Seeing other Six on Saturday participants popping into my reader box, I feel the urge to get gardening, except it is very , very, wet and for the last few days stormy too! But then this morning we had SNOW! There was only a little and it quickly started to melt, but it makes the garden look pretty even if underneath everything is sodden. Many thanks for our host “The Propagator” for hosting Six on Saturday. Check out the participation guide.
First this week a friendly garden robin (my daughter calls him Timmy), puffed up against the cold.
Next, daffodils, tete-a-tete, copying with a dusting on snow.
Third, frog spawn in garden pond – also trying to cope with slushy snow. Frogs arrived, like last year, in time for Valentines day. So far numbers are low, thirty at most, but hopefully more will come after this cold spell.
Fourth, hazel catkins with melting snow.
Fifth, willow catkins. The last few years these seem to acome earlier and earlier. There are even some green leaves on this Salix rubra.
And finally this week – snowdrops in snow.
Frog spawn – there is a lot of it in the garden pond.
They are over hundred frogs in the pond at the moment and they will start dispersing again soon. During the year, we come across them regularly in the vegetable garden, and in the long grass of the meadows.
It is wonderful to see them all together in the pond though, and they do make a lovely gentle croaking noise. The spawn will take anything from 10-21 days to hatch into tadpoles (it depends on the temperature). The tadpoles will take a further 14 weeks to grow into mini frogs. Of course many of them will become food for newts, dragonfly larva and other predators including themselves.
Inspired by this week’s Lens artist photo challenge -Subjects Starting with Letter S
Whether it is the mild day or the fact a new storm is on it’s way, but we have even more frogs in the garden pond today. Hard to count but at least 200 now!
We know when spring is coming when the frogs arrive back in the garden pond. Last year they were late (early March), but this year they are already back in force – first ones arrive earlier in the week.
There appears to be a little fewer than last year – about 100, compared to around 120 last year. They are not easy to count though so it is just an estimate!
Captivating may not be a word you’d immediately associate with frogs. However, we are spending a large amount of our meal times watching the frogs in the garden pond and my youngest is particularly captivated by their antics. Our kitchen window overlooks the pond and is a perfect place for observing them.
Yesterday’s count was an estimated 150! Last year there was 63, so it is a big jump in numbers. Today is damp and it looks like they are beginning to disperse, as there are a lot more sitting around the top of the pond, and moving away under the beech hedge and through the garden.
I love to see frogs in the garden as I know they will do their bit in keeping the slug population down.
So what is the story?
Well, the frogs are back in our garden pond. They actually first arrived over a week ago. But then the temperatures dropped and we had all that snow and they vanished. But yesterday they returned! I counted 99. Today, they are in such a mating frenzy I cannot count them! Trouble is as soon as you go out to take a photograph most of them disappear under water, so I cannot show you what it really looks like. Luckily, some are braver and not so photo shy – or perhaps they just have their mind on something more import, like producing the next generation!
Why do we feel compelled to create gardens? My own garden has not so much being created but its journey has been an organic process of gradually fitting in what I wanted from a garden, around what was already there. The very first thing we did was fence off a vegetable plot at the same time the house was being built, as that was a priority for me. We started with fence but planted the beech hedge to provide extra shelter, and that is now well grown.
Second was the wildlife pond. It took a bit longer to complete but now it looks like it has always been there.
Over the years we have acquired a tunnel, planted more fruit trees, and the wildflower meadow is a work in progress as there is always new plants that can be added. And then one year we had a bit of extra cash which allowed us to build the greenhouse.
The last two years I have been working on the flower garden.
I never get bored in the garden. There is always something to do, something new to create. Though really all I am doing is adding to mother nature and to some degree managing her. Though if you walked into our garden at the moment you’d see that there isn’t a huge amount of management going on, as they wet weather recently has meant no grass cutting and work has meant little weeding, so it’s all a a bit wild. But I do like it like that!
The tadpoles have hatched and are growing quickly. They are concentrating themselves in dense clumps in the shallower water at one end of the garden pond. I suspect as they get bigger they will begin to move out.
In the picture below you can see some of the braver ones!
You can click here to learn a bit more about our Irish frogs.