Saturday, June 16, 2007

Big Rain

I stood at my kitchen window gazing out at the sheets of rain cascading down. I knew what to expect next. Every time we have heavy rain a river flows through my kitchen. It begins in the utility room, flows gracefully through the kitchen, and out to the back door. This time was no exception and we resignedly moved shoes, chairs and the dog's bag of Eukenuba out of the way as the water began its progress.

However, this time the rain brought with it a multitude of tiny toads.
Well, they might be toads. They might be frogs. They really are far too tiny to tell, as you can see from the picture above. They are about the size of my little finger nail and I must have collected about 30 before I went to bed that night, carefully placing them outside, only for them to return a few minutes later. I can't bear to leave them though, partly because I am so scared of accidentally stepping on one, and partly because they tend to dehydrate and die overnight and I find their tiny dried spindly bodies too unbearably sad as I suck them up the hoover.

The following morning I excitedly reported the tiny toad invasion to McColleague when she arrived for work. She pointed out there were hundreds outside the front door too, the visitor entrance to the house, their tiny bodies clambering over the fibres in the coconut door matting and clinging to the boot brush. Some had already been squished. So, I made a sign, saying "Watch your feet! Tiny toads crossing!" It worked really well, and we had great fun watching people gingerly picking their way across the lawns, trying not to step on any mini amphibians.

The big rains also caused the reappearance of another familiar feature. Yes, the hole is back, bigger and better than ever!
Here you can see the lovely McColleague pointing at it in true local newspaper photography style. I tried to get the builder chap and his digger back again, but he was busy elsewhere on the estate, as the storm drains up at the tea room had also collapsed. The kitchen staff had arrived to find their kitchen entirely flooded. McColleague and I decided to go and investigate and see if any cakes needed rescuing. We are not too proud to eat water damaged scones.
Amazingly, despite the above setting, people were still sitting nearby to sip their cups of tea and shout polite conversation over the noise. I find it amazing that I get comments cards complaining about dribbly teapots, yet no one says a word when they have to leap a trench and dodge the digger, Indiana Jones style, in order to enter the tea room. It seems our visitors are just as unpredictable as our weather.


monica said...

wooow. so tiny. (not the hole, obviously)

mym said...

A plague of toads - how biblical.

Perhaps you should daub the blood of a rambler over each door in the shape of an oak leaf to avert anything more unpleasant happening?

stitchwort said...

Those holes that are opening up prompt the thought - how long have you had a moat? Is it a real moat, or just another series of collapsed drains?

Robert Swipe said...

"... I find their tiny dried spindly bodies too unbearably sad as I suck them up the hoover."

Touching in the extreme, Doris.

Almost as sad as the thought of all those hungry Frenchmen...

L.U.V. on ya,


Doris said...

Monica - they are Lilliputian frogs, I think.

Mym - I've tried that, but it seems to attract the flies instead.

Stitchwort - ah, well, the existing moat is not where the original moat was sited, back in the 14th century. That was bigger and further away from the house, so you could have a point....

Bob - those Frenchmen would remain hungry with my tiny frogs on the menu. They are like sultanas. Only crunchier.