Saturday 22 May 2010

An Exciting Development

Paul's favourite pastime in the summer is hunting for slugs and snails after dark, dropping the slugs into the beer trap and pitching the snails overarm into the car park behind the house. I was sitting outside with a cup of tea while he went about his duties, when I heard "Oh my god! Julia, come here!". I went over to the steps down to the basement, and saw what his torch was illuminating:

This is one of a pair of common newts, Triturus vulgaris, which seem to have taken up residence in the garden. I'm a little puzzled, as I would have thought by now they were in full-on breeding season, and they're still very much terrestrial. But I do wonder if my tiny terracotta pot pond with its two plants (lizard's tail and horsetail) would make a suitable newt hatching ground!

I shall keep a look out, and have suggested that Paul stops collecting slugs from the steps, so the newts have plenty to eat. It means sacrificing my deciduous Magnolia leaves for the third year in a row, but worth it to see some vulnerable animals doing well in Jurassic Park.

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