WITH the start of spring, the city's many ponds and streams begin to burst back into life.

From parks to back gardens, golf courses to patches of waste ground, anywhere there is standing or running water, our flying and amphibious friends will find it.

Whether its pesky midges laying their larvae, frogs depositing their tapioca-line spawn or newts awakening from their winter slumbers, a slight rise in temperature fires the starting gun in the seasonal race for life.

Netting 'baggie minnows', as this wee fellow was doing at Queen's Park pond in the 1960s, is a rite of passage as old as the hills. Perhaps it has something to do with our hunter/gatherer beginnings, but wee boys, and some girls, love nothing better than getting to grips with wriggling and writhing mini-beasts.

This young fisherman, complete with dungarees and woolly, peaked cap, looks like he's dressed for the high seas rather than a South Side park.

With his haul of minnows and sticklebacks stored in a jeely jar, it would be off home to show off his catch to his parents.

Once there, the jar would be kept in the garden or on the kitchen windowsill, to see how big the fish grew.

Once they'd all died, as they inevitably did, dad or mum would quietly empty the jar of stinking water down the drain, or flush it down the loo.