The herpetological side of my character hates winter and waits with excitement for the spring when amphibians and reptiles start to move about reliably again. Therefore it is always exciting to find the first amphibian returning to the garden pond in Northiam to breed, and my first newt of the 2009 season, a male smooth newt, was found in the pond tonight. This is a little later than in recent years when newts have returned to the ponds in November. Quite how soon other newts join it rather depends whether or not we get a return to the frosty weather of recent weeks.
Which brings me to a sign I noticed Read the rest of this entry »