Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Frog Pond

Loyal readers know of our "War on Lawn", in which we are replacing a well manicured lawn with native gardens and wildlife habitat. (Not so loyal readers can click the link and easily catch up by reading the older posts. As we moved here in summer 2014 you've only four years of posts to read. Enjoy!)

To get gardening ideas and learn from a master, last September Patty and I visited the wildlife garden of Pat Sutton, has been tending her wildlife garden for 41 years!

Among the things we learned was the usefulness of small water features. Tucked in amongst the plants were several small pools like this one. As can be seen in the linked image, one way to create a small pond is to use a plastic tub sunk into the ground. 

And they are popular with the frogs. 

Earlier this spring we added a small pond in our Bird Feeder Garden. Rather than use a tub, I dug out a small hole, approximately two feet long by two feet wide by one foot deep and used some of the remaining lining from the Bog. It looked like this when done:

The plant is Pickerel-Weed, a native aquatic plant with nice violet-blue flowers. the branches in the water are provided so that should small critters fall in they have an exit ramp, something we learned on the aforementioned garden tour. Frogs also enjoy perching on them.

As I was home bound for the greater part of the summer, I noticed when things changed out in the garden. And one day I noticed a 'lump' on the gray log at the back of the pond. Sure enough, a binocular view proved it to be a small frog. So I took a picture (it's what I do).

You can see the frog center top of the above image (click the images to bigafy them). And if you look closely, you'll see two other frogs, one with its back to us on the black liner, center right; and the other facing us, perched on the diagonal sticks to the left of the greenish-white rock in the center of the image. 

Cool I thought. But as I watched, I noticed additional frogs were coming into view.

Look closely at the image above and you can find five frogs. The one on the gray log has moved, but the other two from the prior image are still there. There is another in profile to the left of the 'left' frog from the first image. And another, also in profile below the first image 'right' frog. The fifth is poking its head out far right and center. 

Scanning around I found a sixth frog, almost exactly centered in the image below. In profile, facing to the right, sitting on the gray rock. Despite the variations in color, upon closer inspection I determined that they are all Green Frogs.

Patty was out in the garden the next day and spotted seven of these hoppers. Very cool that our little pond is already a home for wildlife. 


Loyal readers, and non-loyal readers that have caught up by now, may recall that we have had seven species of frogs and toads visit our yard. So it is no surprise that we had frogs in the garden. What does surprise me is how quickly the pond was discovered and that such a small water feature supports so many. Although not quite as many as in Pat Sutton's garden pond (but her's has a 40 year head start!). 


You don't have to visit Pat Sutton's garden to benefit from her gardening knowledge (but you can, she has them annually and raises money for good causes). You can visit her website, Pat Sutton's Wildlife Garden, join her "Gardening Gang",  or attend one of her talks. All worthy of your time. Have fun!

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