Thursday, 13 October 2011


Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving on the kitchen floor, as I bent down to investigate, it leapt away.  A huge bound.  I was startled, it was only about an inch in length, and it jumped over a metre.  I did catch up with the frog and put him back in the garden.  On some of the evenings recently that have been wet and mild, the lanes have been littered with frogs, they look like blowing, fallen leaves at first, then you realise, and there have been lots, leaping and glistening in the wet.   One evening I had to drive home in zig-zags to avoid them, and get out every few feet to usher them into the verge.

I'm fond of frogs, and toads - in fact one of the first things I carved in stone was a frog.  I had visited Biddulph Grange Garden in Staffordshire and fallen in love with the frog there.  How could you not!

The stone frog is to be found in the part of the garden known as China, and is the work of Waterhouse Hawkins, the sculptor of the prehistoric animals in the park of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

Hawkins (1807 - 1894) was a British sculptor and natural history artist.

In 1852 he was appointed by the Crystal Palace company to create 33 life-size concrete models of extinct dinosaurs to be placed in the park to which the great glass exhibition hall was to be relocated. In this work, which took some three years, he collaborated with  Sir Richard Owen and other leading scientific figures of the time – Owen estimated the size and overall shape of the animals, leaving Hawkins to sculpt models.  Some of the sculptures are still on display at Sydenham Crystal Palace Park.

Just look at his workshop at the time.  Full of models of extinct animals.

And here is the little frog I carved.


  1. I'm very happy to see that a young bullfrog has moved into the turtle pond and adjacent water garden. How he got here I hane no idea. Maybe from the stream down the road that dried up.

  2. Will they get along okay? Might be the start of a huge family!

  3. I like your frog very much...
    You might be interested to know that my father ( worked on those Crystal Palace dinosaurs when they had to be restored. I remember going there as a child in the winter when he was working on them.
    Best wishes from Devon :)

  4. Rima, thanks so much for visiting - what a wonderful memory to have, and what a huge project it must have been.


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