It is quite rewarding to have a close look round your garden to see what little creatures are living there. More so if you are in a garden which is some distance from home. This one is about 9286 km, or 5770 miles away from home, I looked it up! The garden under investigation is that of Caroline and Felix Wood, and it is in central Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. As you might expect there are lots of interesting creatures to be seen.
This slug is quite an up front sort of slug. It chooses to rest during the daytime on a garden wall which receives the sun from about 10am to about 4pm. In the shade today it is going up to 37C which is hotter than usual but even on a normal day it is 30-33 and in direct sun that will be considerably more.
These photos of the slug were taken after a rare shower of rain, I have tried to find the name of this slug but no luck. Also after the rain shower several frogs started to ‘plink… plink’ but I could not locate them. More easy to spot and photo are various lizards. This one has a favourite stone and is about 25 cm long.
There are lots of insects, particularly butterflies but they are very active and so far I do not have any decent shots. This also applies to dragonflies and damsel flies. So in terms of insects I have this shot of a bee.
There are several flowering plants in the garden and I was hoping they would be visited by sunbirds but not so far. This next insect is a sort of cross between a grasshopper and a mantis it is called a Katydid as in ‘What Katy did next’ so it has a particularly silly name in my opinion.
Finally, there are a few birds about but not as many as in their previous garden. This little chap came along yesterday and is an African yellow white eye. Which is not a bad name except its eye is actually black.
Well they were certainly doing something like that today. Not so much a courtin’ more of an orgy come gang bang. But he did ride.. oh yes, though some were sharing their ride with several other revelers!
Although they were not so preoccupied that at my approach all the splashing and ‘courtin’ did stop, however not for long, after a while they forgot I was there and continued their activities.
These frogs look a bit odd to me not exactly Rana temporaria, the common frog. They look more like Marsh frogs which I often see in France. Marsh frogs are more uniform in colour and their eyes bulge more. Here is a photo of one that I took in France, for comparison.
However I looked up the distribution of Marsh frogs in GB and it is all SE/Kent area, so most unlikely. Also frog colouration is quite variable.
This was all happening at one of the small ponds on Clearwell Meand. I often go for a walk up there and I was there just a few days ago and was looking out for any signs of frogs or toads but nothing. So all this has kicked off in the last few days.
I also noticed some other activity in the water. Now these are shallow ponds and normally dry up at some stage in the summer. So no fish and not that many big invertebrates like great diving beetles or dragonfly larvae. I was thinking it might be newts. Then I saw a head poke up where some of the activity had been taking place. It was small but with a 400mm lens and a steady hand this is what I photographed. The photo has also been cropped to get an even closer view.
When I was at the pond I thought it might have been a terrapin but now I am not sure what it was. A second visit is needed.