Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A Murky Underwater Encounter

I was going to go out today as the weather was glorious again, reaching 20C by the tea time. I had ordered a couple of new plants for the pond which arrived in the post today and as they were bare root they needed planting ASAP. First I had to make a new ledge for them to stand on as they are marginals. To this end I put in a couple of old well weathered bricks and found a left over section of plastic fencing. With the plastic on top of the bricks it also made another shelter for any aquatic life.

As I was assembling this little lot I disturbed a newt.
From album

This one is paler than others I have seen in the pond. Amazingly after a few short minutes newt after newt came to examine what was going on. I know I saw five different ones and maybe a sixth. They really are doing well in there. As one approached its tail was curved right round. At first I though it was damaged but after examining the nearest brick it straightened out its tail.

A while later I saw the same thing happen again. As the newt approached one particular spot its tail became more and more arched forward along its body. The reason for this - another newt virtually hidden in the silt at the bottom of the pond. I guess this is either a defence mechanism or a show of aggression.

This murky sequence shows what was happening. The head of the second newt can just be made out on the right of the photos.

Newts - a Close Encounter

Eventually the hidden newt surfaced from the silt and each went its separate way.

By this time, nearly 1pm., I though I might as well pot up a few plants I had bought recently and save the trip out for another day.

For a short while I had a flower power dog. Bobby decided to walk through one of my dwarf weeping trees whose catkins were in full bloom. Good job he doesn't suffer with hay fever! A good roll in the grass got rid of most of it.

Bobby Covered in Pollen


  1. Hi there John, now it is your postings on newts that are making me consider building a new pond!

    I find it fascinating seeing your newt pics and love hearing about them. Please do keep your pond postings coming! Loved the flower power dog pic too :-D

  2. Nice to see the newts. I've also seen the tail curling, and some quite agressive headbutting type manoeuvres. If you are like us the only downside will be that they eat the frog tadpoles, and after a gradual decline we had no frogspawn at all this year. [Also pleased to see you avoided my disaster of knocking the tripod and camera into the pond!]

  3. Hi Shirl: They are certainly fascinating to observe. This is the first year I have really noticed their antics in detail. It's a pity the underwater pictures are so fuzzy.

    A yellow faced dog for a Lincolnshire Yellowbelly! Bobby was not amused as I couldn't stop laughing.

    Brian: I think I spotted the odd headbutting behaviour briefly with that couple.

    Oh dear. dunking cameras is not a good idea. I can just imagine the air turning a dark shade of blue. No tripod used - with the image stabilised lens everything has been hand held, with a good strong hand strap on the camera.

  4. This pond life info is an interesting insight into a world I know little about John and I think the photos are excellent considering you are taking them through water.
    As for Bobby he looks beautiful in his flower power outfit! What a lovely dog he is, do please keep us updated with his adventures.

  5. I'm learning too, ShySongbird. It is fascinating - as are all nature related happenings. This second childhood is doing me the power of good.

    Bobby was yellow right down one side and I was worried in case it got into his eyes but it all turned out well in the end.
    As for his adventures - I reckon he sleeps 20 hours a day. They do say greyhounds, etc. are 60mph couch potatoes and they are right. The only extra words I would add are 'sun worshipping'.

  6. Fascinating stuff about the newts John, and good that you had pictures too.
    Lovely picture of Bobby.

  7. Thanks HM. I had kept the camera on a table nearby - just in case.

    Never a dull moment when the hairy monster is in the garden.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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