Friday, 9 August 2013

Toadlets Jumping On My Toes And A Tawny Owl Pellet, Amongst Other Things

So I'm thinking today I maybe won't post a post, having been out with L for a few hours to see friends and needing to get the house/ kitchen/ supper etc sorted before our house guests arrive tomorrow. On a whim therefore I took the camera up to the pond and was busy taking a picture of a bee on some clover when something fell on my cath-kidston-flip-flopped foot. I glanced down and thought it was a bird poo (the fact I didn't then squeal and flap about waving my arms and shrieking hysterically before falling in a dramatic swoon to the ground tells you I am a country girl who has had worse experiences than birds pooing on her foot).

Anyway, it wasn't a poo, it was, in fact, a toadlet! (at least, I am claiming him as a toadlet because his skin is a lot more warty and toady-looking than that of a frog, which is smoother and more uniform, but if I am wrong please correct me). I scooped him up off my foot and managed to get some pics before he hopped off.



Bit gorgeous isn't he?

Anyway, he soon hopped off and disappeared into the grass where he vanished so convincingly it has left me worried that there may be others hidden up there whom I could step on without knowing.

I found an owl pellet on the path outside the front door yesterday. I'm not entirely sure how it got there unless an owl was perched on a window sill, which seems unlikely. It is a Tawny pellet, because it is longer and thinner than any other owl's and tapers at one end. It's also quite fragile which is typical of Tawny pellets. No sign of obvious bones in it, but plenty of black beetle pieces and what I take to be grass but in the photo looks like wood flakes. If anyone with Owl Pellet Expertise can expound further I'd be very interested to hear more. I think they're fascinating.




A few other pics of things I have found interesting this week, such as this bee with a very full pollen basket....


Bird's Foot Trefoil (below) is growing around the pond. This is especially pleasing because we have deliberately left that area to grow longer grasses and it must mean the Trefoil has always been there, just unable to bloom previously because the grass was kept too short. I am really pleased about this because BFT is a great plant for all sorts of wildlife and I have been thinking about sowing it.


Our honeysuckle has really struggled this year but at last the flowers are coming.

This is what is was doing...

Hanging basket toms are now well on the way and we are eating them every day...


The Black Eyed Susans I grew from seed a few years back are now in bloom. Glorious.

Ripe blackberries in the hedge beside the drive...
M makes a wicked blackberry ice-cream.

M's Chillies are doing well. He's grown some dangerously hot varieties this year that have names like Hungarian Hotstuff and Ecuadorial Exploder (actually, I've made those up, but you get the picture).


This Sunflower Variety is called Teddy, because it's fluffy I guess...


I've really missed my moths today, so was charmed to see this Knot Grass asleep on the wall. I'm pretty sure it's the same one from a couple of days ago because the marking's are quite unusual, so he/ she hasn't gone far.


And finally, I'll leave you with a picture of Ted rolling in the grass this afternoon. 
Little does he know it, but he's off for a bath and haircut in a minute (having seen Dougal silver and neatly shorn, fresh from the poochie parlour yesterday- beside him Ted looks like a disreputable lout who's let himself go in no uncertain terms. He's also turning slowly yellow, which is always a sign that a bath is due, before small children burst into tears and hold their noses when he walks past them).


Have a good weekend all,

CT :-)

14 comments:

  1. Oh poor Ted.. but you can't have him whiffy if you have house guests.

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    1. Alas the whole house is whiffy, because house keeping is not a skill I practice as often as I should... Ted, on the other hand, is now shining white and smells like a tart's parlour ;-)

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  2. I hope Ted enjoyed his wash 'n' brush up enormously, and am looking forward to seeing an 'After' piccie. My Gran had a poodle called Ringo and I used to enjoy enormously taking him to the poodle parlour and seeing how soft and fluffy he was after the primping was complete. This was when I was a small child I hasten to add.

    As for owl pellets - I am fine with them, but I don't think I could manage a whole one. :-p

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    1. Actually d'you know he was remarkably decent about the whole thing, even stood in the bath and only shook once (covering me in dirty water), and then sat quietly on the patio table while the clippers came out, reaching up to lick my face every now and then in an "I understand why you're subjecting me to this hideous and absurd ritual and I just want you to know I love you anyway" kind of way. Had it been Cleo, she would have spat, sworn and swiped at me and probably shredded my arm for good measure :-)

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  3. HI CT I love the baby Toad. The dog looks lovely now and he didn't really give you a hard time. Have a great weekend

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    1. I don't think I've ever seen a baby toad before so it was very exciting. He/ she was up by the pond...

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  4. Do love your tiny toadlet :) I also rather like the Sunflower variety called Teddy - beautiful - never seen one like that before!

    So glad I am not the only one who is rather slovenly on the housework front!!!! Much to husband's disgust - his mother used to vacuum and dust WHOLE house EVERY day!!

    Look forward to a newly groomed photo of Ted. Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Blimey, she would have had a fit if she ever popped in here for a cuppa! Most of the time you can't see the carpet for accumulated bits of dog, child and garden :-)

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  5. I love the little toad and I have to confess I examine owl pellets, too, although I'm not an expert on them! Harry is due for a bath, here, which he'll hate - so I'm lining up the chewy rewards to stop me feeling so guilty about it.

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    1. Ted got a fairly substantial lump of cheese after his bath and is bouncing round the place today like a new dog, so perhaps he is secretly glad to have shed his coat and bad smell :-) He send commiserations to his friend Harry.

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  6. Great toadlet CT, I'm sure there will be more down there. I have a few toads and have previously seen quite a few baby toads (but not recently-only their poo it seems!) However I am making a new wildlife pond and hoping to attract more. I am thinking of buying some BFT plugs next spring and a few other wildflowers plug plants too. Blackberry ice cream sounds wonderful and now all I can think about is getting a scoop of vanilla ice cream out of the freezer...mmmmm.
    I really like the look of your hanging basket toms and I've been thinking about growing strawberries like this for next year.
    Finally I love when white dogs have had a bath-they look so fluffy and well...white! My dog is in dire need of a bath, as he has an orange tint due to the orange/red clay here.

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    1. I'm relieved about the toadlet because it wasn't that long since Samantha Helvetica ate our resident toad! Although I know there is another adult in the garden. Great news about your new pond. Where do you get wildflower plug plants from? And I didn't know you had a doggy- tell me more... CT :-)

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  7. Such a cute tiny toadlet!! I think owl pellets are fascinating. A couple of winters ago, we had a pair of long eared owls roosting in a tree in our garden and the only tell tale sign they were there was the pellets directly below them. I dissected a few and found all sorts of tiny little rodent bones!

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    1. Me too re the pellets. For L's 8th birthday party he had a farm visit trip to our local ag college and they ended by dissecting owl pellets and going through all the bones etc they contained. The kids absolutely loved it. I thought it was a brilliant thing to offer as a child's party.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x