Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Frogs and Toads spawn

We arrived at the Garrique a little later this year and this concided with the breeding activities of the local reptiles and amphibians; the frogs, toads and newts of river, pond and wetlands.

The Frog and Toad pond was bubbling with activity and the croaking and squeeking of the males was audible from some distance away.

We had to be very careful where we walked because the grass and edges of the pond was a favourite place for the frogs and toads to 'meet' and 'get to know' each other. The warmth of the sun on their backs provided them with extra energy for this, the annual spawning event.

It was easy and educational, to see the different stages of the lifecycle in the pond. The frogs and toads ranged in age from teenagers and small adults to full grown matriachs, standing guard over a large collection of frog spawn, some of which was already shimmering and bubbling as the embryonic tadpoles start to emerge.

If the weather and the local heron permits, these tadpoles will soon become a mass of 'hoppers' that will escape into the grass and shrub growth around the pond. They feed voraciously on bugs, slugs and snails, which is why they are the gardeners' friend.

Apart from basking lazily on a warm rock beside a refreshing pool, soaking up the sun's rays and thinking of not-very-much-at-all, it's not a life I envy. I would still rather be a cat and have people dance attendance on me or an eagle that soars high on the wind and wants of no man.

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