Hedgehogs in the Hoghouse 

November 18, 2020

Good morning All! Great weather for ducks and frogs, but not quite so good for the human life-form.  Lockdown continues, and so does my struggle with all of the Techy stuff to do with the installation and setting-up of mini-cameras and CCTV cameras in nest-boxes, a Hoghouse and a feeding pavilion (basically, a roof over a feed tray)!   The Feeding Pavilion (!) above has the roof mounted on a cantilever frame with only two columns at the rear, in order to permit the least-obstructed view for the small PTZ CCTV camera out from under the eaves to the garden beyond. The camera is full technicolour in daylight, but changes to black-and-white imagery under InfraRed light during darkness. The Hoghouse (dark brown colour) can bee seen lurking behind the Pavilion on the flower bed, with the entrance on the fence-side to give some sense of security for the Hogs.  As I have found to my delight / frustration / expense / assault-on-my-sanity, all of this is not in any way straightforward, with at least seven corners around the next one to be navigated, any number of which take me back to the fifth corner passed days prior, and leaving me with each of the myriad interleaved permutations ahead to be revisited yet again in the feint hope of attaining the next happy pace forward. This can be a deflating (and deflationary) experience  ….. And, all the while, as I wrote previously, the Hedgehogs, when present, remain blissfully unaware in their twitchy snorting sleep of the chaos that they have caused here.  I am finding the Hedgehogs to be immersive and addictive and, as we all are aware, they do need any help that we can give to them. I had been intending to write a blog (abridged) of the saga so far before now, but have been entirely taken over by the whole process of attempting to comprehend this equipment and related software that I have never before had anything to do with. And that is before I even get anywhere near the required video/audio editing software, which is a nightmare in itself! And on occasion I wish fervently that I had not seen that pair of Hedgehogs snuffling about in the garden during one balmy evening several months ago! I have now got to the stage where I have (miles of) footage that, whilst all of strictly amateur quality (for which my apologies) shows the social (sometimes anti-) behaviour and interaction of the hedgehogs, and which can be both informative and entertaining to view. I would be very pleased if it were to bring you some pleasure too, and if you do view the YouTube channel please do feel free to share it if you believe that somebody else you know may enjoy the video clips. My intention overall, initially, was to provide accessible shelter here for the hedgehogs should they need or wish to use it. Having firstly determined that I should build a Hoghouse, I then thought I may as well install cameras in an attempt to monitor any occupancy and/or activity.  I was astonished to see early on the second night of the Hoghouse being in-situ that one curious Hog paid a visit; and then, later that night, another Hog, and, over the next couple of weeks activity in and around increased manyfold. At one point there were three Hogs in the box (there have been four in there for a lengthy kip) with another two feeding outside at the same time. I had left the box empty to see whether the Hogs would drag in grass, leaves or other forms of bedding and, over a few days, they did so. They seemed to approve of the feeding-grass that I had left in a pipe adjacent to the entrance, and had dragged some inside; each individual Hog made it’s own temporary bed by shoving and pulling it all about until happy with the result. Whilst making adjustments to the cameras in the Hoghouse, I put more of the grass inside which, again, they seem to appreciate and happily bulldoze the grass and each other around the Hoghouse to settle in the best compromise spot they can engineer, often against the vocal and sometimes very physical opposition of an incumbent Hog.  If I do actually succeed in overcoming the intransigence and obfuscation of the interlinked equipment and software – which regularly seems to have no intention whatsoever of talking to its mate on the other equipment – I intend to  put up video clips of different lengths and purpose. Some will show plenty of activity, some plenty of sleeping. Some will show singleton Hogs, others two or three – perhaps more – in the Hoghouse together. In this weird stasis of Lockdown, I have found that watching a Hedgehog sleeping can be incredibly Therapeutic.  I believe that many others amongst us would benefit from this very simple view of life, too.  My YouTube Channel: I have set up a window into this particular world of the Hedgehog: The YouTube Channel is titled: HedgeHoggin’TheLimelight  YouTube Channel URL:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc-uK0ujIfgFp4Le7eXd2xw There are six short (14-seconds) and one longer video clip (8+ minutes) posted on there at present (18/11/20);  I had to start somewhere, and I hope that you do enjoy the clips. Again, my apologies for the less-than-desirable quality achieved, but I promise that I will try to do better!  Best Wishes to All! Jerry  ……..  Oink, Oink ….. Snuffle….. Grunt !