A limerick a week #136

The world has held great Heroes,
As history books have showed;
But never a name to go down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!
(Kenneth Graham)

Last year we attempted to raise tadpoles in a large plastic trug (aka a big bucket). We succeeded up to a point, the point being where the tadpoles had developed legs and lay in the shallows. Unfortunately, despite some netting over the trug, the birds got ’em when, due to heavy rain, the water level rose to the level of the net.

Our tadpoles were from a local stream and were shoaling when we found them which means they were from toad spawn and not frog spawn. NB our trug is an isolated ‘pond’ so unless any toadlets had been liberated there would have been no risk of disease transmission from one natural site to another. Moreover, had any of the toadlets survived, they would in any case have been released at the same place at which the tadpoles had been collected.

So, lesson learned and this year we have an ACME anti-predator ‘cage’ around the trug and all we need now are the tadpoles. Naturally, we revisited our local ‘toad hall’ to look for them, but there was none for the simple reason that we were too early to find them. Instead we were faced with a positive orgy of toad procreation.

Two pairs of toads doing what pairs of toads do. We saw many pairs ‘in action’ as well as some lonely males. The dark weed-like strands are ribbons of spawn.

Interestingly, they were in a fairly discrete area (although none too discreet in their behaviour!) and there was no sign of any other amphibian bacchanalia either upstream or downstream.

Anyway, although there were no tadpoles and the puddock debauchery was still in full swing, there was some spawn of which we gathered a small quantity and we’ll try to hatch our own tadpoles this year.

Ribbons rather than clumps mean the spawn is from a toad and not a frog.

So, without further ado, here is a down-market limerick about our tadpole hunt…

We went with the intention of bagging
Some tadpoles, and our search was unflagging,
But we set out too soon
(How inopportune!)
And found that the toads were still sha**ing!

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😎 Former scientist, now graduated to a life of leisure; Family man (which may surprise the family - it certainly surprises him); Likes cycling and old-fashioned B&W film photography; Dislikes greasy-pole-climbing 'yes men'; Thinks Afterlife (previously known as Thea Gilmore) should be much better known than she is; Values decency over achievement.

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