THE ICE has gone from the canal for the first time in weeks. After the cold the mildness is like a warmth breath over the landscape.
The ice has vanished from the pond overnight too and straight away the Frogs have gathered. I count 17 of them, all males, croaking and keeping watch for any female entering the pond. Three are locked in a clinch.
Their croaking is surprisingly deep for such a small creature. You can see the effort that goes into it, their throat extends between their head and shoulders, rather like Dizzy Gillespie's cheeks when he played the trumpet.
In cartoons frogs are often bright green but all of these are a dark, ashy colour. Perhaps the darker shade helps them warm up more quickly at the first hint of sun.