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  • Writer's pictureOverstrand Life

Monday 1st April 2024 - Bug Hotel, Cleaning the Pond and First BBQ of 2024

Last year, Peter made me the wooden frame for a bug hotel.  I filled it with all sorts; twigs, leaves, bamboo, raffia and open pine cones.  What I had forgotten was, cones close and when they did, pretty well all of the contents fell out.  I have now purchased some chicken wire and the other day, I refilled the wooden frame, no leaves this time, cut some off the roll of wire and stapled this across the front and down the sides of the frame.  Hopefully, bug hotel, version two, will be more successful.



Since seeing coupling frogs in our pond and then the water full of spawn, strange things have happened.  Not so strange were the emerging tadpoles but the spawn seemed to disappear and lumps of debris from the bottom of the pond floated up, there was an oily film on the surface and then the numbers tadpoles decreased.  On Friday I lowered our children’s fishing net into the depths (it’s not that deep) and brought up some pretty foul smelling ‘stuff’.  Yesterday, between us, we tackled cleaning the pond, first bailing out the water and pouring this through garden windbreak, which acted as a sieve, into a bucket and putting any snails and tadpoles we found into a separate bucket containing rain water.  As we got nearer the bottom, it was evident frogs were in residence.  As they popped their heads up, I lifted them and put them in the bucket with the snails and tadpoles.  After Peter had hosed down the sides of the pond and I had removed the remaining smelly sludge, we refilled the pond with rainwater from the butts.  It was then the turn of the frogs; eleven went back in, followed by one more, Peter found in the bucket with all the stinking sludge, plus the few tadpoles and some snails which were in the bucket with the frogs.  Also found in the sludge and in the bucket with Friday’s netting was some spawn which we cleaned as well as we could, returning this to the pond too.  Later I hosed the pond plants to get out the duck weed before placing them back.  So what was the smelly sludge?  The pond is covered with a netted frame, to stop the local cats eating the froglets and harassing the adult frogs, so it wasn’t rotting leaves.  I believe is was an accumulation of frog poo! 

 

The garden shed was also cleaned out.  I now have a box of pots to put outside our gate for free; I swear pots multiply in the shed over winter!  So, with a clean shed and pond our efforts were rewarded with Peter BBQing Sunday lunchtime, (our first for 2024) before the obligatory Bank Holiday weekend rain set in during the afternoon.

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