I love the time of year when a multitude of frogs and toads climbs up our Alpine-steep driveway and somehow negotiates our house, carport and attendant gates to climb through our back garden and reach the pond where these frogs and toads were themselves spawned. The other night my husband managed to avoid crushing under the car tyres a female toad making this long climb with her mate riding upon her back. I hope it was her mate and not just a feckless freeloader.

Our pond bubbles with amphibian activity for a couple of days every spring and then calms down when spawn has been laid. Some frogs and toads leave. The remaining few bask in the water in the spring sunshine. We have newts too, but they don’t do the heroic mountain-climbing stuff, preferring to live their whole lives in the safety of our garden.