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MKHACHFE

Laugh if you want, but this city dwellers has a serious question about animals and getting spooked when alone at at a dark site ....

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I got spooked once by a set of glowing eyes down the end of the garden. Yep, it was a cat high up in a tree. Another night, the same cat jumped down from shed roof next door and landed beside me. That nearly made me pop my clogs.

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I've decided to wear Bluetooth earbuds and drown out the hedgehogs, foxes, cats, sheep, owls and anything else mentioned in this thread. If I can't hear it, then it's not there...right? 

Lol. Thanks again to everyone for the interesting replies to my original question. 

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In the UK don't underestimate the danger of the tiny deer tick, bites of which can carry Lyme disease, or as recently reported, the tick-borne encephalitis virus.  I never used to take too much notice of warnings about ticks here in Suffolk, but I recently discovered that 2 work colleagues had contracted Lyme disease whilst walking in the local heathland, and one didn't notice it until he'd become quite ill.   I guess at nighttime we're pretty well covered up and it's dark, so the risk is small.  But since it's not a problem you want, make sure your legs are covered!

SR.

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A major problem over here where deer run loose in large numbers.
Trousers tucked into socks or wear gaiters. Tall boots or Wellies?
The ticks climb up from the grass or where you brush against a hedge or shrub.

Cats and dogs bring them indoors too. So inspect yourself and your pets regularly.
Our old cat was a tick magnet despite being treated regularly with a pour-on flea treatment.
The ticks are inclined to find odd places to hide! So check literally everywhere with a mirror.

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For a quick guide to strange noises.

Grunting = hedgehog or badger (or possibly wild boar if you are in the Forest of Dean)

Grunting + crunching sound = hedgehog eating snails

Barking = Fox or Munjak deer

Screeching = Tawny Owl

Twit/Twoo = Tawny Owl

Unspecified rootling sounds = otter, marten, hedgehog, deer, badger, or wild boar (Forest of Dean only)

Very regular, very quiet chirping noise = the motors on your mount!

Repetitive bong sound = PHD has lost the guide star.

Low despondent grumbling sound = astronomer moaning about clouds or security lights.

Loud scream = USB failure leading to loss of camera connection (again!)

 

 

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On 30/10/2019 at 08:33, sheeprug said:

In the UK don't underestimate the danger of the tiny deer tick, bites of which can carry Lyme disease, or as recently reported, the tick-borne encephalitis virus.  I never used to take too much notice of warnings about ticks here in Suffolk, but I recently discovered that 2 work colleagues had contracted Lyme disease whilst walking in the local heathland, and one didn't notice it until he'd become quite ill.   I guess at nighttime we're pretty well covered up and it's dark, so the risk is small.  But since it's not a problem you want, make sure your legs are covered!

SR.

Thanks for the information mate. To be honest (and nor wishing to dismiss the threat) I'm going to be star gazing from the garden or at least just outside whatever B&B my wife and I will be staying at. There is no way on earth I'm heading alone into the wilderness in the middle of the night..😐

That being said, you are correct of course. Lyme disease can be very very bad. I know someone who contracted it in the States a few years ago. 

 

Cheers

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I was in a big nature reserve area, heading back to where I had parked my car after a long photo session by the shore. It was pretty dark but not pitch-dark, so I could just see where to put my feet without using my headlamp. Then I noticed some large stones (?) lying here and there in the distance, and I just got a feeling it was not stones. My sixth sense told me it was cows, and then my seventh sense was convinced they were bulls (at least). On the way out, in the afternoon, I did not see any 4 feet animals at all - just some of what they leave on the ground. If they were just lying resting now I did not want to disturb them, so I diverted my route a bit and did not turn on my headlamp.

Maybe 200 meters from the gate at the parking area I first heard some kind of sneezing sound and then suddenly the whole horde was running. Towards me. I could feel the vibrations in the ground. Running away from them would probably have beed my last action on this earth, so I managed to walk slowly, shining my very bright headlamp on them and also holding my extended photo tripod like a stick (I knew these animals are used to respect sticks). They slowed down but sitll approached me, and when I reached the gate they were all around. From the safe side of the fence I noticed they were mostly heifers, some of them very upset and butting each other - glad it was not me...

I would never set up my telescope and stuff where cattle can reach me. Wild boars etc are more predictable - just make a little noise now and then and they will keep off.

Ragnar

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2 hours ago, lux eterna said:

I was in a big nature reserve area, heading back to where I had parked my car after a long photo session by the shore. It was pretty dark but not pitch-dark, so I could just see where to put my feet without using my headlamp. Then I noticed some large stones (?) lying here and there in the distance, and I just got a feeling it was not stones. My sixth sense told me it was cows, and then my seventh sense was convinced they were bulls (at least). On the way out, in the afternoon, I did not see any 4 feet animals at all - just some of what they leave on the ground. If they were just lying resting now I did not want to disturb them, so I diverted my route a bit and did not turn on my headlamp.

