Hedge Hopper

Saturday 16th September 2000, West Yorkshire
kestrelsparrowhawk A KESTREL swoops low over Blacker Lane, zipping over the hedgetops. This is more the hunting strategy that you'd expect from a Sparrowhawk - a stealth and surprise technique - but the pointed wings with their tan-dipped-in-brown colour scheme show that this is a kestrel.

Doorstep Deli

mmm! semi-skimmed - the healthy option!a land flowing with milk and hostas A brown slug waits by the milk bottle. Two of them are regulars here in the front garden, which is shaded until early afternoon. The mild, damp weather that has been a feature of this summer has evidently been to their liking. They've got Hostas - a favourite with gardening gurus and sybaritic slugs alike - to nibble and the added bonus of the few drops of milk that occasionally dribble from the bottles in the early morning.

The fact that one of them is generally waiting there suggests that in their tiny molluscan brain they have a sense of time and place.

surfin' slug As a gardener (well, an undermotivated gardener anyway) I expect that I should be waging war on them, but I have to admit that to me they have a wayward charm. I even move them out of harm's way when I reverse the car out of the garage.

one scared slug As a result they're a familiar sight, gliding over the wet paving slabs as sedately as the Titannic cruising along or a surfer with a slick of silver slime. When alarmed they puff themselves up so that they look as curvy and cute as a Pokemon character. next page

Related Link

SlugX a nifty little environmentally friendly slug trap.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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