wanted to try. What a wonderful collection, I’m truly thrilled.



There’s another unexpected bonus that comes with the plants, the cardboard boxes. Keeps these two happy for hours it does. For some reason, as soon as I fold the cardboard up they go all goofy and start ripping it to shreds…..weird or what?



Little hogs keep on coming into the rescue, this little guy is a miracle, he only weighs 190 grams, I’m amazed he survived for so long.

I’m always glad when Christmas is over at the rescue. The extremes of human nature are much more obvious at this time of the year. Compassion and cruelty seem to flow side by side. So many animals are abandoned and abused around Christmas, yet it’s truly astonishing to see the steady stream of people who pour through the doors with food, bedding and donations for the animals.



Let me tell you the story of this black headed gull that came in over Christmas. It had been found lying by the side of Β the road. Initially it just lay on it’s side, oblivious of it’s surroundings, then, as it became a little stronger it needed an oral antibiotic. So I got the job of holding it while a member of staff issued the medication. Now these birds really are horribly stressy and hate to be handled, and this one reacted really badly, so much so that I actually thought it was dying as it began to gasp. So we covered it with a towel and hoped for the best. Fortunately it recovered.

Yesterday I was asked to release it as it was now flying beautifully in an aviary and was eating well. Once again though it went into shock while it was being caught, and ended up gasping on it’s side in the carry case. I was really dreading releasing it in case it went off badly and I couldn’t get it back.



So….I let the bird sit quietly in the carrier for a while then opened the door and held my breath. It was the most beautiful release….EVER! Magical it was.

The gull walked out serenely, then effortlessly lifted itself into the air and silently flew off….so smoothly and with such wonderful strength. I barely had time to get a picture, but here it is, gracing the skies once again. My first release of the year, what a fantastic start!



Now….do you remember the strange cat that called out to me a couple of times? Well, it’s been too muddy to get down the path where it hangs out, but today we ventured down there looking for it. And suddenly we heard the call once again as it crept out of the undergrowth. It’s simply gorgeous isn’t it? Again it came over to me, growling and hissing at the dogs the whole time, so hubs took the dogs away, and I knelt down and called it.



Immediately it climbed onto my knee and purred away as though we’d been friends forever. It had a few bites on it’s ear but didn’t seem to be in bad condition. It clearly craves company though…..so what to do? I think someone may have moved away and left it as it does hang around an empty house. I think I’ll take some food next time to determine how hungry it is, and knock on doors to see if anyone knows anything about it….and proceed from there. It has such personality, the whole time it was on my knee it was batting at grasses ….and flicking it’s tail. It seems very highly strung.



And finally….many thanks to Casa for suggesting a little fence to protect my Lavender hedge from the dogs, such a simple idea, now WHY didn’t I think of that!!! The dogs are now leaping over the fence like a couple of ponies, so I will have my Lavender come summer after all!!!

  40 comments for “A beautiful release

  1. January 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    What a shame if someone has just moved away and left the cat! Glad the release went well – it must be a really satisfying feeling.

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      I’m really hoping the cat hasn’t been abandoned Sue, but the last resort would be to take it to the rescue where I’m sure it would be re-homed in no time as it simply loves and craves human company. I would make absolutely sure of that first though. Oh the release couldn’t possibly have gone any better, a wonderful outcome.xxx

  2. January 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    What a lucky girl you are all those lovely plants. So glad the gull was released ok poor old thing. What a lovely cat – such strange behaviour I hope you manage to sort out the mystery he doesn’t look particularly underfed though – I hope someone does know who he belongs to.

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Lol….aren’t I just. I’m so grateful for so many fantastic plants, I can’t wait for them to grow and flower….bring on spring and summer eh?
      The cat is a stunner, I think it’s a pedigree tabby, bred to look like a Scottish wildcat. It isn’t too thin and is in good condition so I remain hopeful that it has an owner. Having said that the poor thing is out in torrential rain so if it does have a home it doesn’t head back in bad weather…..xxx

  3. January 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I’m so glad you got a fence and that the cat is ok. It was probably abandoned. I grew up with many cats and dogs. We once had a cat walk in the kitchen door and never leave. Smart cat! πŸ™‚ Love that little hog. What a lucky little guy to ended up at your rescue. Funny about the cardboard but I bet they had a blast!

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I’m delighted with the fence, it was such a quick and easy solution, so when my hedge finally grows back it will be thanks to your good self! Lol….love the story of the cat who moved in, cats certainly know which people to pick for sure!
      I’m amazed the little hog managed to survive outdoors for so long. I have my fingers crossed for him. Oh my dogs…..they can turn anything into a game! Thanks Casa.xxx

  4. January 15, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    So glad to hear that the gull recovered and was successfully released. And what a great plant haul!

