Around the Pond

THIS ┬áRATHER GLUM snowman has turned out looking as if he’s working for air traffic control. He’s from an exercise in Create 3D like a Superhero. This lesson was about ‘How to Mirror Objects’ and the way you do that is to ‘flip’ a copy of the first arm you’ve made.┬áThere wasn’t of course any necessity to add a carrot nose, coals for his eyes and an Alpine backdrop but I’m enjoying going through the book and I’m now getting familiar with where skies, textures and props like the dead tree can be found when you’re 3D modelling in Vue 10.

We’re making progress with the pond too. Today we partly rebuilt the raised bad behind the pond, the bed we made with the spoil when we dug the pond 25 years ago.

The first birds that we’ve seen drinking at the pond were House Sparrows. They were coming down to the gently sloping edge that we made with access for wildlife in mind.

As I’d expected, when I dismantled the low drystone wall at the back of the

pond, I found Smooth Newts, perhaps 10 of them, hiding away in various crevices and I released them out of harm’s way. I hope that they’ll find their way back to the pond as it begins to settle in and take on a natural look.

There was at least one newt in the pond, in the deepest section, with it’s head under an oak leaf that had blown in. It was as if it was thinking ‘if I can’t see them, they can’t see me.’

I’m keen to get oxygenating pond weeds in sooner rather than later, if only to give the newts a place to hide.

Wakefield Naturalists

This month’s observations at the Wakefield Naturalists’ Society include a record of an Eagle Owl taking Wood Pigeons at Nostell. The Eagle Owl isn’t of course a native and it’s thought that this one is a local escaped bird. It’s the size of a cat but with wings. The pigeons won’t have seen anything like it before.

Grass Snakes and Great Crested Newts have emerged. On the third of March an early Sand Martin put in an appearance at Calder Wetlands. Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies are on the wing, the early record for the Peacock proving that they’re overwintering here, rather than coming in as migrants each spring.