I had a little friend in the garden while I was working this morning: there I was, giving the traditional "hard prune" (ie slaughter down to knee height) to a Buddleia, when I noticed this Muntjac fawn, still with his baby spots on, who came trotting across the lawn to me, bleating for his mama.
He then proceeded to nibble the fresh buddleia leaves from the prunings while I stood there in astonishment - usually, Muntjac are very shy and run away at top speed at the first sign of a human, but this little fellow was almost tame.
I'm not normally a big fan of Muntjac, as they do a lot of damage in the gardens, but this one was adorable!
The more usual garden companions are birds: Robins are famous for their curiosity, and will often come very close. I frequently find one, sitting on one of my tools, or on the wheelbarrow, while I am working in a garden. I often wonder if they are hoping that I will turn over the soil and find some worms for them, or whether they are just making sure that I am working...
As well as Robins, Blackbirds can be very bold, too: I took the above photo of a young Blackbird who was perfectly at ease, hopping around my feet while I worked in a flower bed. Another time, I was digging over a vegetable bed which had ants nesting in it, and there were two Blackbirds at my feet, pouncing on all the eggs as I turned the soil over. It was quite tricky, to avoid stabbing them!
I have noticed that garden birds are always very interested when I start digging up a load of bindweed roots, and I've often wondered if it's the digging that interests them, or the fact that bindweed roots do look rather like fat juicy worms. Do they think that I'm stealing their worms? Is that why they perch on the edge of the tub, or the wheelbarrow?
So I've had Blackbirds, Robins and now baby deer - have you had anything unusual for company, when working in your garden?