Thursday, June 20, 2013

Zen Frogs and Other Members of the Animal Kingdom

Hot dog, jumping frog....... 
There appear to be four frogs in our pond this summer, three smaller ones with one larger one who has been resident for a number of years.  I have to say I am fascinated by their behaviour. One of the main behavioural difference between frogs and toads is that frogs hop whilst toads walk, frogs are the lazy boys of the garden ambling from one covered area to another without much of a care in the world, apart from cats and birds.

On a hot day if you walk down to the bottom of the garden you will know if any of the frogs have been 'sunbathing' because your approaching footsteps will be met by the sound of splashes as they dive into the water for cover. Give them a few minutes though and they will surface and sit watching you. It's become quite evident from constant watching that each of the current fab four have their own territory within the pond. What is strange though is how little movement they make over fairly long periods of time once they have settled back into their particular area of water.  I always check on them when I get home from work and then at intervals until dusk and without fail none of them move during a four hour period, they seem to sit/float waiting until darkness at which point they can clamber out of the pond and go on a night's hunting.

Frogs prefer their food to be live at the moment of eating and watching one reach out with its long sticky tongue to catch an unsuspecting slug was one of the highlights of the early years of the pond. We haven't had much of an issue with slugs for more than a decade now and very few snails either, both I'm sure a direct result of encouraging beneficial wildlife into the garden.

Whilst on the subject of eating, or potential eating, I witnessed something in my office yesterday afternoon which was quite fascinating. A bumble bee had flown in and was having problems finding its way back out through the open window, I decided to try and help by using a sheet of A4 and gently ushering the insect through the window. Unfortunately, as if often the case, the insect had other ideas and decided to try and get out through a closed window.   The fascinating part came when a spider lurking in the corner of the window spotted the bee and decided to chase it up the window to try and capture it. If I hadn't been standing a foot or two away watching I would never have believed it, when the spider had moved far enough away from its corner it decided that enough was enough and returned home. The bee meanwhile had flown across to the third of the three large windows in my office and after some gentle persuasion found its way out.

6 comments:

Span Ows said...

Very nice. I like watching nature too.

The spider was probably thinking...hmmm the bee looks tasty but the human is already hunting it, I'll wait...

Paul said...

I like that idea.

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