Sunday, 10 December 2006

The wonder of the pond habitat.

Ponds are an immensely valuable habitat to have in any garden. Starting in the Spring, you can relive your childhood by following at first hand, the life-cycle of frogs, toads, and, if you are lucky enough, newts as well. During late Summer and Autumn you find yourself walking on tiptoe, so as not to tread on lots of baby frogs hopping around the garden. They are a godsend as they gobble up a lot of the slugs and snails which would otherwise eat through the tender seedlings. And on hot, balmy Summer days, when you are relaxing in the garden, you are serenaded by the frog chorus, a sound to gladden every nature-lover's heart.

All myriad of birds, each with their own individual plumage and unique song, come to drink and bathe, and when the sunlight reflects on them, you look in wonder, as a child would, at the beautiful irridescence of their feathers. And they stay and build nests in your trees and provide you with the best alarm call of all, the dawn chorus. We have even had mallard ducks landing on the ponds, hoovering the duckweed, an uninvited guest, which has hitched a lift in one of the aquatic plants.

Beautiful damselflies with their delicate, gossamer wings, and their noisier cousins, the dragonflies demonstrate their acrobatic ballet, as they flit among the plants, catching insects. Swallows and martins swoop and dive across the ponds, catching their dinner on the wing. Hoverflies, wasps, bees, and ephemeral butterflies join the ranks to quench their thirst at the watering-hole; all precious little creatures, each one valued and treasured, each part of the web of pondlife.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden,
Than anywhere else on earth.

1 comment:

Emmesse said...

I like the frost on the birdbath!