Friday, 8 March 2013

Beautifully eye-catching?

This is a bit like one of those quizzes where you have to guess what the picture's of!

Well if I thought that the weather yesterday was bad then today was ten times worse. That really doesn't matter too much of you're a frog. As long as the temperature remains well above freezing the amount of rain, mist and fog doesn't really make too much difference.

. At this time of year there's only one thing on a frogs agenda and sun-bathing isn't it. The pond today was positively erupting in activity, and possibly because it was was so gloomy and dark I managed to sneak up to the edge without all the amorous groups diving for cover.

By today there's a large amount of frog spawn. Obviously enough of the tadpoles survive each year as there seems to be no lessening of the number of frogs returning each spring, but it does seem that most years much of the spawn dies before hatching. One of the main causes is probably the fact that we have had cold snaps in each of these years after the spawn has been laid. Presumably some that is either slightly deeper or in a more sheltered corner survives. We've got two ponds, the one in the lower front garden still has some goldfish left in it, but the top pond is fish free as they were all moved to the bottom pond. Gold fish are carnivorous and will quickly goggle up spawn and tadpoles. There don't seem to be nearly as many fish in this pond as before, but that might have something to do with the Grey Heron I've seen flying over a few times lately, seeming just having taken off from the front garden. Last year there was also a Little Egret around, but I never saw it actually fly out of the garden. The scientific name of the Common Frog is Rana temporaria. The specific name temporaria probably refers to the fact that at this time of year large numbers appear, but then disappear quickly. I don't know where the genus Rana comes from. But Rana can be used as a girls name, deriving from the Arabic word for "Beautiful  or Eye-catching". As can be seen these Frogs certainly have eyes that are impressive.

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