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Country diary: this toad is a familiar and fearless presence

08.08.2018
Příroda
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: After every revelatory sighting, it disappeared, as if it had hopped off into another dimension, to materialise here again a year laterA toad, grown fat on slugs and solitude, appeared from under a plant pot as if by a conjuror's trick. It looked big, not inflated in the toady intimidating pose but solidly rotund - what a market trader might call a "fat handful". It had been under an upturned plant pot that had a hole in its roof, but there was another pot on top with a plant growing in it, so it would take a contortionist's skill, or witchcraft, to get in and out. The little wreath of duckweed leaves on the toad's head suggested it had recently been in the pond. Whether it had just arrived, having weathered the drought underwater, or had been commuting between its cell under the pot and the pond five metres away was a mystery.Nothing seemed mysterious to the toad. One minute it was in the dark, the next it was exposed to daylight and human visitors. Its beatific, sage expression had no trace of surprise, as if it had been expecting me. I'm always surprised whenever I see this toad; I'm more or less convinced it's the same one I've seen every year for the past 15. That's a long time for a toad, despite the myths about them hiding inside stones for centuries. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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