Love is in the air: Frog croaking and rites of spring
MLK went for a hike.
February 26, 2021
I walked from the centre of Oxford to Lye Valley in the gorgeous sunshine, greeting Silver Surfer and the penguins being chased by a polar bear on a quiet Oxford side street. I followed the Lye Brook to the 'Bullingdon Bog' which is the old name for the rare environment of the calcareous fen in the Lye Valley Nature Reserve. Only a few weeks ago the greyness of winter had obscured the many unusual plants nourished by the lime-rich springs along the valley walls. Today I heard the deep croaking before I saw the many common frogs (Rana temporaria) frolicking in the ponds. Despite their name, they are not so common any more due to the impact agricultural pesticides and the draining of wetland habitats and filling-in of small ponds.But today I happily watched them enact the age old ritual of spring. The croaking is used by males to attract females. Frogs can breed from between two and three years old and often return to the pond where they were spawned. I observed the breeding process involving the male frog attaching himself to the back of the female by grasping her under the forelegs, where he stays until she lays her eggs. When the female frogs lay spawn, the males fertilise it by spraying sperm over them. As such, more than one male frog can fertilise a female’s spawn.As I walked further to visit my old friend the Shotover Oak and the beautiful C.S. Lewis Community Nature Reserve, I couldn't help but smile at the rites of spring. Somehow I was transported back to the classic Baz Luhrmann movie "Strictly Ballroom" and the unforgettable final scene. After a long, restorative walk, I sat high in South Park overlooking Oxford; green grass and yellow daffodils competing with the deep colours of the sunset. And the song from the film came to me loud and clear: "Love is in the air"
February 27, 2021
Great shot of the frogs 👍😀
Very nice pictures and really romantic the song to go with it😃
February 28, 2021
Thank you Angelika and Lucia! I can highly recommend the film - I have watched it many times 😊
Excellent tour, fabulous pictures. Tomorrow I hope to meet some frogs in action but I fear they are still sleeping in Lower Saxony.
March 1, 2021
I find your tours very interesting and your pictures are never boring. It is tempting to get to know this distant region. That's why I'm following you now, although I probably won't get to England anytime soon.
March 11, 2021
Thank you @Aci Penser and @Werner for your kind words! Spring is almost here - perhaps the pandemic will ease over the coming months and we can travel again. I am keen to see Europe again - through Komoot I have discovered so many exciting places to visit
Your detailed informative text and the beautiful pictures motivate me to follow you. In this way I also get to know England.
Short break at the kitchen table with a large cup of chocolate cappuccino. I look outside into our only partially awakened garden (blink, blink) and I see how the strong wind from storm Luis (also the name of our son 🤣😂) whips the water out of the pond. A walk to the outdoor aviary shows me that the canaries (13 in common with a pair of dwarf quails) in their protected area are not very impressed by the uncomfortable weather, because the first eggs are already in the nests. Meanwhile, the roosters are singing with strong throats without interruption. So it is really wonderful to watch such a great tour with the equally wonderful spring-like shots! 😍
March 13, 2021
@Sabine N, thank you - you must come to England when the pandemic eases! Much to see and explore!@Tine, how wonderfully poetic! I am looking forward to seeing and reading about your next tours and learning more about spring awakenings