Friday, 26 September 2014

The Cushy Life of the Stunt Hedgehog

The other day, whilst escorting clients through the kitchen garden at Chenonceau we came across a film crew, on their knees amongst the pumpkins.
An assortment of eggs, snails and slugs, as well as the appearance of two cat boxes, alerted me to the fact that they must be filming some creature. I was amused that the snails were not ordinary garden snails, but big Roman snails, the like of which you see gracing plates in restaurants. The slug (Fr. limaces) container was clever -- two plastic cups with a duct tape hinge.
A good sized hedgehog! The slug wrangler carefully placed several juicy specimens on the pumpkin stems and the saucer and the hedgehog was gently brushed free of bits of straw bedding by its handler before being placed down on the ground.
It ate two substantial slugs in the space of a few seconds! No wonder it looked big and healthy, if it got to eat like this all day! And a good demonstration of why hedgehogs are the gardener's friend.
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Loire Valley Nature: A new entry for House Centipede Scutigera coleoptrata has been added. They look scary with all those long legs and blindingly fast dashes up the wall but they are your friend in the house, eating cockroaches and silverfish.

A photo of a 'flying flock' of sheep grazing added to the entry on Calcareous Grassland (Fr. pelouse).

A photo of Short-spurred Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia odoratissima has been added to the entry for that species.

A photo of signs on private property restricting hunting and forbidding the gathering of mushrooms has been added to the entry on Hunting.

A new entry has been added for Small Scabious Scabiosa columbaria -- flowering now on calcareous grassland along with its much more common lookalike Field Scabious.

A new entry has been added for Small Spreadwing damselfly Lestes virens -- these tiny metallic emerald damselflies are autumn flyers.
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Au jardin hier: I've finished raking all the 'hay' into windrows. The next step is to roll the windrows up on themselves and shove the resulting bundles of 'hay' under the fruit trees.
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A la cuisine hier: 13 jars of apple jelly, so we are no longer a jam free zone.
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Jim's Fundraising for Cancer: Jim Budd has completed his ride from the source of the Loire to the sea. If you haven't yet donated to his chosen cancer charities, it's not too late to do so. He's raised €1015 and £1220 for two charities so far. The links and the story of his ride can be found on his blog here.

5 comments:

  1. Did you find out what the film was for? Nature Documentary, Kids stuff??

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  2. C&E: no I didn't find out. The garden had filming gear in several places (they'd obviously been filming in the florist's workshop as well before we arrived for example) and the day before the garden had been full of pro photographers spritzing chard leaves to make them more gorgeous and lurking about in the dahlias, so I'm inclined to think it was all about Chenonceau itself. I didn't ask the hedgehog guys because the slug wrangler, who was actually the director I think, was starting to get irritated with another couple who were standing too close and casting a shadow.

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  3. Those pumpkins look like half way between Atlantic Giant (shape) and Rouge Vif d'Etampes (colour). What a fun job to be a slug wrangler.

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  4. Susan,
    the recipe for "dew" when photographing flowers and foliage is a 10% by volume solution of cooking glycerine in water...
    and a mini spray bottle...
    re-fillable old fashioned scent bottle would do...
    especially if it had a tube and bulb.
    But you don't need to be a pro to need to use it!!
    My little sparay bottle is still packed away somewhere...
    1s/6p from Boots in 1965.

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  5. Tim: These were pros and they were using Evian water. When I say in the garden, I mean in the garden beds, having stepped over the step over apples.

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