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On amphibians and conservation.
Like the frogs at this time of year I’d rather be bouncing around  in the garden. The new pond that Steven made in the autumn seems to be proving itself a valuable addition to the ecological niche of the garden. It is already full of daphnia and other water mini-beasts. The garden provides living quarters for toads, newts, frogs and bats as well as various bird species. The pond holds frog spawn as I write this, but I don’t yet know if the toads and newts have been as successful. Several of our visitors are not as interested in newts and toads as my husband and I are. In fact the Benefice Administrator admits to feeling slightly squeamish about squirmy amphibians. I also know that they are endangered.
My garden and occasionally the house thanks to Mittens the Cat is also the home to a yellow-necked mouse – something we discovered when the Wiltshire Bat Conservation group were inspecting here last summer.
I’ll readily admit that I feel no desire to conserve mice, even unusual yellow-necked ones. Instead I consult my favourite local pest control expert.
What makes one species make my flesh crawl and another make me ooh with excitement, conserving even the nasties of the animal world will no doubt prove important in ways I may not yet have realised. In the meantime as I inspect mouse traps I’m reminded to have sympathy for those who dislike frogs and toads and to contemplate the challenge of worshipping a God who said of everything he made, even the squirmy, scary creatures that they were good.

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