Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hip, hip hooray...

Spring starts today, so Sod's Law means a cold snap this weekend and more snow down south. We also have drifts of leaves everywhere - very confusing, but it's because the evergreens, which most of the native trees are, are dropping the old ones as the new ones push through. Even though I grew up here, I lived in England long enough to find it highly disorientating to be sweeping leaves in spring.

But Bruce is back! It will be his fourth summer in our pond and it's wonderful to see him again, reappeared from wherever it is he goes when the weather cools. He's like the cuckoo for us. He's called Bruce because he's an Australian green and golden bell frog. They've somehow got a toe-hold in this part of the country but are officially not welcome, so when I made enquiries about finding him a wife last year I was sternly told that if I were to enable breeding (I'm a frog pimp!) the frogs would have to be contained. (It's all academic anyway, as the goldfish would eat the eggs before they got anywhere near the tadpole stage, but it will be sad to hear him calling again - night and day - and never seeing another green face.)

In southern Western Australia last year, we spent a pleasant day with Dr Dave of Out of Sight Tours. He's a naturalist who drives people out for walks along the coast, which is pretty spectacular with cliffs and surf and excellent rocks. He has a related frog on his blogpage, which he says sounds like a motorbike when it calls, so we're lucky that ours just goes "crrrr-ack". Dave was full of interest - in both senses. He told us lots of fascinating stuff, but he was also enjoying himself being out and about in one of his favourite bits of Australia, and though he must have seen thousands, was as delighted as me to see kangaroos in the scrub and was snapping away at them as eagerly as I was. Enthusiastic people: they're my very favourite sort.

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