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The Private Life of Frogs

Friday, 7th June 2002, West Yorkshire

ash treefrogAs I cut back the buttercups, grasses and dock from around the pond, five or six frogs leap in, one after the other, as I disturb them. Later, as I rake out the stems of the floating plant that last year completely took over the pond, a large green frog leaps out again and lands by my left hand.

the floating plant It's surprising that something as large as a frog (this one is the size of a child's fist) can disappear and appear so suddenly. No wonder they appear in fairy tales, on puppet shows and even on stage at last Saturday's Jubilee pop concert from the grounds of Buckingham Palace (that was Kermit, by the way).

creeping buttercup It's a shame to cut a swathe through their secret world down by the pond but I need to improve the access for birds. I was sorry last week to find a juvenile blackbird that had apparently got stuck in the water and drowned.

Also it's good to be able to see the pond again. It had disappeared from view as seen from the house. There is still plenty of cover amongst the herbage on the far side of the pond.

frog I don't get far with my job. It's been a dull day. First there are specks of rain and soon it threatens to build up into a heavy shower.

Back in the studio I sketch the view from the window of the ash, now almost in full leaf, and Kessie and Copper, the two Welsh ponies, in the page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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