1 EAGLETON NOTES: Lengthening Days

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Lengthening Days

For the last few years when I have spent much of my winter in this country I have looked forward to spring. Before the decade of winters spent in New Zealand I didn't think about winter in a negative way at all. I worked during the day and  I hunkered down at night and did winter things. Now the days when it's dark until after 8am and dark again by 4pm have begun to pall. More than that, though, is the uncertainty of being able to leave the Island. Winter gales often stop the ferries and even, on occasion, the planes. However as I can't take my car on the plane and, being over 70, I can't hire a car at my destination I rarely fly unless I'm going abroad.

This year we've actually had one of the sunniest winters on record although that hasn't stopped the gales and rain from playing their usual part in our lives.

But there are signs of Spring. Yesterday the Blackbirds were singing their hearts out as the light faded and I heard a Wren. Today I saw a Wren in the garden and the frogs  decided it was party time and the first spawn appeared about 10 days earlier than the last time I can recall the event.



34 comments:

  1. Lovely! Tapioca! Hello to summer.

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    1. Kate I'd hesitate to say summer yet. Spring just about perhaps.

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    2. I forgot to add, Kate, that tapioca is one of the very few foods that I have great difficulty eating.

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    3. Rice pudding (IMO) is much better!

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    4. I agree Mrs S. My father always had the skin though (thank heaven).

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  2. Wow, what great frogs! I have never seen frogspawn such as that, incredible!

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    1. Kay I woke this morning to find the amount of spawn has increased hugely.

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  3. Wow! This brings back memories of my childhood living in Melbourne (southern Australia). We had a huge pond in the front yard full of large gold fish and lots of frogs. We used to check the frog spawn every day until the tadpoles hatched.

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    1. I confess, Liz, that I will be watching the spawn develop too. I've often wondered how much of it is consumed by the goldfish in my pond.

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  4. I love frogs...such interesting creatures.

    Autumn has arrived here...still warm weather being experienced. I don't know how I'd handle those extremely short days...I guess one gets used to one's surrounds, though.

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    1. Lee one handles the short days by remembering that at midsummer there is no night.

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  5. The lengthening of days is very pleasant as we know much better things are to come.

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  6. Yes, Blackbirds are singing here too; I love to wake to their voices in the trees. We have Toads on our pool cover, I'm not keen.

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    1. As far as I'm aware, Cro, there are no toads on the Island. I certainly wouldn't like them on the pool cover although I don't suppose they would actually survive in the pool for very long.

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  7. I doubt our frogs have begun to party yet, it still gets close to frost some nights. But we are finally, finally, finally getting some long awaited and badly needed rain! You wouldn't think of Germany as a particularly dry country, would you, but we have not had nowhere near enough rain since about September, and ground water levels are at a worrying low.

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    1. PS: Yes, the blackbirds! I've heard them singing for a while now, and love every note I manage to catch.

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    2. Meike one of the things about being next to the sea and the warming effect of the gulf stream is that we are rarely below freezing here on the Island and we are rarely without (too much) water.

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    3. Cough-cough...that last remark is a perfect example of understatement.

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  8. Here on Long Island, our wrens are about, and they and the sparrows are darting in and out of the empty birdhouses in our garden, property shopping. Crocuses are blooming, daffodils are just putting up their little green fingers to test the air before committing to anything yellow. March is definitely coming in like a lion - the constant buffeting wind is getting wearing! Sounds like waves crashing against the cottage walls.

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    1. Mrs S my daffodils are all out now and surviving the occasional gale as well.

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  9. Here, we were cast back into winter this week - with quite a lot of snow. It's been thawing again today, but I'm not sure we've seen the last of the snow yet. No frog-friendly pond near me, so I've never had the opportunity to watch those. Perhaps a good thing that you do have the goldfish, or you might soon have too many frogs??

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    1. Monica I'm not sure that winter is quite finished hear yet either although Scotland has been having record high temperatures as well. I don't know whether the goldfish eat the frogspawn but the last time I counted heads above water there were 10 frogs but I expect that there are many more. The amount of spawn now is 4 or 5 times that in the photo and I don't think they have finished yet judging by the cavortings in the pond this morning.

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  10. I trust that you will volunteer to be the godfather of all those little tadpoles when they wriggle free. Mrs Frog will appreciate your moral support. It can't be easy being the single mother of forty nine children. You will all be able to go on holiday together. The kids in the back and Mrs Frog on the front passenger seat, listening to "The Frog Chorus" over and over on the car stereo.

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    1. YP I already have a goodly number of godchildren (I wasn't atheist then) but I'm not sure that frogs are theist anyway. Actually I'm already sick and tired of 'A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go' coming from the pond: there's well over a dozen producing as I type.

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    2. Wooing or a word that rhymes with it beginning with "s"?

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  11. Are you saying that one cannot hire a car in the U.K. if one is over 70? I'm fairly certain that is not the case here. Anyone with a current, valid driver's license can rent a car here. The one concession to age here in Georgia is that driver's license renewals include a vision test for people over 65.

    We have robins and bluebirds and house finches and rock doves and mockingbirds galore at the moment. The daffodils showed up a month ago.

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    1. Robert (if I may be so familiar) it may sometimes possible to hire a car in the U.K. but it's unusual I believe. A friend arranges his own insurance and he is able to but not without some difficulty. In New Zealand it's possible regardless of age so far as I'm aware. As for daffodils mine are now out but then you are at least 23 degrees of latitude south of me.

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    2. Robert does not sound familiar to me at all as I am called that only by people who are not friends and a few bloggers Like yourself whom I do consider friends but whom I somehow have never enlightened. Please call me Bob; all my friends do except those who knew me in childhood. They still call me Bobby. I like both Bob and Bobby. Robert is more of an at-arms-length moniker for use in professional situations, even though it is the name on my birth certificate. Now you have all the facts. Here are a few more: one work colleague used to call me Bob-O, another called me Bobby-O, and a third called me Slick, probably because I am obviously not. I hope Yorkshire Pudding is not reading any of this.

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    3. Thanks Bob. You've given me an idea for another post.

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  12. I have never seen frogs spawn before. Wow! How incredible.

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    1. Lynda I cannot believe how a tiny frog produces so much spawn. The pond is no awash with it.

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  13. I enjoyed the snaps of the frogspawn - took me back to my youth, it did. In those days the stream at the boundary of my parents' smallholding always had frogspawn and my brother and I invariably brought some back to put in a tank and watch develop into tadpoles. I remember one morning we came downstairs to what seemed like hundreds of tiny frogs hopping around the living room. Sadly nowadays the stream holds no frogspawn - and hasn't for many years.

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    1. Michael the ponds around Liverpool where I was born and played used to have lots of wildlife but now there's not one of those ponds which hasn't been covered by houses.

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