Well, Abel came round again the following day, and after lunch grabbed his grandmother’s hand and took her to the pond. This time there were two green frogs.
There must be something in the genes: thirty years before, his mother enjoyed a close encounter with this frog. She – Abel’s mother that is – was very fond of the red boots and colourful anorak but fascinated by the frog.
Six-thirty felt early to Will Turnstone. Not to Abel, whose sleepover had ended half an hour previously. He grabbed grandad by the finger and took him outside to look for frogs in the pond. But the water was a few degrees too cold for them. Instead the humans picked beans and a gherkin and went back indoors.
The gherkin was a present for Abel’s dad, who sang a thank you song – ‘Ogòrek, Ogòrek!’ It’s there on Youtube…
The Midnight Spider
In the middle of the night, I met this spider in the kitchen. Whose home is this? I wondered. I brought my finger gently up beneath that outstretched foot; as soon as finger and foot met, the spider spun and bounced frenetically at the end of it’s thread, but then resumed station between fridge and breadbin.
How many flies has it eaten over its short life? Why does it have no more than six legs? Or am I missing something?
Walking down off the hill, we plunged into a wooded area above the little river Kinver. As the sun descended westward, he lit up the heads of this clump of sedges in a clearing just above the river. Light and dark: a moment of glory for these flowers of the field.
No, it didn’t bite!
But Cerura vinula – it almost sounds like a scream! The first the adults knew about them was a screaming 5 year old, running to her mother, pointing to her chest, where 2 impressive caterpillars were firmly attached to her teeshirt.
Margaret had been hiding in the osier bed, and the caterpillars must have climbed on board from there. Perhaps they thought the pink shirt looked tasty.
Well, once the adults had established that the creatures were harmless to children the girls were able to enjoy them. Such a big caterpillar in a small palm, and such startling colour pattern. ideal camouflage among the leaves.
The adult is called a puss moth, but the caterpillar with its sinister forked tail and little hump is no sort of kitten at all.
Everyone was finally delighted with the cerurae!