Dear Readers, you know that spring has, at least temporarily, sprung when you hear the sound of a frog ‘singing’, only to see that he is involved in a most unseemly wrestling match with two other frogs, all of whom I suspect are males. Dear oh dear. It’s difficult to tell exactly what’s going on, but all of these frogs were about the same size, and the females are usually larger. Maybe they’re just getting into practice for when the females finally arrive. At any rate, it’s always lovely to see them, even though their courtship style is a bit on the rough and ready side. I suppose the breeding season is so short that they have to grab every opportunity. Let’s see how things develop.
This frog had a rather more mannerly approach. I love the way that they hang in the water with just their noses showing, and I always find their ‘hands’ intriguing – so similar to ours, and yet so different! You can tell we were all cut from the same genetic cloth, even though we separated so many millions of years ago.
It was a really beautiful day, with that low winter sun gradually warming up a smidge. I am still very impressed with my one clump of cyclamen.
At the front of the house, the crocuses have really taken off, and there was even a hoverfly and two intrepid honeybees.
And I can hardly wait for the catkins on my Kilmarnock willow to emerge. See how soft and furry they look! No wonder they’re known as pussy willows.
And my little cat (also Willow!) plonked down in a patch of sunlight, and for the first time I noticed that her jet-black fur is gradually going rusty.
Well, I don’t really want to think about it but she, along with all of us, is gradually getting older. She’s basically extremely healthy, but I notice that she’s slightly more careful when she jumps off the bed, and a little more cautious when she jumps up. After my recent adventures I can’t help thinking that this is only sensible but still, it reminds me that she, and I, aren’t in the first bloom of youth. Still, with age comes the wisdom to think about things before you do them, and that’s no bad thing, for cats or people. And she knows how important it is to find a patch of sun, and to luxuriate in it, something else that I could learn from. Cats are the past masters of seizing the moment. No wonder they were such a favourite with Zen masters.
Lovely to see another sunny spring day but alas, today appears more cloudy so far. I remember a warm March day during the first lockdown. We had taken to doing one afternoon walk in the local area. One day, my other half picked up some buckets to take. I was a bit bemused until I saw some very shallow puddles in an ancient meadow, teeming with tadpoles in the baking sun. We rescued hundreds by walking with the buckets to a deeper pond about 100 metres up the hill. Not a single wriggler was left behind including one common frog. It was exhausting and hot work. About a week later, the puddles had completely dried up so if we had not acted, they would have died.
The crocuses are looking beautiful.
Lovely photos, so encouraging !