Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A small pond

I've been stuck in pretty much all the time since the Farnes, work deadlines and all that. My friend Imi invited me to her house in Pembury on Sunday and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours in the garden, enjoying sunshine, tea, chocolate brownies and a beautifully designed and maintained little wildlife pond that pretty much blew me away.

The pond has a surface area of not much more than a metre squared. But a lot of thought has gone into its landscaping and planting and a lot of work goes into its maintenance. The rewards include Large Red Damselflies.

They have also had at least one of the blue species but none were about on the day for me to ID, so here's Large Red again.

I didn't manage any water-boatmen pics but here is one of the several pond-skaters doing their walking on water trick. And also the edge of a water-lily pad - these provide resting places and launch-pads for the new generation of tiny froglets that were very much in evidence.

Imi says there were two separate 'spawning events' in the pond in spring, and consequently there is a range of ages, with froglets, froglets with tails, and lots and lots of still legless tadpoles. These are all Common Frogs, which makes them particularly exciting for me as most of the frogs I see and photograph are the introduced (and, frankly, less cute) Marsh Frogs.

A closer look at a fully formed froglet. Fully formed but not fully grown - it was the size of my little fingernail.

This one's hiding. You can't see it, right?

A head-on view. It was tricky getting low enough for eye-level photos, I was running the risk of dipping the BigMac lens in the pond. But that is the nature of ponds.

And finally, some of the many, many tadpoles. As you can see, these are well-grown and several are sporting little hind legs. This one little garden pond looks set to send out really good numbers of new Common Frogs into the world.  Watching the little taddies swimming about was easily as enjoyable as watching a pond full of goldfish - and a lot more environmentally sound. Imi tells me there is a newt in the pond too but he or she didn't want to say hi today.


Warren Baker said...

Cant get frogs to stay in my pond Marianne, maybe because the many newts I have eat all the tadpoles!!

Penny Taylor said...

The froglets are so great! I am still waiting for our tadpoles to get legs!

Phil said...

There's nothing like a pond to attract the wildlife Marianne. So long as Goldfish aren't put in, they just eat everything including tadpoles and insect larvae.