It is strange how you can experience a 'run' of things; you may see the same bird constantly for a few days, for instance. In my case, a few days ago, it was little creatures, which we rarely see.
In our garden we have a silly small pond; when we looked at the house before buying, it had fish in it, which we did not want. They duly went, but we still don't know what to do with it. It gets full of leaves and Saharan sand and generally looks rather unpleasant. Recently, it was drying up in the warm temperatures, and I hoped it would complete the process so that I could get into it, and give it a good clean. The recent thundery rain, however, has thwarted that hope, and it has had about half an inch of gunge in the bottom. I happened to check it one morning, and realised that sitting bolt upright in it, looking rather nervous, was a tiny mouse. I have no idea whether it had just fallen in, or had jumped in for some water, but it obviously could not get back up the sheer, slippery sides of the pool. I tried to catch it with the little net I use to retrieve leaves from the water, and eventually did so, but not before I had taken my sandals off and stood in the wet ooze! I duly tipped the wee mouse off on the bank and it disappeared into the hedge.
That one was obviously unharmed, but this morning I found another (or the same one?), who was not so lucky and had expired. They belonged clearly to the same species, and had fairly short tails. I think this must be the mouse which my invaluable "L'Albera" book names as the "souris à queue courte" or "mus spretus". I don't have a book of mammals in English, but think this is the Algerian mouse or western Mediterranean mouse. There are not many distinguishing marks - it is just small!
The evening after I rescued the first mouse, Martine happened to glance outdoors and said that there was a tiny frog sitting quietly on the tiles. So there was, and it continued to sit there peacefully while I took a few photos of it with flash. It was obviously the tiny green rainette méridionale, which lives in our hedges and makes such a noise at night. We had never seen one before, and it seemed odd that it was just there on the terrace tiles - there had been no rain, and they were bone-dry and still warm to the touch. I also wonder where these local frogs spawn; like so many other places around here, everything seems to be dry, prickly and stony!