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks Rusty, I was really surprised how well the gull went off, you never can call the outcomes of releases. I am so happy with the plants….now they need some good weather so I hope we don’t get late snow.xxx

  5. January 16, 2014 at 9:24 am

    What a beautiful cat, I hope you track down what’s happening with him. And what a lovely collection of plants πŸ™‚

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      The cat is exquisite isn’t it, I think it’s a tabby that is bred to look like a Scottish wild cat. I hope I find out what’s going on too. I hope it hasn’t been abandoned. Yes….I’m a lucky girl re all those plants…..xxx

  6. January 16, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Lucky you with all those plants. Well done with the seagull.
    It’s good to see that you found that lovely looking cat again.
    As always a most enjoyable post, and lovely photos. xx

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks Flighty….the cat certainly is a beauty, I wish it could move in with me. I’m thrilled the gull took off so well and delighted with all my plants…..can’t wait to see them in bloom.xxx

  7. Jo
    January 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

    You’ve done so well will your plants, you’ve got a very generous family and friends. They’ll go on providing pleasure for many years, I’m sure. I’m so glad that the release went well, I do love to hear all the happy stories from the rescue. The cat may just want lots of fuss. Our next door neighbour has a cat and you’d think it was a starving stray to hear it. She always comes for loads of fuss and is so very vocal. I hope you manage to find the cat’s owners.

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Yes, I have been on the receiving end of great generosity….and I really appreciate it. And to think the plants will live for years……I am looking forward to seeing them blossom!
      Oh…the release was the smoothest I’ve ever seen, it was lovely to see the bird returned to the wild totally stress free.
      I really hope the cat is just a drama queen…but I have a sneaky feeling it may have been dumped. It would be great to find an owner. Lol….I love the story of your neighbour’s cat….I hope it’s the same story with this one.Thanks Jo.xxx

  8. January 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    You’ve been given a lovely selection of plants and the mushroom growing kit looks interesting. So glad the release of the gull went smoothly and hope you find the owners of the cat.

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      I do have a wonderful assortment of plants and I’m really looking forward to harvesting my own mushrooms, that will be a first for me. I am so pleased that stressy gull went off so well….I could have wept for joy! Yes….finding the cat’s owners would be great! Thanks Linda.xxx

  9. January 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you, Dina; our family has been through an extremely challenging week and a beautiful release of our own, so reading this has been so very comforting.

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Oh…..I do hope all is well. I shall look forward to hearing about your release. Thanks Kitty.xxx

  10. Valkrye
    January 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Plants in the midst of winter can give you a sense of life and renewal and things to look forward to again in the garden. In the meanwhile always wonderful to have their green promise. I love that you are a guardian angel for so many creatures . I have a particular fondness for cats and have rescued and taken in many over the years. I do hope you will find out the cat’s circumstances. By all accounts though it does look as if he has been abandoned. (swines!) Obviously he was someone’s pet at some time as he would not be as trusting nor try to make contact with a human being by calling out to you~ he is rightfully nervous and suspicious though ~ who knows what he has endured since being left or lost ~ cannot blame him for being wary but also wanting food and companionship too. He looks a lovely boy too. So wonderful to read about the release of the bird as well as your latest hedgie resue. Thank you for another uplifting post!

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      You are so right about the plants in winter Val, they hold a promise of beauty to come.
      Awwh, how lovely to hear that you have rescued cats….bless you for that! I really hope the cat has owners but I have an uneasy feeling that it has been left behind. The first time I saw it was in torrential rain and no cat I’ve ever met sits out in weather like that when it has a home to go to. And there’s the empty house. When I stroke it I can feel bones but not too much. Maybe it has only been abandoned for a few months which would explain it’s good condition. I totally agree about it being desperate for company yet still nervous. It is very friendly to me but was swiping at hubs , but then it let him stroke it too. It was so happy on my knee….oh well, hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of it all. If I do find out it’s abandoned it will go to the rescue where it will be re-homed in a heartbeat. I cannot get my head around why somebody could leave an animal like that…..if they have.
      It was a complete joy and privilege to see that gull go! Thanks for your lovely comment Val,xxx

  11. January 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Oh I do love your posts. First the cat……what a beauty and clearly this lovely creature is trying to tell you something. I look forward very much to hearing the next chapter of this story.
    I am sure the gull was relaxed by your presence, hence the perfect release:). As for the doggy angels….they died and went to heaven when they found their home with you:):)
    No one deserves as many wonderful plants as you do. Oh your garden will be beautiful, and please give that darling little hog a cuddle from me:) xxxxx

    • Snow Bird
      January 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Why thank you Janet! I am a great fan of your posts too! Ah yes, the cat is absolutely gorgeous isn’t it. We never see it, we always hear it first then it creeps out. It loved sitting on my knee and strangely I felt as though it had always sat there! I hope the story has a happy ending.
      Awwh, thanks for the compliment about my presence, I do always try to send them off with a good vibe and positive energy.
      Lol…..those dogs, every day they come up with a new game…..
      I can’t wait for the plants to grow, I shall nurse them like my own children!!!
      I shall deliver the hoggy a cuddle, it may be a rather prickly one though!!! Thanks Janet.xxx

  12. gardengirl
    January 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    You are so good looking after all the animals. I hope you work out what to do with that cat. Lovely looking it is.

