gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Puddle Hopping

on March 11, 2013

One of my very earliest memories is my father bringing home a large jar of frog spawn for me to observe as tadpoles hatched and tiny delicate frogs emerged some weeks later. Unlike chicks developing inside hen’s eggs, or indeed a child growing in the womb, frog spawn in its clear jelly allows us to see how frogs develop and change almost daily, from a black dot to a green hop! Out walking the dogs early this morning in subzero temperatures I came across several large clusters of frog spawn laid in a large puddle which had quite a crust of ice on it.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/15336255u
This amazing photo of a frog with her spawn recently won a wildlife photography competition. It was taken by Walter who is only eight years old!

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In Primary school it was customary every Spring to have a tank of frog spawn in the classroom and one lucky pupil got to take the tank home for the Easter holidays. There were always strange creatures being sent home from school. And not just the children! I remember my brother being given some silk worm caterpillars to nurture while we were on a caravanning holiday and the daily search for oak leaves which they noisily chewed through until one day they spun their silky cocoons. There was great excitement when a few weeks later two beautiful silk moths emerged and lived sadly for too short a time.
Anyway, back to the spawn. Amphibians are protected species so it is wisest and kindest not to take it away from where it has been laid. Moving spawn can spread fatal diseases to the frog population already under threat from the removal of their native wetlands. It is common for frogs to lay in puddles, ditches, streams or ponds in clusters of up to 1,000 eggs. That's a lot of potential frogs to be kissed before you find your prince šŸ˜‰
It was Mother's Day here yesterday and this cartoon made me laugh!

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Our neighbours have a garden pond, which would explain why every summer we have hopping visitors on the lawn, much to the dog’s bemusement, and which sometimes have a tragic encounter with the law mower :(.
For now, let’s leave the spawn safe where it is to begin the miracle of nature and herald the arrival of Spring. There may be still flurries of snow, and crusts of ice, but it’s on the way!

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One response to “Puddle Hopping

  1. zeudytigre says:

    Your neighbour’s frogs had better watch out for your hens!

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