Thursday, 18 March 2010

Spring watch - frog spawn

Common frog (Rana temporaria) with spawn
Yesterday, St Patrick's day, the sun smiled on Susannah and me, as we proudly wore shamrock to church, and later were feasted by a kind friend Mary in honour of Clodagh's birthday! So many people around the world slap shamrock on everything in sight before celebrating Irishness in a wild binge to 'drown' it. It's quite extraordinary really - but I wonder how many recall the significance of that small trefoil leaf: used by Patrick as a metaphor for the Trinity - three leaflets in one leaf symbolising three persons in one God.
I searched the wild flower meadow for wild shamrock, but could find none due to the exceptionally cold and late season. However Susannah brought some from the greengrocer in a small pot - at least it was Irish grown, no doubt in some poly-tunnel, not imported from the Netherlands as it so often is. The cold, late season also means it is far too early to plant the potatoes which are chitting in the greenhouse - 1st early Duke of York, 2nd early Charlotte and main-crop Pink Fir Apple.

However, at long last the daffodils in the Labyrinth are pushing up their flowering heads -they came as volunteers with topsoil when the extension was built, so are scattered in pleasing natural clumps.

And yesterday the first frog-spawn appeared in the pond on the patio - now that's a real sign of Spring! I neglected the pond last year, so it was frightfully overgrown. But the sight of the spawn galvinised me into action to clear out the surplus pond weeds. I carefully left the spawn on one side and put it back afterwards - I trust I have not damaged it - and this morning another mass had appeared.

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