Water, water everywhere…

1-Flooded fields

Not far from the bottom of the garden the river Seudre has inundated the neighbouring fields making them look like lakes when viewed from a distance.

And the rain keeps on falling!


I thought I’d have a look in the old well to see what was happening there.

Salamandra salamandra

I had never seen the well with so much water before and I was pleased to see the salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in its element.  The well is usually more or less dry (The old well).

Marbled newt

Here I have a problem with my toads and frogs.  I think it is a common frog but I’m not sure.  I do recognise my marbled newt (Tritus marmoratus).  These are our favourites and get featured regularly (The well in winter).


At any one time you only get a snapshot of what is happening in the well at the moment.


There are plenty of crevices providing space to hide and keep warm.  Can you see the small frog on the far left of the photograph?

1-IMG_8986They do not seem to mind getting into a mixed species pile up.  The large common toad (Bufo bufo) stays impassive while an agile frog (Rana dalmatina) uses him as a resting place and the newts pass over him.


I counted seven different creatures in this photograph.

Hyla meridionalis, la rainette méridionale
Hyla meridionalis, la rainette méridionale

But I think everybody’s favourite is our little green tree frog.

36 thoughts on “Water, water everywhere…

  1. what an amazing collection; I read recently that amphibians were the species that were declining the most and not really noticed by most people; they aren’t loved in the same way as butterflies or even bees.


    1. Interesting. We definitely care more about things we find appealing. The difference is that different creatures appeal to different people but the seemingly soft cuddly ones – koala bears, pandas, and most baby mammals top the favourites list. Snakes, other reptiles and amphibians and insects must be scraping the bottom.


  2. Amelia… the first two “frogs” [pictures 4&5] are toads…
    warty skins!
    And, in fact, are two extremely healthy looking Natterjack Toads!!
    Identified by the yellow line down the middle of their backs.
    What a lovely thing to have…
    I am now as green as those Marbled Newts with envy!!
    And I’ve never seen one of those [or the salamander] either…

    Picture 6 is a small Common Toad on the far left…
    with a mess of large Common Toad, Marbled Newt and a small frog on the right.

    Picture 7 is a bit easier… a frog [possibly Common, possibly an Agile, but difficult to tell] on the back of the Common Toad…

    and Picture 8 has eight critters… the small frog has just slipped into the crevice above the Common Toad… and you’ve a great comparison, too, of the difference in size between the two toad species with that Natterjack on the right hand side of the Bufo bufo!!!…
    What a great set of pix…
    truly wonderful.
    Jealous, moi…


    1. I do appreciate the identification! I do not think we have spotted Natterjack toads in the well before, although I did notice they had a line down their back. I think I might have seen them in the garden before but thought they were just little common toads. I think it is an agile frog as I recognise his legs from previous visits to the well. They all seem to be quite happy mucking in together down there.


  3. Amazing variety of amphibians in one well, and a very helpful comment to ID them all! Lovely to see a salamander – I once saw one in Italy and got a surprise; I knew what it was but had no idea they were found in Europe. RH


    1. We didn’t plant any and none of the previous occupants of the house were gardeners. They just grew by themselves. We have removed some of the smaller ones and transplanted them into the wooded area down at the bottom of the back garden. There’s too much ivy there and I’m trying to create a more varied environment.


  4. I’m so grateful to some of my regulars who are much better informed than me. No luck with the Bees in a French Garden, though. I am a voice crying in the wilderness. It does bring it home that not many people are interested in solitary bees. Birds – yes, honeybees – yes, all the furry mammals – yes. It is good for me to know that it is so. It is just if your really like something you are sure everyone else must too. But that is not correct.


  5. Very pretty salamander! We have had a very wet “winter” here. Don’t know if I could even say winter since it has been rather warm too. Some neighborhoods close to me received 22 inches (about 58 cm) of rain in one day! This is supposed to be our dry season, so I wonder what the rainy season will bring this year.


    1. All over the world the weather seems to have touched the extremes whether it be in freezing temperatures or heavy winds and storms. I feel I have got off very lightly with just the very heavy rainfall.


  6. We’re getting a lot of rain here in the southeastern US too. The chorus frogs who usually start singing here in January are loving this weather. That’s amazing that you a picture with 7 amphibians all together like that!


  7. The little green frog I pictured in the blog is quite vocal. It is in the early summer they get together for a communal croak and really get going. The inhabitants of the well are very laid-back and seem to live together with no problems.


  8. hello, i was looking on the internet for info on marbled newts and found your blog, i hope you dont mind me picking your brains 🙂 i apear to have a marbled newt arrive in my wildlife pond (just one), i have only noticed it over the last few days (i dont know how long it has been there for) but i have noticed i have no more tadpoles…they wer very little (just broke out of the spawn) now all gone 😦 but i guess thats nature! but what i wanted to ask you, was, are they a protected species? i mean, do i have to tell anyone? i may be selling my house soon and i wonderd if i should make sure new owners cant build or fill in the pond? also i believe it is a female? or a juvenile? as it has the bright orange line down its back. well basically! can you help me? fill me in on these beautifull creatures! i know nothing about them, i had no idea what she was untill two days ago, she looks like a crocadile in comparison to my little common newts and i am in awe with her! so pretty! i love your pond photos and i you seem to be well informed! i hope you can help. i live in the center of france btw.
    thank you in advance! xx


    1. First it is not an endangered species in France but there are certain restrictions as would apply to a lot of wild animals http://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/listerouge/FR/Amphibiens_metropole. , for more information. The best information I found is at http://www.herpfrance.com/amphibian/marbled_newt_triturus_marmoratus.php. I would imagine she is not alone. It has been such a mild time you might find yourself with lots of babies this summer. They are such very appealing creatures. I’m glad you love yours too. Amelia


      1. thank you so much for the links! very kind of you 🙂 i do love my pond, it is so calming and fun to watch i have learnt so much about aquatic life just over the last year after i built it. thank you again, i hope you have a wonderful french summer full of lovely nature! xx 🙂


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