Where are the frogs?

Following up on my Felty Folk and tadpoles post, I’ve been back to Lauder Burn to look for frogs and hopefully to see the Felty Folk Vs frogs jumping competitions that Neeva mentioned. The tadpoles have certainly diminished, there’s just a few bottom left of the photo –

No frogs just tadpoles

but I couldn’t see frogs anywhere. I was pleased to see the Lady’s Smock flower out, it always feels like it’s really Spring when it flowers. Lady’s Smock is always the name I have known for it, which I think comes from the delicate lilac veining on the petals which look like creases in gathered cloth.

Lady's Smock

When I moved to Scotland I found they called it Cuckoo flower, as it appears at the same time you hear the cuckoos calling – although I haven’t heard one yet this year.

I went a bit further down the path and sat down quietly, hoping if I stayed still and looked hard I would see some frogs around the edge of the pond. I saw the prehistoric fingers of Giant Horsetail emerging from the pond:

Horsetail

and Marsh Marigolds in flower, and some Pond Skaters and Water Reeds and

Who's that?

What was that?!

Another one of the Felty Folk! It scuttled away very quick when it realised I had seen it. How exciting! Still no frogs though, so I went home.

This weekend I headed down there, again to look out for frogs. I didn’t see any at the ponds, although there are still tadpoles there, so I walked on to the end of the burn side path before it goes up the hill.

Gorse on the hill

The gorse looks amazing at the moment, all that April sun has really got it flowering. On the way back on the opposite side of the burn I saw a little path through the woods to a secluded bank of the burn. I scrambled through, in the vague hope I might see some frogs in a quiet area away from the main path, no such luck, but the air smelled lovely – all pepperminty, as there was Wild Water Mint growing on the bank:

Wild mint

“Hello down there”, a small voice called. I looked around, it sounded like Neeva.

“Up here.” I looked up in the trees and around, and there were Neeva and Dod up in the branches.

Felty Folk in the trees

“Hello. Good to see you. What are you doing up there?” I said.

“We’re coming down…”

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“We were picking some Mint to make tea,” Neeva explained, “but we heard something coming so we climbed up the tree, out of the way; when we realised it was you we thought we’d surprise you.”

Neeva and Dod

“And what a lovely surprise it was,” I said. “I was looking for frogs, have you seen any?”

“They mostly hide in the mud during the day,” said Dod, “and come out in the evening.”

“Looks like I’ve been coming at the wrong time then,” I sighed. “I saw one of your friends last week when I was looking for frogs. They were light-coloured with blue eyes and…”

“That’s Oosie”, Neeva laughed, “she was probably looking for frogs too, she’s very fast and can jump really high and enjoys competitions with the frogs.”

“She disappeared pretty fast when she saw me!”

“We’ll let her know that you are a friend, and she’ll chat to you next time,” said Dod.

“Thanks, I’ll look forward to it. I’d better get back home now. Bye. Enjoy your tea.”

They waved goodbye, and I headed off. I wonder how many Felty Folk there are around here…

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