Due to my incessant stravaiging and exploring as a boy, I still have a fairly good idea of which species of newt live in which ponds.
My favourite is of course the Great Crested Newt, a miniature dragon of an amphibian.
Here is one I found in hiding the other day.
Perhaps he was simply awaiting the hours of darkness, or maybe even in hibernation already.
He certainly gave the impression of being fairly dormant, as did a female I have since found.
As a youth, I used to keep Great Crested Newts as pets and still recall the fearsome way they would attack and devour the earthworms I fed them!
Of course that was long ago, and the species is highly protected now.
In fact, there has been a history of planning refusals, particularly down south, due to the presence of Great Crested Newts.
Personally, I think that is only right and proper, as we humans must learn we share this land with other species, all of which have equal rights to live upon it.
Thankfully, the scarcity in many southern counties which brought about their protection is not reflected locally.
Here they are still a common, yet secretive inhabitant of many ponds in their striking spring breeding colours.
Throughout the rest of the year, they are nocturnal land dwellers, hiding away by day and generally speaking, rarely seen by normal humans!
It has to be said that I have seen my fair share!
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