Maybe 200 meters from the gate at the parking area I first heard some kind of sneezing sound and then suddenly the whole horde was running. Towards me. I could feel the vibrations in the ground. Running away from them would probably have beed my last action on this earth, so I managed to walk slowly, shining my very bright headlamp on them and also holding my extended photo tripod like a stick (I knew these animals are used to respect sticks). They slowed down but sitll approached me, and when I reached the gate they were all around. From the safe side of the fence I noticed they were mostly heifers, some of them very upset and butting each other - glad it was not me...

I would never set up my telescope and stuff where cattle can reach me. Wild boars etc are more predictable - just make a little noise now and then and they will keep off.

Ragnar

That would scare the heck out of me, really struggle to feel safe around cows.

Having observed them from the window for sometime it could be that they were heading over thinking you had some feed. The cows in the field next to us can hear the farmers truck and will hurtle the full length of the field to get to him - quite a scary stampede. Very rarely they break through the gate and head down our lane, I have found arms out wide and loud shouting whilst walking towards them slowly will get them to back off and go back to the gate - YMMV.

 

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Cows can be quite dangeous. Seems to be a story every few weeks about someone being trampled to death by a herd of cows.

A few years ago saw a cow jump,clear over a high farm gate. Didn’t know cows could jump like that. Should enter that one in the Puissance at the Olympia horse show. 😂

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31 minutes ago, johninderby said:

A few years ago saw a cow jump,clear over a high farm gate. Didn’t know cows could jump like that.

Surely you must have heard (pun intended) of one of these 😂.

Cow-jumped-over-the-moon.jpg.ad5c1bbfa7037e79155d72776a77b9d0.jpg

K

Edited by KevS
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Cattle are usually alright - they are very inquisitive and will come up to you stopping about a foot away.  If you go towards them they back off.  Just walk slowly and certainly don't run or they may run and if you fall they may not be able to stop.  Even a bull can be alright on his own but same things apply.  Main problem with cattle is their size/weight - don't get between them and a wall.

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I have read that recent breeding for maximum milk yield has done something to cows making them more aggressive. In one report the farmer said that he would only allow his stockman and himself into the field(s) where the heard was. If true this calls into question whether we are heading in the wrong direction with breeding. Going all out for maximum yield at all costs.

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1 minute ago, Paul M said:

Marauding zombie ostriches are a big problem round here. Here's one I encountered near home the other day:

There would be no point burying your head in the sand with them about😀

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50 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Apparently dogs are a common factor when cows attack.

https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdoors/walks/how-dangerous-are-cows-to-walkers/

There was a case a few weeks ago, in Sussex I think, where a woman was deliberately trampled to death by a herd of cows. This was targeted, not accidental. Although she didn't have a dog, they had been spooked the day before by someone walking theirs. My view is that in these cases the entire herd, including calves should be culled to remove the genes from the pool.

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That's an odd looking cow!!  5 teets??!!  🤣

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5 minutes ago, Gina said:

That's an odd looking cow!!  5 teets??!!  🤣

It’s just your common mutant bovine. 😁

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One night, at around 1am, there was a tapping on the door of my obsy. Only I was in the warm room and the tapping was from inside the observation area, not accessible from the outside.

I gingerly opened the door and in flew a huge Hornet!  There followed an impressive array of impromptu Kung fu moves, and a fair bit of screaming before it found its way out again.

On another night I was doing an errand for a farmer on his fields when his cows decided to kill me. They had me trapped in a field about 20 yards from the fence and were going mental. I actually filmed them on my phone so my family would know what happened to me, and then ran for all I was worth and dived under a barbed wire fence, beating them by inches. Quite scary really!

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Socialism: You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

Communism: You have two cows. The government takes them both and provides you with milk.

Feudalism - You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Fascism - You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

Totalitarianism - You have two cows. The government takes them both and denies they ever existed and drafts you into the army. Milk is banned.

Bureaucracy: You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours it down the drain.

Corporate: You have two cows. You sell one, force the other to produce the milk of four cows and then act surprised when it drops dead.

Democracy: You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Enron Venture Capitalism - You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

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10 hours ago, johninderby said:

Apparently dogs are a common factor when cows attack.

https://www.countryfile.com/go-outdoors/walks/how-dangerous-are-cows-to-walkers/

Yes, I read about dogs and cows too. Quite a few years ago, but that nugget of info stayed with me. Not sure if it's true or not, but there does seem to be a fair number of stories corroborating it. 

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