Saturday, 9 May 2020
The Story of the Toad, the Squirrel and the Slow Worm
Struggling through Cornwall's jungle you never really know what you might encounter but, gulp, what is this creature heading our way? A prehistoric monster perhaps or maybe some sort of ancient crocodile?
Looking up at the tall leaves I imagined how we must have fallen into another dimension and been zoomed back in time.
The creature continued in our direction wearing an ugly grin.
Great relief when we discovered it was only Mr. Toad. He had been shopping for insect larvae, spiders, slugs and worms. A tasty meal for him.
He hopped along and disappeared into the undergrowth.
As we wearily wandered home we saw a flash of a tail as we reached our front porch. But then all was silent. What did, whoever it was, want with us?
I sat on a chair, looking out, while I took off my dirty shoes. Suddenly this little fellow was trying to get into the porch.
Not sure what he wanted but he scratched on the window to try to enter.
By the time I grabbed my camera I was too slow to get a good photo. The squirrel was persistent though. He kept running away and then jumping at the glass to get in. No idea why.
He wasn't the least bit bothered that I was clearly sitting close to the window. After several attempts he grumpily moved away and in a flash was gone.
A little later, as we had a refreshing cup of tea in the back garden and spotted a long slow worm (about 18"/ 50 cm) by our fence - but I didn't have a camera with me.
Slow worms (Anguis fragilis) are legless lizards but to me they are like snakes - and I don't like snakes!
I remember being in Morocco a while back and often in restaurants they would attempt to dangle a snake around your neck for some inexplicable reason. The way of nightmares!
Going back to the slow worm their breeding season starts in May and the males can get quite aggressive.
In the UK slow worms are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981so it is an offence to kill, injure or sell them.
All in all it made the day interesting - you never know what you might see in life.
Have a lovely day and stay safe.
Update : See photo below another slow worm in our garden, though smaller than the one we saw originally.
at May 09, 2020
Off track there is a stream and a few rhododendrons. Once back on the lane, within the hedgerow I this small butterfly on an unope...