Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Vol-in-Law's mosquito farm

The Vol-in-Law pretty much keeps out of the garden. That's not to say he doesn't sit in the lawn chair and soak up the sun (when we have it), but he doesn't tend the soil. That's my area. I have very specific ideas about gardening and I don't really need him messing with my plans.

Last year, pre-blog (I now find it difficult when I can't hyperlink back to a previous episode in my life), we created a frog pond. It's really just a hole in the ground lined with the remnants of a kiddy wading pool. But we stocked it with spawn collected from the ruts in the road left by logging trucks in the Highlands of Scotland. The Vol-in-Law brought the frog eggs back in a jam jar, past the security of Aberdeen airport and we set them up in our little London garden.

The spawn became tadpoles, the tadpoles became tiny perfectly-formed frogs. And then batch by batch, after heavy rains, they all left. Never to be seen again. I was very disappointed since I wanted them in the garden to eat slugs.

They didn't return to spawn this year. (I reckon they became tiny, perfectly-formed, dried-out frog skins on the railroad track which runs behind our house). But we still have the little pond. The Vol-in-Law checks the level regularly and fiddles around the with the moss that grows around the edges. But I'm worried it's going to become a mosquito breeding paradise, and since our cats don't catch mosquitos, we've got nothing to keep them down.

I know London's no tropics, but I worry about malaria and Nile fever and icky-looking, itchy mosquito bites. On the upside, I'm not preferred mosquito food. If there's anyone else around I won't be bitten much*, so perhaps the Vol-in-Law will reap what he's sowed and dig over the pond.

*this has been true everywhere I've been except in the murky oxbows around Memphis where I was eaten alive.

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