When one lives in the country, on the edge of a village, with vacant land on two sides, within sight of one dam wall, and within walking distance of that dam and another, as well as with a lei* water channel and a sloot** bounding 180º of our property, we have more than our fair share of mosquitos. We are also blessed with other creatures that are associated with water: from dragonflies to mud crabs and frogs. Also, with a reed ceiling in a few places downstairs, and particularly in summer, spiders spin webs across the staircase overnight. I don’t dislike spiders – they are good at catching other creepy crawlies – but I don’t like the cobwebs, particularly if they “attack” me first thing in the morning on the way to the kitchen. I met our first frog within days of our moving into the house, three years ago. I had left my handbag on a chair, and a when I went to pick it up, or get something out of it, my purse was under guard. Needless to say, I was somewhat startled, but given that the house had been unoccupied for a couple of months, I guess we’d moved into “their” space. A few days later, I found this little chap lurking in a storage basket in our then Heath Robinson kitchen. And that’s a teaspoon on the right of the picture… Recognising that frogs’ diet is spiders, insects and that sort of thing, getting them out of the house was not high on our priority list, and even our cats learned to share their watering hole with the frogs. It seems that the frogs live happily in the house: they come in during the night when we leave our kitchen door open. We don’t often see them, but we know that they ‘re here. The evidence is in the watering hole. That doesn’t bother us, or the cats: we just clean out the water and start again. They do, however, lurk in a few interesting places: The mint, just outside the back door, which means s/he gets a good wetting roughly once a day. This chap, however, seems to like bags. I found him in a basket with another handbag next to my desk in the office. I unwittingly dislodged him and sat him on my office chair. This one, or perhaps the same one, was very happy in the bag in which I store my money box and other essential bits for the market on Saturdays. I was sad to have to evict him. He seems to have been quite a happy chappy!
* lei – lead water channel for irrigation
**sloot – drainage channel
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