Wildlife Gar­den­ing

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - News -

It has been a long, breath­less sum­mer from which I have of­ten sought respite on the shady south­ern side of our old farm house. Tonight, as I paused for a cup of tea, I leant my fore­head against the kitchen wall, only to find my­self ex­chang­ing silent salu­ta­tions with a small gar­den dweller. Sep­a­rated merely by the cool glass of the kitchen win­dow, a gar­den frog sprawled mo­tion­less, save for the silent, shad­owed thump­ing of his heart against the glass. He is no stranger here … some nights he even ap­pears with a cou­ple of mates, but tonight he is alone, and word­lessly I rest my fin­ger tips gen­tly against his white pul­sat­ing belly and ad­mire his ath­letic pres­ence. How many in­sects will he con­sume tonight? Will he leave a dent in my back­yard’s in­sect pop­u­la­tion?

Com­mon frogs en­joy a diet of flies. moths and slugs, and my wee vis­i­tor ob­vi­ously an­tic­i­pates be­ing treated hos­pitably … es­pe­cially if it in­cludes en­joy­ing sup­per on my kitchen’s win­dow sill and even more pre­ferred if mos­qui­tos are on the menu.

Out­side be­low my win­dow sill, an old cop­per bath has be­come a res­i­dent home for trav­el­ling frogs, tad­poles and snails. Drag­on­flies are al­ways wel­come vis­i­tors, while birds will fre­quently pause for re­fresh­ments or a quick dip in pass­ing. Here also damp mud and gravel en­cour­ages plants like pen­ny­royal and soap­wort to thrive.

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