Saturday, 1 March 2008

Spawn Time

The wind is howling around the house this morning. It was a raging gale last night, with the telephone cable howling in the wind. It is a redundant cable anyway, our connection is underground now.

There was such a bang on the roof last night, I was convinced that we had lost a block of roof tiles. This morning, the roof is fine, Rosie had seen what looked like guttering on the garden. I found three plastic covers and could not work out where the had come from. It turned out to be the trim from our neighbours roof. Must have peeled off and bounced across our roof in the night. What a relief! Garry had lost 4 covers and we could not find the other one anywhere. With the strength of the wing, its probably in Uttoxeter by now.

I went out to inspect the garden for damage. Fortunately I had staked all of the vulnerable trees in the Autumn, so all seemed well. It was then that I noticed the frogs were spawning in the pond. So far I noticed about 14 clumps of spawn, so there must have been a good number of adult frogs around in the night. I saw 5 individual frogs, two of whom I recognised as resident animals from the markings on their backs.

It is good to know that the local frogs survived the winter. We had a very warm end to January and there were a couple of frogs active at that time. This was followed by a sharp frost and on one day the pond had frozen to a depth of 3cm. I had found one dead frog, "hoppy" who had one hind leg. He had been an adult in the pond for at least 2 years with a leg missing. I was unsure of whether the injury was due to a fox or a heron. Sad to lose him after all this time, but he was very big and probably quite old for a frog.
I am sure that the newts will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of thousands of tiny tadpoles. Last year we extracted two small tanks of tadpoles and this resulted in several new young frogs surviving.

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