Sunday, 24 January 2016

Common newts in my pots again!


Here we are, middle of winter, not the traditional time for gardening but it's a nice mild day, so I decided to check over some of my "stock" plants, which will be ready for sale later in the year.

I tipped this one to see how the roots were coming along, and the answer is "quite nicely" but we appear to have a little friend in there as well.

Can you see him?

He's upside down, and slightly out of focus, but that orange thing is the underside of a common newt, head towards the top, tail hanging out over the side, and one poor little limb flung outwards in a despairing "WHY will she not let me SLEEP!" sort of gesture.

I am constantly amazed at the number of newts that I find in my garden, because when I say "garden" I mean my small front yard, which has no pond, no grass, no flower beds, no shrubs, nothing, you would have thought, to attract newts.  It is entirely shingle underfoot, and almost entirely covered with raised benches for my plants-for-sale.

In fact, here's a picture of it:

What look like long flower beds are the raised benches - spot the blue mushroom trays!

So why are my pots always full of newts?

I assume that they like the matrix of cover created by the pots - all the tops meet, so the predators can't get at them, but all the bottoms are narrower, so there must be a network of alleyways between the pots.

And, of course, I water them frequently so although there is no pond or soil, there is quite a lot of shade and dampness.

And whenever I find one, like this little fellow, I carefully put them back somewhere: so presumably the word has gone out, in newt circles, that my front yard is a superb winter hiding place with a kindly if somewhat annoying owner who will keep on moving things...



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