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.
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.
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.
first year of veg plot
Veg plot (2016)
Second was the wildlife pond. It took a bit longer to complete but now it looks like it has always been there.
Pond with liner (2007)
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.
Wildflower meadow and fruit trees
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!
To say the garden pond is heaving with frogs is a bit of an understatement! I used binoculars to help me count them today from the kitchen window. I counted 38 and I don’t think I got them all as there were probably some hiding in corners that I couldn’t see. Trouble is, as soon as you get close to the pond they head underwater and the zoom on my lens is not working. Thankfully there was one brave one – who was bold enough to pose for a rear-end and front-end view! Frogs are great addition to any garden, providing a valuable pest control service. Who wouldn’t want them in their garden?
I am almost ashamed to show you these pictures of our pond (partly in response to today photo101 theme – water). It has gone green. We have never had a green algae outbreak like this and obviously it is not happy! When the weather was wet, we took some of the algae out and laid it along the edges to allow any creatures we may have accidentally taken with it make their way back to the pond if. But now with warm sunshine, we are leaving it be – but intend to invest in a solar pump to try and get more oxygen into the water and hopefully improve the situation.