Friday, April 06, 2007

Troubled times

Easter weekend and the sun is shining bright. I've spent the morning in the garden, getting the potato tyres ready, pruning the budleia, mucking about with compost. It's too early to plant much out yet - we're still getting frosts at night, but soon things will begin to turn green.

That is, if it rains.

We've not had any rain here in over a week. That's astonishing for Mid Wales at this time of year. On the one hand, it's a good thing, as it means lambing is relatively easy. On the other hand, despite the warmth, the grass isn't growing, so there's nothing for the sheep to eat. Every time one of the farm landrovers drives past the house, the air is filled with a fine, choking dust more redolent of August and September than April.

And up in the forestry, the tadpoles have fallen victim to drought for a second year.

such a senseless waste

I was quite surprised, on returning from the Great Canadian Skiing Adventure to discover that, in my absence, the frogs had made merry and their spawn had already hatched. Another sign of global warming, no doubt. Sadly, some survivors from wetter times had once more chosen to populate what they no doubt thought was a substantial body of water. I've watched over the past fortnight as the level has slowly sunk, the edges creeping ever inwards like some tiny simulacrum of the Aral Sea. Dried up tadpoles, like half-chewed liquorice allsorts, scattered away in the scouring wind.

Sometimes I think I might take a bucket up with me when I walk the dachshund. Not far from this treacherous wadi there is a stream which would supply plentiful water. But usually I only remember after I've set out, and I don't care enough about the little buggers to turn back. And anyway, saving them this year would mean that future generations of frogs would return to spawn in this hopeless place.

Yesterday there was some water left, but not enough to give much hope. The poor little things were packed together in a writhing mess of tadpole soup.

tasty with added croutons

Today, they're all dead.



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2 Comments:

Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh, that picture just put me off my lunch. It reminds me of Kling-On food - gack or whatever. Probably spelled wrong...

April 06, 2007 6:33 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Never mind Klingon food, I'm sure that's a delicacy in South Eastern China.

April 07, 2007 9:27 am  

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