    • Snow Bird
      January 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Ahh, thanks Steph. The cat is beautiful isn’t it, the fur looks golden in daylight. I drove by today and left a weeks worth of dried food, there is plenty of water nearby and bushes to hide in. Tomorrow I’ll go back and see if the food has gone and knock on doors.xxx

      • gardengirl
        January 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

        I am sure you will have found a new friend.

        • Snow Bird
          January 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

          I think you’re right!xxx

  13. January 16, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Lovely stories – especially about the gull. What a thrill to see it fly away like that after its touch and go survival.
    Lucky you having all those fantastic plants. I’m very envious of your orange tree ( I still can’t get over losing my lemon tree!!)
    I love the little hog. Do you think the mild winter has helped him to survive with such a tiny weight?

    • Snow Bird
      January 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks Wendy. Seeing the gull go so beautifully gave me a right high. I hope all the rest of my releases work out so well.
      You’ll have to treat yourself to another lemon tree, mine has grown a good two foot last year but only has one ripe lemon on it so far….I so chuffed with all the plants….roll on spring.
      I think you are right about the mild winter helping to keep the hog alive but the scary thing is that it’s only about a month old….now why are hogs breeding so late? Scary stuff…xxx

  14. January 17, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Poor kitty. It seems so reckless to just move and leave a cat behind. Makes you wonder how well they would look after their children. On a different point, you got some wonderful plants, but Sago palm, fig, jasmine – is the UK really a Mediterranean country?

    • Snow Bird
      January 18, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      I do agree about the cat Jason, some people see animals as totally dispensable.
      Lol…..I am an optimist re some of these plants for sure!!! Still, I’m on standby with fleece and straw though!xxx

  15. January 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Must have been wonderful to be there and release the gull and see it fly off so majestically and silently at last – sounds magical.

    You are so blessed having that lovely garden to play with; the lavender will look so wonderful when it is all grown – I love lavender too. The dogs are so funny – they are such characters I feel as if I know them- particularly Sam, and I remember you got him from the rescue… it is great how well he has come on etc…. well done you! xxx

    • Snow Bird
      January 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Oh Arose, you would have just loved that release, it had a real touch of magic about it, and against all the odds too!
      I can’t wait for the spring now, seeing my new back garden come to life will be a thrill….and I have pots everywhere full of bulbs….flowers are so amazing!
      Lol Sam…..words fail me with him. I had him out in the front today with Annie and he always has a huge square smile on his face as he gallops around all elbows and awkward knees….I have never met such a happy dog in my life!
      Now there is hope for a wonderful scented Lavender hedge!!! xxx

  16. January 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    P.S. We had a mushroom kit gifted last year, it was fascinating and the fruit tasted good.

    • Snow Bird
      January 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      That is good to know, one of the trays will have mushrooms for harvest soon so I’m looking forward to comparing the flavour with bought ones.xxx

  17. January 19, 2014 at 12:25 am

    So the mysterious blue-eyed cat has crossed your path again. Poor thing. I just want to scoop up all the lonely cats and take them home. And maybe undersized hedge hogs, too — they are so adorable! They probably aren’t as cuddly as cats, though πŸ˜‰

    Hurray for that gull! Don’t you wish you had a gull translator to tell them it’ll be all right and no harm meant??

    Oooh, a fig tree! I like figs, but, alas, not enough to grow a whole tree. They do rather well in our climate and produce prodigiously. Looking forward to how your fig does for you! And what a darling little orange tree — marmalade in your future!

    • Snow Bird
      January 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      I know what you mean, I have that cat in a heartbeat and have Curly living in the house, if only these cats liked dogs!!! I do feel sorry for the blue-eyed cat, it seems desperate for a little human company.
      Oh if only I had an animal translater….it would save them SO much stress.
      I have been angsting about where to plant everything….I have straw and fleece on hand in case we get a cold snap…I can’t really imagine actually having figs and pommegranite hanging off trees…I would find such images mezmerising! So I have my fingers crossed. I think marmalade is deffo on the menu!!!xxx

  18. Glo
    January 19, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Well, just like the rest of those who left comments, I was so pleased to meet the blue eyed cat. What a handsome creature! ~ I look forward to hearing further news of him. As for your plants, your garden is going to be a delight! Come on Spring! What a cute little rescued hedgehog – hoping all goes well. Great story about the gull’s release, and can imagine it was uplifting in all sense of the word. I love marmalade, so can imagine yours will taste wonderful!

    • Snow Bird
      January 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      The cat is gergeous isn’t it……I shall keep you updated for sure!
      I simply can’t wait for Spring now Glo, I think I have the bones of a new garden in place now, Well, except for the felled tree border……sighs….
      We are getting lots of tiny hogs in the rescue at the moment, they had their second litter really late due to our cold long Spring last year. Even worse, the large hogs are coming out of hibernation now due to the mild Winter which is awful as there is nothing for them to eat.
      Oh that release was absolutely magical. Thanks Glo.xxx

  19. January 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    It’s so lovely to see them get released, makes all the bad parts of the rescue worth it I’m sure? It’s so rare to see a ca with such gorgeous blue eyes, can I have it? xx

    • Snow Bird
      January 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      It was a beautiful release, without a doubt, one of the best, and so unexpected too.
      Lol….of course you can!xxx

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