“I’ve been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose”
But actually, my primary aim was to find a frog, which I eventually did.
It wouldn’t have been hard to find him if he’d been sitting on the grass like this. But he wasn’t, of course.
The Cape Rain Frogs in our area are vocal little things keep us awake all night when it rains, but they are notoriously difficult to locate because they are small (5cm long), well camouflaged and hide in tiny little burrows under the vegetation. When they’re quiet, you literally wouldn’t know that they were there. So I used the occasional croaks to home in on this little guy bit by bit, before finding him and ever so gently easing him out of his hole to meet the kids and the camera.
When he was making a noise and I was actively searching, at least anyone watching me would have know that I was doing something. For the other 95% of the time, I was just standing silently and attentively in the rain. It must have looked odd. Fortunately(?), the rest of the family was still in bed.
After a few photos and some education, we popped him back safely in his little hole, ready to continue chatting to his local friends and to warn us of the next nocturnal precipitation.
219 – that used to be the MW frequency for Manx Radio.
Manx Radio. Two! One! Nine!
…was the jingle. I’m sure that you are singing along in your head as I am in mine. Those were, as they like to tell us, the days.
I don’t think you’d advertise a show over there (or anywhere else, really) with that sort of headline right now.
But I digress. Often.
We’re down in Agulhas and I’ve spent the morning cutting back the fynbos and cleaning out the braai area. I did have plans for a mid-afternoon nap, but suddenly I feel that a pre-mid-afternoon nap nap may be called for.
You should hear what I’m got planned for the early evening.
(Actually, I have a couple of Only Connect shows to catch up on…)
It’s been a heavy, disturbed, stressful week and the fresh air, sunshine and peace and quiet are exactly what we needed.
And the wildlife is enjoying the springtime too: skinks, scorpions, a mongoose and several (or more) really large moths around yesterday, together with some White Stork, Glossy Ibis and Ostrich on the way down here. And then, just before a very early bedtime, a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls and some passing Black-Crowned Night Herons yesterday evening.
Idyllic. Idyllic, but all rather tiring. Nap time.
Many people have reported on the increase in wildlife in more urbanised areas due to the lack of human activity. Obviously, some (or more) of these were fake news, like the dolphins in Venice and the polar bears in Barbados, but I have something to report too.
Since the lockdown, I have seen two new bird species in the garden.
Now, I’m not (necessarily) putting this down to the lack of human activity. And were these birds really scared off by a few more cars? Actually, if anything, I’ve spent more time outside during the last 15 days, because it’s either that or inside and the other option is “inside”. So maybe that’s the reason that I’ve spotted these new visitors. Who might not even be visitors at all. They may have been there all along and just not have been spotted.
I don’t look up much. It’s a mood thing.
Anyway. Please welcome the Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cucullata) and the Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea) to my back garden.
Photos may follow (I don’t have a very big one) (lens, I mean): I’ve only managed to see the OBS once anyway, and my quick snaps are awful. But rest assured that they were there.
Tomorrow, I go looking for the dolphins and the polar bears.