Happy Save the Frogs Day!

I obviously do not follow my holidays closely enough but apparently it is Save the Frogs Day.  In honor of that fact I will post about my little pond in the back garden and how it has become a favorite spot for the local frogs and toads.

When I first thought of building (or perhaps the correct word is creating) a pond I had no idea how much hard work it would be.  While it was going to be small, just four feet wide and deep, the amount of digging it took to get to the correct depth just about killed me.    This was due to the fact that just below the surface soil was a construction site dump filled with concrete blocks, rocks, bricks and various other debris.  After I had removed various leftovers from the building of my home, I discovered yet another obstacle.  There was so much clay down there I could have opened my own pottery.  I soldiered on and eventually got the hole big enough that I could line it with a layer of sand and then the plastic pond liner.  I set up a small fountain and filled it with water.

In the next several days I observed the pond to see what, if anything, was beginning to make it home.  To my absolute delight within a week I had frog spawn (this is a shot of Toad Spawn)

and, of course, shortly thereafter, tadpoles.

The pond quickly became a breeding place for several species of frogs and a very amorous pair of  Fowler’s Toads.

The tree frogs also loved hanging around it.

By far my favorite guest though was Jeremiah,  who naturally, is a Bull Frog. He not only lives in the pond during the summer, but overwinters in there in the depths of the gunk and leaf litter that has built up in the bottom over the years.   It is always a sure sign of spring when he emerges from the bottom and heads to the surface to bask in the sun for the first time.

In addition to the frogs and toads, the pond is also a breeding place for the dragonflies, and it is a joy to see them emerge from the pond in the Spring and break free from their naiad form and become a fully formed Dragonfly.

So on this Save the Frogs day, I would encourage everyone to put in a small pond, if they have the space of course.  Once created, a working pond (as opposed to a purely ornamental or koi pond)  tends to be pretty much self sufficient and will bring joy to any person who loves wildlife.

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