The fine weather is continuing and it really feels like early summer now. Everything is lush and growing in the warmth. Tomorrow is May Day – Beltane in the old celtic calendar – which marks the start of summer. The celtic fire festivals neatly divide up the year. Beltane is the beginning of summer, Samhain on November 1st is the beginning of winter. It means we’ve got six whole months of summer ahead of us after today.
Which is good, because I seem to have lost my badger mojo lately. I paid a visit to the Hawthorn sett this evening. Last time, you’ll remember, I only managed to see half a badger here. This time was even less impressive. I didn’t see any parts of a badger at all.
My badger watching aims at the moment are quite simple:
- to get a reasonably accurate estimate of badger numbers at the main sett, the Pine Tree sett and the Hawthorn sett so I can track this in the future,
- to locate the active sett in the vicinity of the Beech Tree sett and monitor that too,
- to see this year’s cubs at one or more setts, for no other reason than they’re cute and fun to watch.
Now, I’m not some sort of ultra-hardcore badger watcher. The main reason I do it is to spend time outside, enjoying the countryside – listening to the owls, smelling the scents of a wood at night, that sort of thing – it’s a way to relax. But I do like to follow some sort of plan, and right now I don’t think I’m making much progress.
Some of this is to be expected. After all, the Hawthorn sett is new for me, so I may need some time to learn the habits of its residents. And I don’t have as much time as I’ve had in previous years. But I’m starting to suspect that the badgers are playing tricks on me this year…