Friday, November 02, 2012

OHC - Mammal Study 1

I am so excited to share our nature study with you this week! Sometimes I think that Lord is just waiting to bless us with these little gems to spice things up! He knows what we are learning about and then casually enriches our studies with bring across our path an opportunity to get a closer peek :o)

I was thrilled to see that November is dedicated to mammals. There are so many interesting mammals that I want to look at. Top of my list has to be our favourite and yet most elusive of British mammals - the Hedgehog. We are blessed to have a Hedgehog that lives in one of the hedges in our garden. Could be more than one, but of course, you only ever see one at a time! Since living here, we have managed to spot him twice - always very late at night - and tried to observe him as best we can by torch-light. Our first spotting was around 11pm. DH and I were so excited that we woke the girls up to come and have a look. The second time was later and decided not to wake them up - much to their disappointment! They have made us promise to wake them up no matter the time -LOL.

Anyhoo, about two weeks ago, I thought that we would turn our focus onto this adorable little fellow as he really does have star status in our household :o) I had a look on Nature Detectives to see what info they had on this little mammal and found a really great little poster - which has been included in our current nature display as you can see above.

I had drawn up a notebooking page for the girls to fill in all we learnt, and what allot we discovered!

* Hedgehogs are very noisy eaters!
* They have five toes on their front feet and four on the back
* Baby Hedgehogs are called hoglets - aaaawwww cute!!!
* They normally live for five years, but can live as long as 10
* They can have up to 7000 spines on their backs
* They are between 15 - 30cm long
* There are only 12 species in the world and only 1 in Britain
* They eat beetles, caterpillars, earthworms and other creepy-crawlies. (put dry cat food out to encourage them into your garden)
* They have poor eyesight but a good sense of smell
* They hibernate over winter
* They can run up to 6mph! Wow
* They bundle up into a ball when they feel threatened.

Now - for the exciting bit. Today (two weeks after our study - I was going to look at squirrels again), we were just finishing off our read aloud time in the conservatory, when Miss V-L looked across the lawn and spotted a 'bump'. We hurriedly put on our shoes and squelched our way over to the 'bump'. Ta-daaaa....

The bump was a Hedgehog! Isn't he just ADORABLE???

We found that he was munching merrily away on some cat pellets we had put out on the lawn a few days ago. He clearly did not feel threatened by us, and went on munching as we stood in the bitterly cold wind watching him. After he had eaten his full - he waddled off into the clump of trees at the end of our garden.

Whew! I feel totally blessed out of my socks - as do the girls. How wonderful to be able to peek into these little moments of nature as they happen. Never in  my wildest dreams did I think that we would happen upon a Hedgehog -in broad daylight - and in our own garden!

I will leave you with this little video I shot of our visitor. Please do excuse the background noise - it really is a very windy day today.


  1. What a wonderful surprise to find Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle in your own garden. After reading a book about a hermit crab by Holling we found one in the cold tide pools of Maine soon after. It was a welcome surprise. To feel and touch what you have just been reading about is a delight.
    I like your display with Jill Barklem's Autumn Story. My husband noticed four china plates depicting her artwork of the four seasons at a bric-a-brac shop and bought them for me. I like the blackberries and toadstool in the picture of the Autumn plate best.
    Happy Home Education,
    Karen A.

    1. Hi Karen,
      It was indeed a lovely surprise to find mrs. Tiggy-Winkle in our garden in daylight not just once but twice! What a treat! I do love Jill Barlem's books, we have read each 'season' numerous times but just can't resist doing so again at the change of each season. It's becoming a bit of a family tradition. How lucky to find some china plates with her artwork, and how thoughtful of your husband!

  2. What fun to learn more about the hedgehog! I am so glad you took the time to do this study as part of your mammal study this month.

    Thank you for sharing your entry with the OHC!

  3. If you have a hedgehog in your garden, I think my son is going to want to move in with you. He loves hedgehogs. Even though he is 13 and likes things like building with Legos and restoring old tractors (a project with a friend), he still loves his stuffed animal hedgehogs. I think he has 11 or 12 now and wants more for Christmas!

    I am going to show him your post with the video. Thanks for sharing and thanks for including the link to Nature Detectives. I may print off the picture for a gift for him.


    1. Hi Sarah, I love hedgehogs too. They are just too cute for words! I don't blame your son for wanting loads of these cute little creatures in any form around him :o)

  4. How awesome to have a hedgehog in your garden! And to be able to touch it! My daughter would be so happy if she could see and touch a hedgehog.

  5. Your hedgehog visitor is so cute!

    We once nursed a sick little baby hedgehog with a dropper for several days a few years ago! It was too sweet. But on the second day, when we took a closer look at the little thing, we discovered that it was covered with fleas! All of us were shocked! A little dog flea-powder did the trick and we could all hold it again without fear!


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