I am always so happy when the skeins of geese appear overhead, headed North to feeding grounds, with the little ones calling loudly that cry of all young on a journey with parents – are we there yet?

I heard them before I saw them, so immediately gazed up towards the pale blue sky streaked only with a few white clouds until I spotted the familiar V formation of migrating birds. Soon the sky had 5 or 6 skeins, all honking to keep in touch with one another, and I swear that it is lucky that there were no manholes – sorry, personholes – in my path or I would have like as not departed down into its depths. I loose myself in watching geese flying overhead and what better reminder of the circle of life than these returning visitors to our shores.

When we were living on Mereside, I would take LuaBelle walks along New Preston Road, from which you could see the hills and fields of rural Lancashire right into the distance. LuaBelle and I often lingered beneath skies almost black with geese heading North in the Autumn and South in the Spring. It kick started our season change. Sitting beneath Little Marton Windmill on a clear day, watching the sky darken with birds and seeing the hills in the distance, with my 4 legged friend beside me – it takes some beating.

In hedgehog land, things here are going well at the moment. Pearl has gone to live naturally and last heard was nest building in the hedgehog box she was placed into when she left here with Carol. Fingers crossed that Pearl lives a long and happy free life.

Molly has arrived back here. Molly was named Molly because she was found by my dear friend Cath right here in Molyneux Drive. Initially, Molly didn’t look too bad, but on inspection she was very thin, and for more than a few days she lost weight on her heat pad at Jean’s and gave us much cause for concern. On Wednesday, when I took 3 of my large hedgehogs to Jean to be collected by David to be taken for release into a garden, I brought Molly home for what I laughingly call ‘fattening up’. She is a lovely little womble, turned up nose, and a kind of swagger to her rear end when she walks. Marylin Monroe hips.

Also here is little Pam, who I am referring to as Pan as Pam is a boy! I know that there is a familiar song about a boy named Sue, but I cannot think of one about a boy named Pam, so for now, it’s Pan. Pan has a problem with his back feet, in that he doesn’t swing them onto their soles, rather is walking on the tops. Little Honey had that problem with one of her back legs earlier in the month, so I would take her onto long tufty grass for walks, so that she had to exercise her thighs in getting herself through the rough. That combined with vitamins in her water righted the situation. Let’s all hope it works for Pan and that by the time he has gained enough weight to be released, he is walking fine. If he isn’t we will, obviously, not release him but consult our brains and our vet for solutions.

Wobble, who you can see at an event in Cat’s Paws Rescue on Sunday 29th September (tickets £5 from Cat’s Paws Sanctuary – £3 for children) around 2pm, is doing great. We had a good walk yesterday in lovely sunshine and the little guy grazed near to the big plant pots and then self anointed for several minutes. Now that the leaves are beginning to fall, I gather them and put them in with Wobble and the others so that they can scent nature and utilise natural bedding. Wobble has stopped running around, pacing around and circling. Now he strolls leisurely around the area he chooses, just being a hedgehog. Sadly he still doesn’t recognise danger in the form of human, cat or dog, and he remains really scarred of birds. He only has to hear a bird’s wing overhead and he tucks his head between his front legs. He doesn’t curl up properly – although he has the ability to curl fully – he just hides his eyes!

The organising of our Hedgehog Rescue Blackpool Fun Afternoon is going well and raffle prizes are being pledged almost daily. The date is October 27th 2019 from 12 – 4pm in Molyneux Drive Community Centre FY4 3JP. Raffle prizes include a flight for 2 people around Blackpool and Fylde, The Royal Box for 4 people at Funny Girls, 2 passes for 4 people to Sandcastle Water Park, a special Hedgehog cake made and donated by The Cake Room, and a Makeover and Photoshoot. Not bad, eh, for 10p a ticket. We’ll tuck into bangers and mash before C.J.Tazz entertains us, and after that we will draw the winners in the raffle. So, it will be a good afternoon for all. Call me if you want to book a place – £8 adult. 07912077330.

By Viv Critchley, Secretary of Molyneux Drive Friends and Neighbours Association

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