A bit of background, there was an abandoned foot/boot tray in the garden (maybe not the official term, the kind of tray used to clean boots/wellies on farms) which had collected rainwater, dead leaves, etc. and kind of looked like a little pond (despite being very shallow).
I know insects are attracted by it and I seem to remember having seen a bird drinking from it. Having found a couple of frogs and toads under the vegetation by the hedge line a few meters away, I thought that maybe these lovely creatures would appreciate an area of still shallow water that they could use for whatever purpose. So I “decorated” this little tray by putting stones around it, letting the grass grow around and gracefully placing a few stones and branches in and across to act as islands and bridges.
My other half, despite finding the whole thing amusing, actually helped with dressing the pond (now officially the “frog pond”), but never really believed it would ever work. As a matter of fact, since last spring, as far as we are aware, one frog was spotted swimming in it… and also our dog who likes to use it in the summer to cool down in between chasing balls and sticks…!
No need to say I had slightly given up on the idea that I had created some sort of amphibian all star resort… until yesterday morning, when walking past I spotted something in the middle of it that definitely wasn’t there last time. It rained a lot the day before (and I mean a lot) which is maybe what triggered the animal(s) to lay, I don’t know. But all I really care about right now is that my pond is being put to good use by those it was created for! Can’t wait for spring 😀 😀
2 weeks on, the embryo in each egg has substantially grown in size, and is also starting to change shape, to become longer with discernible head and tail ends …!!
And another week or so later, we have… tadpoles!
They’re really starting to take shape now, much longer with a more define head (and eyes!), they are swimming outside the egg for most of them, although all the eggs have now more or less combined into this jelly like mass…
I asked my friend, who knows most things about living things, and is really into conservation, whether I should give Nature a helping hand and put a little net to cover the pond and stop birds from eating the little fellas. She said not to, some will be eaten by water beetles, others by dragonfly larvae, others by the others (yes, they are cannibals :s ), and the rest will survive to replace their parents…
Just as Nature intended, She knows best!
A month on, the little fellas are clearly developing into amphibians. Their head definitely resembles more that of a frog and not of a fish anymore… Their belly area is a lot more bulgy. Some have grown quite a lot in size. They are still feeding of plant debris, although some should soon start developing teeth… ! 🙂 🙂 🙂