Tuesday, June 28, 2005

First baby frog sighting

Last Friday the 24th, I saw that a little frog was sitting on the edge of the pond. It was only thumbnail sized, and didn't move, but it appeared to be alive. I didn't think the tadpoles would turn into frogs that small. The tadpoles are harder to find these days, but they are still in there. The toad was spotted on Saturday in the garage, and the frog has been out recently too. Tonight the large adult frog was out, and then a stray cat walked up, and lay down on the shore of the pond about a foot or two from the frog. I thought it was stalking the frog, but it didn't seem interested in it. When I went outside to try to get a better picture, the frog jumped in the pond, and the cat walked away. I also saw something else new the other day. I saw a bright red bug in the water. I fished it out with the net, and it didn't seem like it wanted to be in the pond, so I put it on a fern. It almost seemed like a large spider mite. The water lily is doing well, and all of a sudden the algae on the pond has disappeared.

Stray cat lying near the pond.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Toad in my Abode

On Friday we had a toad visitor, found in the garage. I held it, and it was real nice. We released it near the pond, and it ate a bug and then crawled off into the vegetation. I had been wishing for toads because unlike frogs, you can easily hold them. I hope we see him again. As for the tadpoles, I found a couple more dead ones, which had legs! Fully formed thighs and calves, but still very puny. They were still attached to the tail, but I saw some live ones with the legs already free from the tail. So that was neat. I wonder what will happen when they all are ready to fledge? If they will stay in the pond or disperse? And I wonder how long it will be until that happens.

My toad friend.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tadpole Re-count

The frog was out today, and I recounted the tadpoles. There must be at least 200! Plus there was another dead one and we could see that it was just barely starting to get legs.

A couple tadpoles in the net.

Frog sitting on fence in pond, half underwater. Tadpoles are in lower left side of picture.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tadpoles Galore!

It rained today so the algae was gone from the pond. My water lily had disappeared earlier in the week, but it looked like it was still there today. Then I noticed that the tadpoles are getting so big (although they are only dime sized) that I could see them from inside the house! So I went outside and did find my lily plant, so that was good. Plus the underwater oxygenator cabomba plant is getting longer and you can see the tops of the plant poking up near the surface. My water lettuce I thought was practically gone, but it has divided into 3 small pieces with new growth. There was another dead tadpole on the surface, with obvious eyes starting to form. When I said we had foxes galore, we had like 6, but when I say we have tadpoles galore, I mean we have TADPOLES GALORE. I counted a whopping 73 tadpoles!!!!! I may have counted some of them twice, but still there are at least 50. They must have been hiding before, but when the water is clear they come up to suck air, so I could see them all hovering there at the surface. I took some pictures so we'll see if they turn out. I think they must eat the decaying leaves in the bottom of the pond. Plus I saw a new pond dweller--a beetle swimming around under the water. I had skimmed it off the other day but it seemed like it wanted to be there, so I put it back in the water. So it's like the pond is an ecosystem now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Frog Identity?

I tried to identify what kind of frogs we have, from the following website, but none of them look like what we have.
The closest thing is the Green Frog, Bronze subspecies, except our frogs are dark brown or black and smooth. I didn't think they had any spots either. When they hear me coming, they go "MIRP!" and dive in the pond. I found a dead tadpole yesterday, but I guess that's not too unusual considering I had already found 2 other dead ones. Plus the rest of them were still swimming around so I guess the deck stain didn't do too much damage, if that's even what killed the tadpole.