David, who helps me in the garden, called me over to view the robinia pseudo-acacia (get me!) near the gate. It's a tree that sits at the top of a mound, which we are turning into a rockery. Gradually, obviously. You can't rush a good rockery. He had noticed a pile of earth at the top of the mound and on further investigation had found a big hole under the tree, which something had obviously taken great trouble to dig out.
I strongly suspected that this hole had nothing to do with the new heating system.
David bravely stuck a stick down the hole and it turns off to the right.
Off to Google to find out what kind of hole it might be. David guessed a fox and the information that I found seemed to confirm that. Badgers dig a D shaped hole, while foxes leave lots of debris outside their holes. (I expect the badgers carry their debris away in their trouser legs. Cunning creatures that they are.)
We've had no sighting of foxy. We did consider sitting in the car one rare warm summer's night but then couldn't be bothered. Bed beckoned. Besides the dog makes us go to bed at 10pm and I suspect that is far too early for a fox.
However, we are aware of foxy's presence, despite not having met face to face. Because on my morning inspection of the garden on Monday, my salad bed had been dug up and all of my baby lettuces had gone.
I showed David and he confirmed that this was the action of a fox. There was a smaller hole dug in the asparagus bed. Which is annoying because I have been nurturing those roots for two years now. And a few in the herb bed. But not the strawberry bed, which is covered with netting to keep the birds off. So I have covered the salad bed with netting too and re-sown my lettuces in the hope that they will survive.
We have been wondering where all the squirrels had gone. In foxy's tummy, I suspect.