thinking outside the tank

Frog blog

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Picture it: Taormina, Sicily, July 1923. David Herbert Lawrence writes the following words in response to a chance encounter with one of the ‘Lords of life’:

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before

In a strange parallel, I walked down the garden today carrying a full watering can into the shade of a hawthorn tree. My plan was to water the courgettes but there, sitting on the grow bag, was a young Common Frog.

Rana temporaria Copyright © C.Hazlehurst, 2010

Lawrence continues:

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

I was equally delighted to have this amphibious visitor. We built a pond last year and I was hoping that it would  be more than a bird-bath for the blackbirds and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Lawrence’s encounter ended with him throwing a clumsy log and the snake ‘convulsed in undignified haste’. I dashed for my camera and reported the good news to the family. We are now treading very carefully in that corner of the garden.

Copyright ©  Colin Hazlehurst, 2010


Written by netkingcol

August 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Posted in diary, Nature

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

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