Sunday, March 3, 2013

Put a frog on it ...

So may people today would rid themselves of their daily angst and frustrations if they just walked away from their computers or cars and dug in a frog pond.

Yes, to paraphrase Portlandia, put a frog on it.

I dug a pond in a few months ago. A tiny pond crafted from an old shell-shaped kiddies' sandpit, lined with the cuttings off an old inflatable kayak, and filled with mud, rocks and a selection of plants gleaned from the dredging of the local drainage canal down at a nearby park. So, there's the flatsedge, Cyperus eragrostis, some weedy Bacopa monnieri (all, may I add, for sale at local aquarium stores), and I bought the edible culinary herb, Persicaria odorata and some Ornduffia parnassifolia to add colour and spice.  Because it's nice to have a little watery green feature in a backyard of otherwise grey sands of Bassendean.
Of course, this was an empty pond, bereft of frogs and waiting for Them To Come. Quite a few frogs do wander the streets of Bayswater. Motorbike frogs (Litorea moorei) and banjo frogs (Limnodynastes dorsalis) in particular stretch their legs on many an occasion and have found themselves in our yards. So usually it was a matter of waiting for a wandering frog to take up residence. In the interim, I did pop in a couple of white mountain cloud minnows (Tanichthys albonubes, an exotic species available on the day) in order to keep the mosquitoes down.

And that was that ..................       until the call came out in late November for homes for needy homeless tadpoles. A local was cleaning his pool for summer and found a batch of tadpoles needing rehoming in the local area (within a 5km radius). The local environment centre took these on and from there we picked up our new tadpoles. They took to the pond with gusto - or more just plain relief after a few miserable weeks in a deep, hot plastic tub. The addition of tasty lemna  made it perfect.

A tiny new froglet emerges.
A new froglet eyes off lunch
And within a  few weeks, new froglets emerged and took up residence in the ponds - yes, we bought a pre-fab fiberglass pond to accommodate the growing frog family and because the original clamshell sand pit appeared to have a slow leak.  And this time we popped in six western pygmy perches.

And then there was the need for a second pond as the number of emerging frogs swelled. And so now we are humble slaves to our new, free-range pets, planting more sedges and shrubs, topping up the ponds, putting in a small solar light to attract night insects. They feed themselves, although I still scatter in fish granules for the tadpoles and fish, and I do trust that they are making a dent in the local slater, mosquito and grasshopper population. As a reward, I get prime frog viewing and some pest control.

A tree frog friendly new home, complete with bungalow
Looking green and handsome

1 comment:

  1. Blimey! Those frogs are getting five star treatment. Nice to see the ponds doing so well.