13. Raised By Hand

Hedgehogs are nocturnal. This young lady has clearly not read the manual. The date and time are accurate, so a fortnight or so off midsummer’s day when there are roughly six hours fewer of darkness in which to be nocturnal compared with midwinter.

But by and large the rule is true and hedgehogs out during daylight are often a sign that something is amiss; stress due to illness, injury or disturbance. Manic strimming and mowing are particularly likely to be culprits in summer. Take care if you are afflicted by either urge.

This individual showed signs of being new to the location by climbing onto the roof of the ‘diner’ rather than entering it at street level to feed. I intervened to give it food rather than leave it roaming about in daylight. It appeared not to mind but I do not delude myself; rather than associating the encounter with a human as beneficial, resulting in a free lunch – hedgehogs, after all, know there is no such thing – what the hedgehog probably learned was to follow its instinct and avoid contact with humans.