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Pond Life

Saturday, 10th March 2001, West Yorkshire


IT'S A FINE morning again and the Frogs in the pond are croaking and keeping watch for visiting females. As it gets towards nine o'clock, as if by common agreement, several of them start leaving. They hop off in different directions - towards the garden border, or the shed, or down the path towards the shrubs.

frog There's no frogspawn as yet, but it's often in the morning that new clumps appear. Perhaps these males realise that by nine o'clok there's little chance of a female coming along and that they might as well disperse and feed.

song thrush A Song Thrush has found a makeshift bird bath in the concave lid on top of a plastic compost bin.

I thought that this black four-spot Ladybird hadn't quite made it through the winter. I found it lying on the windowsill in the spare bedroom. Some species of ladybird gather together in huge numbers to hibernate.

ladybird As it is only four millmetres long, I put it on the desk and examined it with a pocket microscope. When I turned on the microscope's built-in torch bulb I noticed a slight movement in one of its legs. The warmth seemed to be stirring it out of hibernation. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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