Saturday, April 22, 2006
Feeling Froggy? Get A Headlamp And Get Out There!
A few nights ago, I put on the little LED headlamp and crept down to the pond. It was quiet, so I was not expecting any "frogapalooza" mating frenzy such as will occur when the rains return. I could hear the bullfrog "jugarum" call, but I knew they would be there, because they are always there...unless it's really cold. During the day, when you walk to the pond, the entire shore erupts into squeaks and ploppy splashes as the shore-sitting bullfrogs leap back into the water. My pond is loaded.
The headlamp light transfixes these frogs so that you can walk right up to them...to the point that by keeping the light steady in their eyes, I've managed to reach down and snatch one up for a more personal visit. They are huge...certainly eating size, so you might be wondering..."does the hunter- gatherer-fishermany FC gig frogs?" No.
Frog legs are delicious...they may be the one food that actually does taste like chicken.
There's just something about a frog to me...maybe it's the big eyes. Anyway, I let them be.
Last summer, there were hundreds of very large tadpoles in the pond and even now I see a few basking in the shallows during the day. I read somewhere that bullfrog tadpoles take up to a year to mature, where most other tadpoles become frogs in a few weeks. The pond was surrounded by young bullfrogs last summer also, so many of these bigger ploppers are probably that crop.
My pond is basically bullfrog heaven. Lots of submerged plants to hide in, coupled with a swamp of black willow at the south end. There is cover everywhere. There are fish in the pond, but no largemouth bass and the banks are steep...mostly, so wading birds are less effective. Also, the pond is populated by a giant population of gambusia minnows so food is abundant.
Of course, the main thing that makes it froggy heaven is the fact that I don't carry a gig when I wear my headlamp.
Posted by R.Powers at 6:25 AM