Sunday, 21 July 2013

Baby frogs and lammas leaves

The frogs spawned late, about the 6th of March and then we had a blackthorn winter. After the snow and ice had cleared the spawn looked rather sick and wrinkled. After not seeing any tadpoles I gave up hoping for young frogs this year. On the 20th of July I was delighted to see a hand full of froglets scrambling round the bottom of the kingcups.

Lammas growth, photographed on July 21st
At this time of year we see a flush of new growth on our oak tree. Unlike the acid green new foliage that first appears in spring this is red tinged. These leaves grow around Lammas day, August 1, which is the festival of the wheat loaf (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"). Lammas growth appears in a variety of tree species. According to Wikipedia
This secondary growth may be an evolutionary strategy to compensate for leaf damage caused by insects during the spring.
After the manic spring breeding season, July and August always feel like a time when not much is happening in the garden but subtle changes are still happening and are worth looking out for.

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