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Friday, 6 March 2015

Frogspawn and Fenceposts

Fencepost of the Week #66

While out admiring fenceposts at this time of year one often finds the objects of their appreciation mysteriously adorned with globs of frogspawn. Questions arise: 'Who put them there?', 'Why?' and - if you have ever tried to pick up frogspawn - 'How!?'

If you like frogs, the answer may sadden you - the spawn is all that remains of a gravid female frog that was caught by a bird and - being too large for the bird to swallow whole - was taken to a fencepost where it was pecked to bits.

In a few weeks time, lumps of a mysterious, pale, translucent slime will start to appear on the banks of ponds and swamps. Sometimes it is called star slime - but it is the poisonous, distasteful remans of a toad that has been similarly caught and selectively eaten by some beaked creature. More at Wikipedia.

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