27 February 2009

Hedgehog

Young hedgehogI spotted this little hedgehog — presumably one of this summer's youngsters — snuffling along the side of the road as I biked hurriedly home a couple of days ago. The light had almost gone (hence the hurried pedalling), but I felt compelled to stop and lie down on the road for the photo.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor

14 comments:

soulofknight said...

This hedgehog is very cute. :D

This photo is very wonderfully taken. You are a very good photographer. :)

Relatively Retiring said...

He's obviously as interested in you as you are in him. What a great view-point, and what perfect hedgehog lighting!
It's an awful sadness that here in Middle England our hedgehog population seems to have declined drastically. Two years ago we could sit and watch whole families of hedgehogs pottering round the garden in the twilight. Now they are seldom seen, even as road-kill.

Anne-Marie said...

I've never seen a photo of hedgehog quite like this. How gorgeous [even if they do eat whio eggs]! He looks for all the world like he's posing for you, Pete.

Peregrina said...

You must have been pretty much nose-to-nose, Pete. I wonder what he, or she, made of you? "What's this heavily-breathing, one-eyed monster on MY road?" (Or are you so fit that even cycling in a hurry doesn't make you puff?)

Michael said...

Awesome. Don't forget your camera next time!

Di Mackey said...

Stunning!

pohanginapete said...

Soulfofknight, thank you for the compliment! It was indeed a very cute little animal.

RR, Britain without hedgehogs would seem, well, wrong. Even here I'd miss them, although, as Anne-Marie points out, they're bad news for our native, ground-nesting birds, and presumably many of our native invertebrates too. Still, judging from the number of road kills, they don't seem at risk of extinction here.

Anne-Marie, good point, although fortunately hedgehogs aren't common in the headwaters to which whio are now largely restricted. I suppose they have some beneficial effects in Aotearoa (other than delighting many of us), but as far as I'm aware there's been little research to assess their ecological impacts.

Peregrina — not that fit! I did have to move quietly and gently so it didn't curl up (it certainly knew I was there and had started to bristle, or should I say prickle?). I'd have preferred it to have held its head up more, but under the circumstances, this was the best I could do.

Michael, unfortunately, the camera will be staying behind until I've cleaned the sensor. Somehow it seems to have attracted a large blob of gunk which isn't easily fixed in photoshop. :^(

Di, thanks! :^)

Zhoen said...

I like the lighting, so that I feel I have to really look to see the little guy.

Well met by moonlight.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, fortunately, I wasn't far from home. I'd been distracted by beautiful light up No. 1 Line and eventually remembered I had no bike lights. I sneaked home just before the light vanished completely. One of the advantages of living where there's very little traffic, I guess.

robin andrea said...

I understand the compulsion to lie in the road for a photo like this. How could you not? Especially in this beautiful light and this charming creature posing as calmly as ever. Beautiful.

pohanginapete said...

robin andrea, that's it exactly. I'd actually biked past, but simply had to stop, turn around and go back.

Greg Brave said...

Great Idea! I wish that hedgehog would be a little sharper and his left eye more visible (or is it just my display ? )
But anyway, wonderful!

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Greg. With no flash and having to work so quickly, there was little I could do about adding light. I agree, though — if I'd had something to use as a reflector I might have done better (but then might have missed the shot completely).

butuki said...

Maybe this little fella thought YOU were roadkill and was trying to help you! Though he does look like he's fallen asleep. Too long fiddling with the camera dials?

Great shot! Most people would have taken the photo standing up, but to get right down to his level and see the road from his point of view (could be a she, too, huh?) is part of what makes this photo shine. And the lighting! Perfectly displays the active time that hedgehogs operate.

I didn't know there were hedgehogs in Aotearoa. No doubt an introduced species. Those early immigrants must really have been homesick!