Friday, 19 July 2013

Froggy Would A-Wooing Go And Who Ate All The Strawberries???

So I'm up just after 5 this morning (thanks to my husband getting up unspeakably early so he and Teddy could go out for a run together before he went to London and Teddy went to underneath the table to hide from the sun). The moth box was out and I drew myself back into consciousness with the vague notion there there was something important I was meant to do, then I remembered it was Save The Moths From The Blackbird's Children, so I leapt out of bed (then felt sick because I'd got up too quickly, then nearly fell over because I'd forgotten I'd had a migraine yesterday and my head still hurt). Finally I made it outside, shooed off the naughty birds who were eying the moth box beadily (although thankfully they didn't fly into my hair, as one member of my friend Mrs Massey's most recent batch of Blackbird Children did to her yesterday) and brought said box indoors. 

I always take the camera out with me first thing in case there are Interesting Moths on the grass, so imagine my delight when I saw this Lovely Person frozen in an attitude of comic stillness on the path near the Wildlife Pond (I can call it the Wildlife Pond with confidence now, because of all the wildlife that lives there).

don't move my lips and don't-say-a-word, she won't-even-know-I'm-here... "

I've never seen a frog be quite so still for quite so long. Even when Ted is licking them they tend to wriggle away in the end after an initial trying-to-brave-it-out period (can't say I blame them). I had to go away after a few minutes because it felt cruel keeping him on pause like that, and besides, his legs were starting to wobble and I thought he might fall over, which would probably have embarrassed him. By the time I returned he was in the pond! Actually in the pond. It made my day. And it was only 5.30am!

 "Ah, this is the life...."

M and Ted arrived back from their run at that moment so I dragged M up to the pond.
"You'll never guess who's here!" I said excitedly.
"Ah," said M, peering into the water. "Mr Toad."
"It's Mr Frog," I said impatiently. "Do you think he's going a-wooing?"
"Bit late for going a-wooing," M replied, "I expect he'll a-woo next Spring."
Ah well, hopefully we'll have froglets then (is that even a word?).

I think we can safely say that the pond is officially A Wildlife Success. Here's an up to date pic taken this afternoon. OK. It does looks a wee bit shambolic, and it has been taken over in recent weeks by bloomin blanket weed (I have fought back and added some special treatment which is, at long last, killing the vile stuff- apparently it is a bad year for it) but wildlife ponds aren't supposed to be pristine and shiny are they? (wonder if I can sell that as an excuse for the house? It wouldn't be that far-fetched right now because the walls and ceilings are currently in a high state of moth).

I lingered to take some photos of the plants which are blossoming and bee-ridden all around the pond, but not for long because the poor dead snake is on the steps to the children's play house (terrible mother) waiting to be buried and gently decomposing in the meantime. In all this heat it don't smell too good. Still, we won't focus on that. Here are some lovely flowers and the odd bee for you to enjoy.....



 Sweetpeas (everlasting)


I hadn't intended them all to start with "S", but it offers a nice kind of symmetry..

Bee enjoying the Salvia

Other things doing well in the garden include...


Hanging Basket Toms

(as long as he's in the shade)

Honeysuckle Berries.

But not Strawberries.

They Have All Disappeared!!!!!

Who could have eaten them?....


Mrs Peckham?


The Great Tit's Child?

 Now you're just being ridiculous.
We all know who has eaten EVERY LAST STRAWBERRY SINCE YESTERDAY because we saw them doing it.......

M is aware and has countered with The Threat Of Netting, which should make it harder for them. They are just so cheeky I find it hard to be cross.

The other things that have been cheeky today are the moths, who have begun to Perfect The Art Of Escaping and have learnt to fly through open doors into Other Rooms. So far, the unexpected places they have turned up today include.....

An Ele Hawk pretending to be a miniature-milk-bottle-who-is-really-a-vase

 A Poplar Hawk Pretending to be a Paint Brush

A Rosy Footman admiring the Sporting Trophies on the top of the Welsh Dresser 
(can you spot her in the bottom right of the photo?)

A Rivulet pretending to be a humourous sign


A Magpie and a Coronet admiring the blinds...

A Garden Tiger doing a bad job of blending in behind a candle

A Brimstone looking out of the window

And what has to be the worst place ever to chose to hide-  Ele Hawk under a shoe on the stairs 

Another Ele Hawk displaying extremely good taste when it comes to choosing champagne

Two Peppered Moths who think they look like Halumi and Roasted Veg 

And what is my personal favourite...

A Poplar Hawk who thinks he is a plug

I've an interesting batch of moths today with plenty I've not seen before so it's taking me a while to sort out who they are. My efforts have been hampered by the regulation 200 assorted fluttery people who flew out of the box when I opened it first thing periodically shifting as the day has gone on, some of them settling on my feet and shoulders and going back to sleep, making moving them difficult. So I have been working in contorted positions trying to accommodate my sleeping fluttery friends and the whole thing has taken rather longer than it might otherwise have done.

Friday again. I hope you all have a super weekend wherever you are. Keep cool and enjoy this amazing weather we have here in the UK if you're here, and if you're reading this from outside the UK I hope your weather is lovely too and you also have a nice weekend.

CT x



  1. Aren't moths just the Masters of the Art of Cunning Disguise? I especially liked the one pretending to be a courgette.

