Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A little gem



I was thrilled to catch this palmate newt on camera this Spring. I have a couple of small natural ponds - i.e. I dug out a couple of pond-shaped holes and then left nature to take its course. Because they don't have artificial liners they tend to dry out periodically so the animal life tends also to come and go. But the ponds were nice and full all Spring this year and so the newts hung around long enough to mate. I couldn't believe it the first time I saw a newt in my pond - I felt so honoured. But like all the wildlife in this garden, the newts are elusive, so I would see one for a day or two then not again for months, years even.

This Spring I took more care of the pond, kept it full and clear and lo and behold a newt arrived, then another. I've only seen two but there may be more - I'm not a very assiduous naturalist and if the midges get too bad I leave! These are, I believe palmate newts. You wouldn't believe how tiny they are - only about 2 and a half inches long. The one in the picture above was female I think, as she was greener than the other one that turned up. Bliss to have them in the garden.

1 comment:

PG said...

Oh that is a pretty newt! (Mine is laughingly called the common newt, not that they are anymore). They look so adorable with their little puzzled expressions.