Thursday, December 14, 2006

Life Will Find A Way


Let's get some nature back into this nature blog ...

Behind the green boat gear shed and beside the reddish barn, lies my aquaculture area. It's mostly fallow now... an odd assortment of big and little tanks ... 750 gallons to 5 gallons. It's all waiting for me to have time and money again ... and so it sits.

These little tadpoles showed up about three months ago in an old aquarium that had filled with rainwater. They were very tiny.

These two photos are about two months old, but they are still out there. They've doubled in size, but even that is pretty tiny.
I'm assuming they are tree frogs since the aquarium sits 3 feet off the ground on an old rusty stand.

Essential habitat can occasionally be as simple as a few gallons of water for breeding. We are so dry now, there is no amphibian friendly, fish-free standing water in the immediate area.

For some treefrog pair, this old aquarium made the difference between reproducing or trying again next year. Posted by Picasa


pissed off patricia said...

Oh these little things are near and dear to my heart. One year our ditch was drying up. It was filled with little future frogs. I caught as many as I could and put them in a container in the shade. I got as much of the water from the ditch as I could for the little guys. I would watch them grow and change. One late afternoon I went to check them and some sort of large frog was there beside the container. Each time one of my new little frogs would crawl out on the stick I had provided them, the big frog would eat them right up. I had basically provided him with a frog McDonald's.

Lesson, don't mess with mother nature.

Thunder Dave said...

Tadpoles are always good for time passing entertainment!

Pensacola beach was great! The temperature set two cold records while we were there, but it was sunny every day! And let's face it, a cold sunny day at the beach beats any day in Ohio! Just what I needed to recover!

Wayne said...

I hadn't thought of my ponds as aquaculture, but perhaps they are. They have certainly engendered generation after generation of dragonflies that I would not otherwise see, and I swear we've repopulated the area with at least a dozen species of frogs and toads that would not otherwise be here. And how simple it was - just provide a water source that doesn't go away.

Of course, if we had neighbors close by we'd probably get noise ordinance complaints.

Alan said...

When we first bought our place the lake/pond behind the house was merely dry pasture. I found satellite and aerial photos that showed it once when it was full then later as a series of connected ponds then finally all just dry prairie.

Then came the '04 hurricane season and with two storms we suddenly had a very nice pond behind the house. Didn't rise quite high enough to joing the big lake on the other side of the high spot, but it was a nice pond just the same.

The mosquitoes hit us about seven days later and about a week after that (or thereabouts) the frog invasion started. I've been all of my life in Florida and have never seen so many of them at one time. Our mosquito problem vanished pretty well overnight.

The local predator population boomed as well as it always does and gradually our tree frog population dwindled to its normal level. The pond behind the house gradually dwindled as well when the '06 rainfall proved scanty and is now dry again. One whole limnological cycle in about two years.

I liked it a lot better as a pond. I'm sure you liked yours better when it was full too.


robin andrea said...

Those are very cute little tadpoles. Makes me wonder if frogs have an egg-laying season, and if winter is it in Florida? Our frogs are dormant here in the winter.

MoMadness said...

That is too cool, man! Nature is so awesome! On vacation this week and guess what? Shopping, shopping, shopping. But also doing lots of home-made craft gifts. Did I say I was on "vacation."? Hah!

Anonymous said...

Frogs are so fascinating. I just like them. Thanks for the tadpole pics

Floridacracker said...

Heh! Your heart was in the right place ... so was the big frog!

I thought about ya, 'cause I knew you were coming down in our coldest week so far this winter.

It amazes me how fast life finds a water source. I want to sink a few small plastic fish ponds around the property for the amphibs.

Your story mimics our own pond experience since the 16 inch rainfall of TS Frances in 04. Very similar tale.

Here it seems to depend on water availability more than seasons. The frogs are quieter in the winter, but at least a few were still breeding back in October.

Enjoy your vacation and your crafts.Hope the weather has calmed down out there.

It's hard to not like frogs.

Deb said...

Isn't life amazing? Those frogs just do it, whatever way they can. Just like everything else.

vicki said...

Abby wanted me to ask you a question and this post is the perfect one. She lives on the 7th floor of the USF St Petersburg dorm and one recent evening she looked out at her view of the Bay- and there was a little frog stuck to the outside of her window. She wonders if it crawled up there, got dropped by a bird or? Any ideas on what he was doing there? Does it really rain frogs?

Anonymous said...

Those tree frogs are the one variety I dislike. They hang out on my front door and when I go out, they sometimes jump on me. When they land, they get scared and wet themselves. On me! UGH!

Floridacracker said...

It really is and I've found them in even smaller containers.

Those tree frogs decorate my windows all summer, only not 70 feet up. They are super climbers and it doesn't really surprise me that Abby found one so high. Cool.

Been there too. The cold, clammy, urinating frog on the neck surprise.

swamp4me said...

Treefrogs will take advantage of just about any water source. We had a tarp over the dog pen and water collected in a section that had sagged. Before I could empty out the rainwater the frogs had laid eggs in the little pocket of water. You gotta love 'em.

Floridacracker said...

Exactly! They are opportunists!