All posts from the Meadow 2018
First sighting of fox cub on the allotment, basking in the sun with its mother. We’ve been seeing her quite a bit, heavily pregnant when snow was on the ground and then a couple of weeks ago with distended teats. They were at the far end of somebody’s garden surrounded by dandelion clocks and forget-me-nots. Mother grooming the baby.
First mining bee nesting in the box I bought a year or so ago.. perspex sides let you look in and see what is happening. Over the last week or so she has constructed 10 mud walled cells. Filling each one with pollen, she has a ritual of returning from pollen collection, chewing over some of the previous batch (I wonder why?) and then scraping off the new load from the underside of her abdomen using bristly hind legs. When the cell is 3/4 full of pollen she lays a single white sausage shaped egg and then seals it up.
Seeing several species of mining bee including ashy and tawny. I’m not sure of the one in the box, maybe buffish?
After the big freeze I thought the pond might be a desert. There has been carnage amongst the amphibians.
The pond was iced up for days and i could see frogs still coupled up under the ice but I figured they knew what they were up to.
I broke the ice a couple of times early on (which apparently you shouldn’t do… causes detrimental vibrations or some such..) come the thaw at least… 20 dead frogs…. 5 dead newts…
Worse was to come when new male frogs came in and starting coupling up with the dead females…. I had to prise them off to get rid of the bodies…
Web searches weren’t that helpful explaining how to help in future…. but apparently it isn’t the cold that kills them but the build up of noxious gases under the ice… and the answer is to make some kind of air pocket using a float with a concavity on its underside.
There were at least 10 newts moving around in little convoys, much whipping and fluttering of tales. I still find them very exotic for a garden pond. Several pond skaters skimming over proceedings.