Monday, 5 April 2021

wriggling and hopping

 

Wriggling cheerfulness

celebrating amphibians



Toadspawn

A string of pearls

Dark necklace for green weeds

A gift of wriggling cheerfulness

With hops


How do you celebrate your amphibians?

(What do you mean, you don’t?) 

See yesterday's Singing on the Toad Bus 


This spawning season is always a good time to encourage people to reflect….frogs and toads are often among people’s first natural history memories: the (often ill-fated) tadpoles in a jar or tank or bowl at home or at school, the excitement of froglets hopping out into the world, the sheer wonder of those lifecycles. These spring days are times when people feel they can help: buckets, wellies and good will; a careful attending to the garden pond, making sure the local wild ponds are clear of debris. The summer horrors of lawnmowers and froglet migrations are another time to step in and be supportive (let the grass grow for a week or two)


If you are a dog walker, this is also a good time to please keep dogs out of the ponds. Just as you keep dogs under tight control where there are ground-nesting birds, on these precious days around spawning, think of your dog as a hairy foodmixer who’s just been switched on in the pond. It is also worth thinking about what tick treatments you use if you have a water-loving dogs. External, topical, treatments wash off in ponds  (=repeated treatment needed = more money + more risk for your dog) and can have grim consequences for pond-based invertebrates( as numbers of swimming dogs increases so does the pesticide level in the water….work it out yourself). Systemic tick treatments are much better – less destructive and needing less repeats!


And enjoy your pond!


Here is one “enjoyable pond” moment from local writer Mark Johnson


THE TOADS AT LIGHTWOOD


The toads came today 

In the same place 

And in the same way

They always do


Not quite

Two by two

But in a line

Crooked yet true


We always say 

They’ll be here next year

The sun will shine

And the sky will be clear


But the day may come

When they don’t appear

I know that thought

Is your greatest fear 


But as long as, Gordon

You are here 

As long as we fight

To save what’s dear


The toads will return

With their amphibian swing

Lightwood will croak 

Each and every spring


If you have  some amphibian moment to share (froglifers? Toad Patrollers?) do send them through and if I can, I’ll share them here! (creepingtoad@btinternet.com)


Over the years, this blog has featured lots of amphibian-centred posts. This link will take you to some of the pieces that came in for the Telling Toads initiative



With many thanks to:

  • Mark for his poem
  • Phots: all c/o G MacLellan




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