Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary – 5 Dec 1919

*Please note that although Viola states that the date is 5th Novmember, we are pretty confident this is a mistake and is actually meant to be December.

Viola continues her nature diary by exploring the grounds at ‘Beedal Glen’. Just like our previous entry, she encounters another squirrel. If you want to find out a wee bit more squirrels just check our previous blog post by clicking here.

She notes that the squirrel had ‘wakened from its winter sleep’ to come out and store nuts. Although you are less likely to encounter squirrels in winter, they are actually not hibernating. The cold weather means they are more likely to stay in their drey, keep warm and sleep! They will still venture out for food when necessary.

The most adorable part of this entry is how she refers to the squirrels as ‘fairy elves’. A very apt description if you ask me!

She finishes her entry by observing a Heron ‘circling round in the most uncertain way’ and describing them as ‘big ungainly creatures’.

Herons, however, are actually remarkably stealthy birds. Standing like ghosts on rivers, they keep incredibly still, waiting to catch small fish that may pass by. They will however, pretty much eat anything that falls within their reach!


Nov 5th Beedal Glen 12.30 pm.

Saw a squirrel skipping about on a tree. I suppose

he had wakened up from his winter sleep to

come to one of his store houses for some nuts.

Forest Elves I call them. They are like elves

skipping about so merrily; up and up, here &

there, fearlessly leaping from tree to tree

No matter how strong the wind they

will sit on the tree-tops as steady as

we are on firm ground.

12.50 Saw a heron flying about. Circling

round in the most uncertain way. Looking

for water I suppose. Big ungainly creatures.