Pond 1 is not much more than a metre in diameter but is teeming with life. There may be newts in other ponds but here they can easily be seen. Shine a torch into the water after dark and they are immediately visible. It is surprising there is any room for them considering the growth of Water Lily. Despite having other water available, birds like to drink from here – when the level is a little low they perch on the side and then fully invert their bodies to reach the water below.
Like Pond 1 this was inherited from our predecessors. Here it is being dug out in 2002
It was in the middle of grassland with a few small shrubs and saplings round about
Those saplings are now mature trees which, together with ten-foot bamboo, overshadow the water which easily fills with leaves. That is fine as it now provides unique habitats – and has newts.
Is taking shape at the bottom of the large polytunnel, known as Zenith. Living at this altitude, with this weather, we have discovered that polytunnels are a wonderful way to create micro-climates. The first one is strictly utilitarian – grapes, figs, kiwi-fruit – the run of the mill stuff but Zenith is slowly taking shape to combine growing space with a sensuous and stimulating place to be. This includes a place to sit when the weather is a bit inclement, looking at the view – and Pond 4
(not that we do sit – but just planning for ten years hence)
Elsewhere in Zenith the tomatoes are being set out – ready to be supported by bamboo from Pond 2
What he might not know is that we have already seen his objective
Other moments from today
Thunder rolled round the horizon, cloaked in mist and cloud. From time to time the the moistness swelled into an approaching drum roll as a storm shower swept over.
Internet down (again) for three days this week and the problem is that when we can communicate we are overwhelmed with the pace of things.
Turn your back on a plant and it erupts with something new
Last summer we were delighted when our newly made pond brought in damselflies and dragonflies. One of the most engaging was the Broad-bodied Chaser. He had read the book which said “He regularly returns to the same perch after swift flights out across the water” as that is exactly what he did – adopting a horizontal twig on a hazel stump from which he did regular patrols round the pond.
His residency must have included a successful relationship as today a nymph crawled from the water, for some reason traversed a meter or so of grass, before choosing a stalk for its metamorphosis.
Very slowly its wings began to expand
In this vulnerable state the colour and shape of the wings blended with the surrounding grass stems
and from above, while its head was spectacular in colour and shape, it was also very similar to the surrounding Meadow Buttercup buds
It took about an hour and a half to prepare – no movement was apparent but its shape and colour were constantly changing
Eventually her (this is a female) wings parted slightly
before suddenly flicking open to full spread
Then it was off, leaving the empty exuvia still clinging to the grass