|Caught out by the spring tides|
The sea and salt marshes change daily according to the weather and tides - so much so that, when a friend came to visit the other day, we were completely caught out by flooding on my usual stroll through the nature reserve. I was loudly blaming the rain for the extra inches of water swishing around our wellies, until a passing local gently reminded me that it was actually the result of the spring high tides and, yet again, I was exposed for the ignorant city dweller that I really am.
We are also going to have to invest in a bird book that is a little more detailed than my 1960s illustrated Observer book of birds. The marshes opposite the house are inhabited by all sorts of beautiful birds that I really should know the name of, and I have already suffered family humiliation after calling the Brent geese cormorants (in my defence, I didn't have my glasses on..)!
|Stephen the frog|
My stepson named the frog Stephen, and pointed out that, unless we did something about it, Stephen was soon going to end up being preserved Pompeii-style in the wave of cement that the builders are due to deposit in his patch next week.
Heart strings duly pulled, I braced myself for trying to capture Stephen in a small plastic tub so we could take him somewhere safer. Stephen turned out to be relatively obliging and hopped in to the tub I put in front of him, only making a short wave of protest with one 'hand'/'claw' (?!) when I tried to put the lid on.
Convinced that the stress of the whole episode would probably kill Stephen off anyway, my stepson and I then legged it across the road and into the nature reserve, holding the little plastic tub out in front of us, like some sort of bizarre bouquet. We carefully selected a sheltered spot close to the water that, to our uneducated minds, looked like the sort of place a frog might be happy, and then lifted the lid. Stephen, amazingly, hopped happily out and was immediately camouflaged in the reeds.
We strolled back home, smugly congratulating ourselves on the success of our mission, only to meet Simon outside.
Well done, said Simon, "I look forward to watching Stephen attempting to cross this road, as he tries to find his way back home."
So, now I need an Observer Book of Frogs too - just to quietly reassure myself that a homing instinct is completely out of the question, and hopefully before the builders arrive.