Saturday 3 May 2008

Wild Garden

First, some good news from our country estate: we found frogspawn there, in an old bucket full of stagnant green water. Took a jamjar-full, and have put this into our two little sinks here at the home station. Now crossing our fingers!
And continuing the theme: this morning, mooching moodily around the garden, missing my cigarettes, I heard a splashing and there was a large frog in the terrace pond! As big as my closed fist, and healthy looking, not bleached or blackened or reddened. He or she hovered at the water surface, opening and shutting little eyes, while a few bubbles rose to the surface. Do frogs fart?

While I watched, I muttered: Be careful! Two dead frogs found in this garden since the spring began! Get under a leaf and stay still when foxes are about! And then, interrupting the reverie, a large queen wasp emerged from the weeds and I beat a hasty retreat; (I have a strong wasp allergy, potentially very dangerous)
She flew gracefully around the water, sometimes swooping, but did not stoop to drink as I have sometimes seen wasps do.

Perhaps this large lady was acting as a bodyguard to the frog! I just hope she does not pick a nesting site too close to us.

Back upstairs to housework and happened to look out, and what do you think? There was Halftail, alert, in Martin's back garden, scratching as usual. The tail is no worse, at least, and the general condition of fur looks better. Had a good look at her. The bib is really very dark, mottled grey and black. Even the fur on her back is very dark, and she is a large, stocky animal, (as foxes go).

Ragtip, her presumptive mate, hasn't been seen for ages. But Halftail cannot be the smallish, orange-furred one that I regularly put up as it sleeps on the ground near Jackson's shed. Probably the presumed auntie, Roisin, but some of these ascriptions are necessarily tentative! Roisin could be a male, the father, possibly.

If there were any cubs under that shed, we would expect to start seeing them around now; but we must set our alarm clock to wake very early!

Our own garden shed now has almost a young tunnel leading under it.

Things are happening in the garden, but not before our eyes, or to our timetable. Life teaches humility, does it not?

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