Monday, 9 June 2014

Mud and frogs

The first casualty discovered yesterday. A large lizard - well, about twelve inches long had his tail had been intact - was discovered in the filter of the swimming pool. The poor thing must have got in when the pool was being built and then found himself trapped. I have no idea how long ago that was, but certainly some months. On a happier note, dh rescued a small lizard - about three inches this time - flopping about in the pool itself. Maybe they can swim, but I doubt it would have got out unaided even if it found the steps. These swimming pools are lethal to wildlife.
David and Jenny talked of a pond they'd excavated, and I imagined something about fifteen feet across. I ought to have known better.  The pond is something like 200 yards long and  thirty yards across. Already frogs are populating it. We thought the croaking came from ducks, since there are plump mallards around, but were told this morning it is the bullfrogs making such a to-do. A man with a digger is supposed to arrive today to level out the "spoil heaps" of excavated soil and rock and insert a land drain from the spring to the pond, so the frogs had better watch out. On the other hand, he was supposed to arrive on 15th May, so we'll not hold our breath. The spring is draining naturally, as it has for years, and causing a wetland area which Tim discovered with great glee. He romps through the mud and green slime and splatters frogs in every direction. I ought to take a photo of this black dog who tries to leap on us until we get out the hose pipe and hose him down to find the white dog underneath. A man further up the valley captured a thousand frogs - don't ask me how - from his pond, and sold them to restaurants. It seems even frogs can be a cash crop.
I'm happy to say Mr Greener is back. He's been missing for a year or two. Mr Greener is a chaffinch (I think) and he has a distinctive line in song, which repeats over and over. The last line always ends in the phrase "it's greener." I know, its stupid of me, but I'm glad he's back.

1 comment:

Ursula Thompson said...

I don't know if it exists in Europe, but watch out for something called blue-green algae. It gives off a toxin that can kill dogs. It doesn't look like the normal 'slimy' algae, but more like oil streaks on the water. Never seen it myself, but I have seen pictures of it.