Sitting up late at night pinning out my found dead or pool drowned insects and drawing on my art box.
There are such a wonderful profusion of insects here and I am reminded of Alfred Russel Wallace's notes when he first encountered the rainforests of south America and was overwhelmed by the number of species. I have yet to get to a rainforest (one day soon !) but even by driving 700 miles or so south into France, the environment and creatures are so different. Familiar buzzards and recognisable moths but many other more exotic species such as the hummingbird hawk moths, preying mantis, strange hornets, lizards and giant toads.
The frogs in the pond are clearly also a different species and are much greener, I am tempted to say they are edible frogs but they could be pool frogs, they are certainly nearly impossible to photograph as they shoot underwater if you move anywhere near the pond. I went out tonight to release a large cricket that I had been drawing and nearly stepped on a huge toad, perhaps the size of 2 tennis balls and bigger than any toad i've seen in the UK. Quite passive and easy to pick up and having drawn it also I nearly stepped on a second sitting below the outside light presumably waiting for moths and other insects drawn by the light.
On a walk to the river it was easy to count at least 6 types of grasshopper and cricket as they scurried or jumped from the grass as you walked along. I also found another of the large bright green lizards, only briefly seen previously in the lavender beds, by the logs by the river and managed to show the children but there was no sign of the catfish that I had seen on the surface of the water earlier in the week as after the very sunny weather the surface has bloomed with algae and so the slow moving water is now completely hidden by a mat of growth.