Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Winter into Spring

The pond is starting to come alive after the winter. All the plants are shooting and growing, and the marsh marigolds are covered in buds. Peering into the water I have seen lots of Daphnia (water fleas) and many types of insect larvae swimming around.

I can't identify them all, but there are mayfly larvae (which is no surprise since I watched mayflies emerge from the water last August), and rat-tailed maggots which are hoverfly larvae. These latter are often associated with stagnant water, but I watched the adult Brindled Hoverflies mating and laying their eggs in the pond last summer, and it certainly isn't stagnant!

Sadly, there is no frog or newt spawn this year, but that doesn't surprise me as our little babies from last year are too young to breed yet, and there aren't many ponds around here for 'local' amphibians to have come from. One bit of good news on the amphibian front however; I disturbed a young newt basking in the sun-warmed shallow waters a couple of days ago. So at least one of our newtlets survived the very cold and snowy winter!