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Posts Tagged ‘large yellow toads’

What You Doing?

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Actually young man I am trying to ‘cat proof’ my flower/bulb beds.  After your last visit I decided to take advice from various people who know and re did the Hexagon planter planted it up with gladioli then covered it with stones.  This I have been told would do two things, firstly deter you and secondly help keep the ground moist during summer.

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So I shall be collecting small stones to place along the lines of gladie’s and lilies in the back garden, then I also covered part of the main bed with them in the hope this really works.  As this is a work in progress I shall save up the pictures and tell the whole story later, don’t hold your breath though this is a ‘can’t be rushed’ thing, but it’s getting there.  I also bought some Hebes which I have planted behind the Hexagon.  Here I cleared the ground, placed plastic over the area covered it with sand then earth and planted the Hebes in an arc.  Unfortunately we had a rain storm and the rush of water from the fields not only brought loads of earth with it but washed away a bit of the plastic around the last two plants.  But all is sorted, once we realized what had happened Michael re-laid that covered it with earth and watered them in.

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Now to the Lillie garden.  This is how it looked after the hot summer, loads of weeds and a stone wall that was a disgrace, so it was my priority. The first thing I had to consider was the water pipe. This runs from the large cisterna behind the house into the header tank, it also takes the overflow from the tank down into that cisterna – when it rains – so I couldn’t cement it in.  What to do? well I cleared all the weeds then looked at the Lilies to see where they came into contact with it.  This done I next removed all the stones from that horrid ‘wall’ and started again.  This time I concentrated on the plants and pipe together.  The first thing I did was build up the end wall near the step, clearing things as I went, I moved along tidying it up. Next I cemented it all together added topping stones job done.  Where the pipe ran through the bed I used the violets (which had self-seeded) next to it as part of the cover then covered the exposed bits with stones. This made a small narrow garden at the front into which I planted some baby bulbs so whatever comes up will be a nice surprise.  The metal support you see in the top used to hold a water pipe until the new cisterna was built. Michael had secured it in place so well we couldn’t get it out, so it has Sweetpeas planted round it which are growing and hopefully they will cover it but I have other things that can climb if not.

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This is the Mint garden that runs from the Lillie bed down to the cisterna. Again this was full of weeds and looking rather shoddy compared to the Sage bush on the other side of the water duct.  This was a little bit easier to sort out, once weeded and cleaned up I just covered the ground with stones, cemented the edge, filled in various holes. You will notice a small patch at the end of the bed this is part of the path leading up to the fields one day it will be concreted over just here so this is still a work in progress.

This Is Horace

DSCF3271 (640x480)I found him hiding in the tomato grow bag one year not very amused when I disturbed him. I have seen him around the garden on the days when the sun is out so glad he’s ok.  He and the others that live here have often flummoxed  me as there is no water up here, no pond, nada.  So where does he go? where does he and the others – there are smaller ones – live?  We hear them on a spring or autumn evening, croaking away but although like the bats, we see them where they go in summer for coolness we’ve no idea.  Ah well it is and will remain one of the forests mysteries.

 

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

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Although we do not have water on our finca after it has rained we are entertained by the singing of some rather fat toads who are out on the pull.

 

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We first saw one when I was moving some wood and found underneath a large spotted yellow toad next to a black curled up snake. The snake went flying via a long stick and the toad decided to hop it. Then a few days later we saw a brown toad by the wall.  These toads are here all the time they hide away during the hot weather but when it cools down and the mornings are laden with heavy dew, they come out. After dark they start their mating calls hoping to find a willing female. This year the cicadas had only just finished their nightly chatter when the toads took over. They have been happily singing for several nights now sexy little dears.

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As for Jimmny Cricket. I was looking at the young walnut tree when I noticed a large insect sitting on a branch. It is about 3-4 inches long, strong hind legs, with long feelers, it was its head that told me who it was. (Walt Disney can be useful). Anyway, there he was sitting there quite content and utterly convinced he was invisible – the walnut tree is a very young one and he is almost as long but not quite as the branch he was sitting on. I have taken photos, only not with a digital camera so it will be a time before I can post them. This evening when we came home Jimmny decided to play ‘you cant see me’. As we walked past the tree he moved round the trunk in the hope he would be invisible. It is now midday and I have just looked, he is still there enjoying the weak sunshine. Nature can be wonderful.

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