Almost every day, the dogs and I walk through the hedges below the fields and see birds, rabbits, and deer fleeing frantically in all directions. These hedges are composed primarily of young sapling trees and thorny rose bushes. The trees look like hawthorns, but I don’t actually know what they are… I’ll let you know as soon I learn!
When I lock the dogs in the house and visit the hedge by myself, it is almost like a different world entirely. Solo adventures have brought me as close to deer as I’ve ever been – just a couple meters – and they reveal the bustling activity of the hedge in ways that no tag-jingling, rabbit-chasing dogs ever could allow.
Walking these hedges alone, I hear whispers and twitters. The birds and bunnies follow me as I walk along the paths, while the deer march just ahead of me, and just beyond sight. These hedges are tunneled both by the landlords, and by the animals. You can tell which tunnels belong exclusively to the smaller animals, because you have to crawl to get through them.
Yesterday’s walk started with a bunny at the head of my trail. The bunny reminded me to take some pictures of the stripped trunk bases you see in the second image. I noticed this “bark stripping phenomenon” when we first arrived. This can be seen on virtually every young tree in the hedge. I believe the bunnies are responsible, but whether they are eating the bark or using it for some other important bunny business, I do not know.
I often see the deer bounding deep into the hedge in this direction. Yesterday, my adventure stopped just at the little clearing where you see these large trees… it was half-past feeding time for the dogs, and I didn’t want to return to find that they had decided to “teach me a lesson” by taking out their frustrations on my couple new houseplants.
On my way back out of the hedge, I found what I assume to be a rabbit hole. I decided only to take pictures, rather than stick my hand in the hole to find out who was at home!