May 9, 2016

That moment when you are in the greenhouse happily filling modules with compost to plant things and you look down and realise that the bit of dead vegetation sticking out from underneath your boot is in fact a mummified frog’s leg, with the rest of the mummified frog attached…

mummified frog

… and you discover that it’s possible to do an impromptu one-legged backward leap off the mummified frog from a standing start.

slugOn the whole, I think I prefer my frogs alive and hopping around eating slugs, which don’t seem in any way diminished by either the recent cold weather or the current dry spell. Time to get the beer traps going, I think

Tiny Froggies

June 19, 2013

I promised you ford news and glory be, it seems the tarmac fairy’s rather more thorough older sister the concrete fairy has visited:

mended ford

But that’s not all. For those of you holding your breath on the question of whether the tadpoles would make it out of the ditch before it dried up … you can breathe now (as can the tadpoles) – they’ve grown their legs at last and have been venturing out onto dry land.

Today the other half took his camera down to record the moment properly.

tadpole swimming

tadpole with legs

tiny frog
Our little tadpoles almost all growed up … it’s enough to bring a tear to the eye.



May 11, 2012

When I went up to check my slug traps, I discovered I wasn’t the only one interested in what was in them

It hadn’t made much progress on eating the slugs though – whether because some of them were bigger than it was, or because it was too drunk on slug beer to contemplate anything other than a kebab, I don’t know

I did decide that, other than making it easier to get pissed frogs out of the traps, I had overthought the whole slug-in-a-basket thing. It turned out that a colander* and a bit of decanting back and forth was the easiest way to separate the slugs from the beer. And you’ll be relieved to hear that, although I looked at the resulting colander full of assorted slugs and thought ‘wow, who knew there were so many different kinds of slugs? I wonder if the internet knows what they all are’, in the end, I decided against posting the resulting revolting photo, and just fed them all to the chickens.

* not one we still use in the kitchen, I hasten to add

Stand By to Repel Boarders*

March 22, 2010

Despite the warmer weather, we’ve been having a fire more often than usual. Partly this is because we’re rashly experimenting with turning off the heating, but mainly it’s because I noticed recently that the chicken wire netting that’s supposed to keep jackdaws out of the chimney has been torn off. Allegedly, the man who’s coming to look at our roof, walls, and leaking downpipe will also refix it, but meanwhile, given that this is prime nest-building season, we’re hoping to discourage the jackdaws by lighting a fire often enough that the birds choose someone else’s chimney to raise a family. Time will tell whether the fear of being kippered alive is enough to discourage them from their fascination with chimneys but our neighbour’s chimney had two dead ones in it when she got it swept last year, and the chimney sweep reported with glee that he’d just pulled seventeen of them out of a chimney in a nearby town. Jackdaws, being corvids, ought to be pretty bright, for birds at least, but obviously when there’s a chimney to be explored, all common sense goes out of the window.

hmm, really must clean that kitchen floor

Still, as hardships go, having to have an open fire in the chilly spring evenings probably doesn’t rank quite up there in the top-ten unpleasant things about rural life, like digging out your septic tank, so I’m not really complaining. Other wildlife invasions are worse. Like this chap who came hopping determinedly along the corridor the other evening just as we were thinking about going to bed. We’ve been here before, and I don’t think then that anyone came up with a really convincing explanation for a fully grown frog’s appearance in the house. We don’t really leave the door open, certainly not for long enough for a frog to get in unobserved (they’re not actually all that light on their feet), and I don’t think it’s come down the chimney – can they really come up through the loo?

Actually, having thought about it, I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that one.

*stop changing the bedsheets

Hop Off you Frogs

September 24, 2008

I think I mentioned that the cottage was a bit damp. Just how damp we found out last night when an unidentified darkish mark on the carpet suddenly started hopping purposefully down the corridor, heading for the spare room. A frog. I may have given a small girlish squeal at this point. The frog was ushered out and a – somewhat half-hearted – search has not revealed any more so we’re a few amphibians short of an actual plague, but it made going to the loo in the middle of the night a rather squeamish experience. Of all the things you don’t want to step on with your bare feet at four a.m. in the morning, frogs have got to be high on the list.

Still, it certainly puts the annual influx of spiders into perspective. Anybody else got frogs?