    We had frog encounters at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk. Squillions of teeny ones freshly hatched from the Tadpole Hatchery. I balanced one on the end of my finger. It jumped off.

    You, too, have a fab weekend! And for goodness sake, bury that snake before we can smell it here in Kent!

    1. Yes I was impressed with the courgette one too. Very Clever. Of course, it's entirely possible the blackbirds are actually moths in disguise and not blackbirds at all, but that would mean cannibalism to go with the strawberries, which isn't a Nice Thought, so perhaps we'll stay away from that one.

      M is under orders to bury Poor Old Snake this weekend, so the smell doesn't reach Kent :-)

  2. I have put piccie of aforesaid mini-froglet on side bar of Much Malarkey. Not that I am suffering frog envy, of course...

    1. I want one!

      Incidentally, have just read your falling over post from mid may. I hope Andy now insures you have suitable padding before he lets you out anywhere? Poor you, sounded nasty x

  3. Luckily, I have my own natural padding! I am amazed I didn't break my arm. I think I am one of life's bouncers! Boing! (In keeping with the frog theme - did you see what I did there?!)

  4. I love the frog - I think your pond is definitely a success. I sympathise re blanket weed, my pond is starting to become covered with a horrible looking algae in the heat. I love the moths, as always and I like the way they're making themselves at home (I'm joining your 'followers' as for some reason I'm not getting some of your posts by email so I had to catch up on the poor snake. I've also had trouble with this comment, too - ugh, technology!!)

    1. Thank you for persevering with the comment- blogger does have these gremlins from time to time I've found.
      Loved your privet moth yesterday, I'd like to see one of those too :-)

  5. Hi there! Blackbirds are indeed a menace to the slumbering morning moth. They seem to have cottoned on to a greater extent than all other birds with robins coming second. I actually had one of the latter in the trap in Leeds, but he seemed to be too shocked by his surroundings to eat much. All v best, M

    1. Ours have definitely worked it out now. I've been lucky for a month I think but that is over now! Was the blackbird in the trap the one you referred to in your recent post? I must have a read :-)

    2. Sorry just realised it was a Robin in the trap not a blackbird!

  6. Hi CT your wildlife pond is amazing already! You must be so pleased. It doesn't take them long to move in which shows how in need of these spaces they all are. Love the moth pics, great fun to read this post. I have two blackbird chicks coming into the garden each morning following mum and dad. I've had a moth experience-I found I had loads of the same type in the garden recently so last night I went out and caught one-will do a post soon as I don't know what it is.

  7. So pleased wildlife is moving into your pond - it looks very well established already :) We have a problem with blanket weed too - the organic wildlife friendly stuff husband uses doesn't seem to be working this year :(

    Wonderful selection of moths - I am beginning to think I need a Robinson trap. I moved mine this morning and clouds immediately escaped where the plastic doesn't fit that well on the skinner. Don't think I have many left to pot :(

    1. It is disheartening to lose them like that. The Rob trap has been fantastic, but you do need a whole day to sort through them all and also not mind if they take over a room in your house for a day! Still, I've had pretty much 100 new species in 4 days since getting it, and have learnt so much as a result, which can't be bad :-)

  8. Love the way the moths are taking over your house now too. I stick to alpine strawberries these days as mine always got eaten too. It just takes hours to pick a mouthful!

    1. Last night supper was eaten outside because the kitchen table had various moths asleep on it. L: "Are moths taking over our WHOLE LIVES???!!!"

      Alpine strawbs are a good idea, however, there is one baby blackbird here who is amazingly resourceful and I suspect she would even steal those! Have a great weekend x

  9. Another great selection of moths and it's interesting to see them in such unusual locations (I like the Peppered Moth shot especially). This last week or so has been fantastic hasn't it and even I had nearly 300 moths last night !

    Great to see your pond coming along nicely and it makes me wish I had a wildlife pond too :-)

    1. I should have made it clear in the post it was a photo of roasted veg and halumi they were sitting on rather than the meal itself! (not hugely clear in the pic!). They did make me laugh- they were there all day, stoically convinced no-one could see them.

      A small pond doesn't take long to make if you have a bit of space... There is a post about 2/3 of the way down the June entries on the blog charting how we made ours with step by step instructions if you're tempted and want a template to use. You'll be amazed at how quickly the wildlife moves in. There's always something new to see too- new today for ours: baby pond skaters. Brilliant! :-)

  10. Hi CT, Sorry I have been a bit absent from commenting I've been spending too much time outside! Those are wonderful pictures from your garden and of the moths! Your pond looks almost the same size as ours. We used to suffer greatly with blanket weed but now have duck weed instead. Daisy is becoming more aware of sitting in the shade in the garden. She was meant to be having a haircut on Friday but the groomers clippers broke. We went out and bought some clippers to cool her down and she doesn't look too bad.
    Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I know what you mean- the urge is to make the most of it, hot weather having been so thin on the ground in the UK for the last 4 summers :-) Is duck weed treatable?
      Would love to see a pic of Daisy with her new hair do! x

  11. Great post!! Very much enjoy the various locations the moths have taken to sleeping. They are comics and they don't even know it!

    Ponds are such good habitats! Good on you for creating one in your garden! Very envious of the froggy!

    1. Bless the moths they will settle anywhere for a good sleep!

      Our pond is a great addition to the garden, always full of interesting things to look at and enjoy :-)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.