Spawn

DSC01148 DSC01149

 In some fine Heath- Robinson engineering fashion we managed to convert an industrial sized plastic shampoo carrier ( 5 X 5 X 5 feet in a metal cage (which we cunningly also converted into a frame for a fruit cage for our red and white currant patch)) into wildlife ponds for our allotment plot three years ago. We had to wash out the gloop and silver glitter first and the sawing was not exact – mine never is, to be honest. But the purpose is served; the waters are now populated with water boatmen, pond skaters, midge larvae.

Birds, wasps and bees come to drink and frogs and toads (and perhaps newts – we have them on the site) to spawn. Spiders spin their webs in the margin plants (scavenged from the ponds of friends) and oxygenating weeds provide cover for the secretive inhabitants including giddy-dancing daphnia and whirligig beetles. I dream of the day the ponds may hold dragonfly larvae – so that there will be a chance I can witness the emergence from the water and the taking to flight – now there’s a dream for you!

Some magic how or other surface pondweed (Canadian duckweed?) found its way to the ponds and carpets them both completely. So it has not possible this year to see whether there is any spawn in there. Given the unusually low temperatures I was prepared to believe that spawning had simply been delayed this year. But as we noticed this week at home our garden pond is more than filled. This is somewhat surprising: we did not notice the activity this year, certainly didn’t hear it …and the noise was certainly attention-seeking loud last year. How long it has been there this year, I cannot say. But I know last year there was spawn in both places by mid-January.  

spawn

I have great fun (and I choose the word advisedly) just keeping an eye on the developments: a truly childlike fascination with the whole now-they’ve-got-back-legs, now … cycle of metamorphosis. It takes me back to catching spawn with a stick, carrying it home in a jam- jar, or on one occasion a smaller boy’s welly, and keeping the whole shebang life-circus going in a big tin bucket usually used for chicken feed. The patience of my grandparents eh? The water itself adds to the wildlife value of the plot and I would seriously encourage any gardener/allotment holder to add a pond; it’s about adding diversity and when I have been working on the plot and settle for a cup of tea I perch on the bench by the pond and am treated to some delightful sights and sounds.

Photo source: frogs and spawn: www.betablocker.co.uk

27/3/2013

 

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3 responses to this post.

  1. This looks good! I wonder how long it will take your local amphibians to start breeding in your ponds. Perhaps you’ll send your observations to the Great Spawn Count http://argylesock.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/coming-to-a-pond-near-you-close-encounters-of-the-amphibian-kind/

    Reply

  2. I do love the emergers. Stoneflies and the like, nymphs and such, and the way they just shed on the rocks, leaving their old selves to dry there as they begin another part of their fantastic journey. I’m looking forward to the poems that emerge from your waters.

    Reply

  3. If some one needs expert view concerning blogging afterward i recommend him/her to go to see this blog, Keep up the
    pleasant job.

    Reply

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