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The Frogs have arrived

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frogs after spawning by The Sunday GardenerThe frogs have arrived back in full force, dozens of them have suddenly re appeared from nowhere, or so it seems.  They look prehistoric and clumsy, wrestling around in the water, spawning. Each year the frogs will return, if they can, to the same source of water to spawn and they arrive at around same time. The female can lay up to 4000 eggs  which take up to 30-40 days to emerge as tadpoles  14  weeks to develop into frogs when they leave the pond. Of the thousands of frog spawn which will float around in our pond for weeks, only 1-2 per thousand survive to become frogs, the rest are eaten by the many predators, mainly fish and birds.

So determined are the frogs to find the same water source, if it vanishes, the frogs may be left, literally high and dry. I have seen them sitting in small puddles of damp, where once there was water, and then they cannot spawn and are vulnerable to be picked off by predators of which Magpies  are quick to be ominously present.

When this happened near us we tried to save some frogs putting them into buckets to carry them to a safe pond, and if you are lucky, they will then return each year which is how they got in this pond in the first place. The reservoir nearby had been drained by the land owner and the frogs were confused where to go and being picked off Magpies as they struggled to find water. Frogs are really worth encouraging as they are a gardener's friend, keen on eating slugs and snails and so very welcome in the pond and to join the garden buffet of slugs.

During next week when it is cold, they will sink back down low in the pond into a state of torpor until the weather warms when they will surface again for more spawning. Frogs are shy and so not easy to photograph, they can see you near the water source and sense the vibration as you walk towards the pond, and will promptly dive to the bottom where they will stay until it seems safe to surface again. Tip toe very slowly and you might just catch them, and you will hear the low croak emitted by the males to attract a mate.


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  1. Very inspirational Carol! Your website looks fab! Do you take the photos yourself, they look excellent. Is it an expensive camera? xx

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