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ShareMonday2019 – Pop Goes The Weasel

Weasel at the British Wildlife Centre

ShareMonday2019 – Pop Goes The Weasel

Do you remember the rhyme? Could you make the “popping” sound with your cheek? Yes, I do and yes, I still can. And I can’t help doing it when the little weasel at The British Wildlife Centre actually pops up to say hello! I was visiting the centre with my godchildren last week during half-term. It’s a favourite place of ours for a day out and was lovely in the warm sunshine we’ve been treated to recently.

There’s still no conclusive answer as to exactly what these rhyming lyrics mean. It seems most likely that they are derived from cockney rhyming slang Weasel and Stoat meaning coat, referring to a coat being pawned to get money for food.

Half a pound of tuppenny rice
Half a pound of treacle
That’s the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel

Weasels are closely related to stoats and otters, from the Musetlid family. They’re the smallest British carnivore and you can tell them apart from the stoat, not because they’re stoatally different, but because the weasel has a shorter tail with no black tip! They can be found in a wide range of habitats throughout England, Wales and Scotland but are not seen in Northern Ireland or on many other British Islands. Blink and you’ll miss them though, tiny and very fast! I’ve only seen them a couple of times in the wild myself and not long enough to be able to photograph one.

I really love finding my inner child again, through spending time with the many children in my life! They remind me of all the joy and wonder in this beautiful World of ours and how to enjoy the simple pleasures. Like singing nonsense rhymes, making popping noises with your cheek, all while laughing at the antics of a small and utterly brilliant British mammal! Hat’s off to the British Wildlife Centre for all the wonderful, conservation, education and rehabilitation work that they do.

Sources: The Wildlife Trusts, British Wildlife Centre and Wikipedia

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ShareMondays2018: Fishing Lessons

Fishing Lessons

ShareMondays2018: Fishing Lessons

Just had to share the sight of this juvenile grey heron fishing for newts, alongside one of the adults, in the marshland by the heronry at the British Wildlife Centre. Absolutely wonderful to watch! The heronry has a large number of nests and the herons are all very busy, building, feeding and preening. You can visit the heronry by entry to the British Wildlife Centre and a wander along their Wetland Walk. The centre is only open to the public at weekends, bank holidays and school holidays. Visit their website for more information and details of photography days and workshops.

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SQUIZZLE!

Red Squirrel at the British Wildlife Centre

SQUIZZLE!

The sight of red squirrels at The British Wildlife Centre in Surrey instantaneously turns me into a small, exciteable child! That’s a good thing. I think we should all embrace our inner-child and revel in the simple delights of the World around us far more often! Especially when it comes to wildlife and nature. It’s the best therapy ever! Supporting places like the British Wildlife Centre is also the ideal way to help secure a future for our precious British wildlife, as well as providing a fantastic educational resource for schools. I hope this dear little squizzle will bring a big smile to everyone who follows my blog and more smiles over at Wex Photo Video, as this is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.

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Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

Female Scottish Wildcat

Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

It’s very hard for researchers to know the exact number of these amazing cats left wild in Scotland, as they have hybridised with feral domestic-cat populations over the years. It is estimated that there are now perhaps only thirty five true wildcats left and they are at imminent threat of extinction. It breaks my heart! This beautiful female and her three kittens live at the British Wildlife Centre, near Godstone, in Surrey. Such a great place! I visited last week with my friend Nikki and godchildren, Rosie and James. Rosie loves all cats and the wildcats hold a special place in her heart too. It was wonderful to explore our native wildlife with them, whilst giving young James another photography tutorial! I have a few images of some of the other residents, but the wildcat topped my Twitter poll for what people wanted to see for today’s Wex Mondays challenge. I’m very glad to share a bit of their story with you, but for more information please visit the British Wildlife Centre wildcat page here. The centre does some wonderful work in conservation, rescue & rehabilitation and in education. It’s well worth a visit and I would really encourage everybody to support the amazing work that they do!